The Mary Persons Bulldogs won’t have an easy chore of ending a 3-game losing skid when they head to Crisp County on Friday night.
“They’re real good defensively,” said coach Brian Nelson. “Big and fast. It’ll be a tough challenge.”
Six Crisp County defenders are prospects to play Division 1 college football. The Cougars are 4-0 on the year, and have shutout three of those four opponents. Last year Crisp County was the state runner up, losing the championship game to Cedar Grove. Crisp opened this season with a 7-0 win over Tift County. They shutout Houston County in Week 2 12-0. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy has been the only school to score on the Cougar defense, but they also lost 34-14. Then last week Crisp throttled Upson-Lee 32-0 in Thomaston.
The Cougars do most of their work on the ground, having completed just 18 passes on 48 attempts for the year.
The leading rusher is senior quarterback AJ Lofton, No. 1, who has 38 carries for 259 yards and two scores on the season. Junior running back Marquise Palmer, No. 2, is the second leading rusher with 35 carries for 113 yards.
The stingy Cougar defense is led by senior linebacker Preston Lavant, No. 9, who leads with team with 38 tackles. Another senior linebacker, Chris Paul Jr., No. 11, also has 38 tackles and is committed to Arkansas. Senior cornerback J’Kobe Harris, No. 10, leads the team in interceptions with four. Safety Sirad Bryant, No. 15, is committed to Georgia Tech. Defensive end Nick Mercer, No. 7, is committed to Georgia Southern.
The Cougars went 11-4 last year losing the state title game to Cedar Grove 21-14. The Bulldogs are led by senior running back Jaboree Goodson, who has 68 carries for 471 yards and five touchdowns. Freshman Duke Watson is the second leading rusher with 33 carries for 145 yards and a score. Senior receiver Adrian Hughley leads the team in receptions with 9 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Thomas Warren leads the team in tackles with 36.