No. 5 Dutchtown ends No. 4 Stockbridge’s region dominance, 21-14
By: Rob Grubbs — sportal contributorFollow @sportalspace
October 19, 2018 (Stockbridge, GA) – It was the type of game that you wish didn’t have to end, two unbeaten rivals geographically separated by minutes fighting for the top spot in the region. The No. 5 Dutchtown Bulldogs (8-0) defeated the No. 4 Stockbridge Tigers (7-1) Friday night 21-14 in a game that showcased defense, emotion and a packed house, everything that is good about high school football in the state of Georgia.
Dutchtown Head Coach Clifford Fedd has made an immediate impact on the Bulldogs in just his second season. His “Bring the Hammer” mentality has become contagious to the players and the fans alike. His first-year team qualified for the playoffs last season for the first time since 2010 and a bitter loss to Starr’s Mill on a controversial call at the end only made his team hungrier.
The Stockbridge Tigers under Head Coach Kevin Whitley have been the gold standard for Henry County over the past ten years. They have won five of the last six region championships and had not lost a regular season game since a 7-6 thriller to Luella over four years ago. This has been a huge rebuilding season for the Tigers after losing 25 seniors from last years team that finished 13-1. Bringing the Tigers to this point in the season still unbeaten could be one of his best coaching jobs to date.
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start when they took the opening kickoff and drove downfield behind a balanced offense lead by sophomore quarterback Arendez Fedd and scored on a Kevon Glenn 5-yard TD run for the 7-0 early lead. The Dutchtown defense built off that momentum and stuffed the Tigers on their first drive to force a punt and looked to take command early.
However, one of the best signs of a well-coached team is how they handle adversity. There was no panic on the Stockbridge side and they had a defensive stop of their own which forced a Dutchtown punt. Momentum swings can often occur in the kicking game and this was a classic example, Devion Newsom blocked the punt for the Tigers and gave them possession at the Bulldog 20. Stockbridge quarterback Jevon McDonald waisted little time, tying the game up on a TD pass to Isaiah Taylor.
Both defenses flexed their muscle after the early scores as three consecutive drives ended in punts, but the Bulldog defense created a turnover late in the second half which the Bulldogs converted into a four-yard TD run for Chris Coneway.
Another sign of a well-coached team is how they respond, and with only two minutes until the half, the Tigers went on a 70-yard drive to tie the game up going to the locker room. McDonald completed his second TD pass of the game, another 20-yarder, this one to Kerick Reese.
The third quarter was a field possession game, as both teams traded punts and looked for cracks in each other’s defense. The Bulldogs finally found a slight crack early in the fourth after a Ja’Shaun Poke interception early in the quarter. The Bulldogs seized the opportunity and scored on a 38-yard electric run from Nate McCollum to give them the lead at 21-14.
On the next offensive play, the Bulldogs intercepted a Tiger pass and looked to ice the game, but the Tiger defense got the ball back to their offense two more times, but the Tigers could not convert, and the game ended at 21-14 and a huge crowd scene on the field.
For Coach Fedd, the victory was sweet, but the work is far from done, “We just do things our way, every game we play is for the region title, next week against Eagles Landing, same thing. We have some seniors that have never beaten Stockbridge before, I came in, they did not know me, and they bought in the principles we put in front of them. We will enjoy this for 24 hours and then go back to work.”
For Stockbridge, everything is still in front of them as well. A big game against Jones County looms on their schedule. But for the packed house at The Jungle in Stockbridge, everyone would love to see these two play again, it was just that good of game.
Chris Joyce – a 2018 graduate of Dutchtown, Joyce Rushed for 714 yards and eight touchdowns during his high school career, recording 206 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns as a senior. He as a reliable kick and punt returner in his high school career, totaling 322 kickoff return yards and one touchdown while accumulating 301 punt return yards and two touchdowns. He earned Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention honors from the Georgia Sports Writers Association. He is currently a freshman defensive back for Tulane University.
Jalen Holston – A 2017 graduate of Stockbridge he rushed for 4,071 yards during his high school career, including more than 1,300 yards in back-to-back seasons. He averaged 7.4 yards per carry and scored 41 total touchdowns. He is currently a sophomore running back for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
1-The Bulldog offense began to soar last year under freshman quarterback Fedd. Now a year older, the coach’s son has great size and a rocket arm and will be one of the top quarterbacks in Georgia in the years ahead.
2-This was the 15th meeting between the two schools, with Stockbridge holding a 11-4 advantage in the series. The last win for Dutchtown before tonight was August 27, 2010.