Two fumbles and an interception could not stop Suwannee
If you were a Bulldog fan, Friday night's game against Hamilton County was a scary affair. Hamilton scored first with a 34-yard field goal and those three points could have spelled disaster for Suwannee if Hamilton had managed to score one more time. The final tally was 21-18 with Suwannee winning by three.
Suwannee won the toss to start and elected to receive after the half. It turned out to be a smart move. The Dog defense came out strong in Hamilton's first possession and held the Trojans to three and out.
The fans received their first scare of the night when the Dogs fumbled on their first possession giving Hamilton the ball on the Dog 31. Dustin Doe, playing his old teammates, sacked the Trojan quarterback for a big loss on the 15. The Trojans brought out the field goal team and kicked a good one for those three crucial points.
Suwannee bounced right back with a 40-yard kick off return by Keith brown. Suwannee's special teams looked a lot better against Hamilton. Jarrett Yulee ran the ball to the 10 for a first down and then scored from 10 yards out. The touchdown was called back for one of many stupid penalties incurred by Suwannee. Then the Dogs fumbled on the 17 and Hamilton recovered.
Once again the Dog "D" held Hamilton to three and out. The punt gave the Dogs great field position on the Hamilton 32.
Mario Hawthorne, all alone in the end zone, caught a Tajhuane Roundtree pass for the first touchdown of the game. Ridgeway's point-after kick was good. With 10:20 left in the first half, the Dogs led 7-3.
The Dogs held Hamilton to three and out again on the Trojan's next possession. Then Suwannee caught a special teams break! Keith Brown hurried the Trojan punter, the ball went about 12 yards toward the sidelines. Hawthorne picked the ball up and scampered into the end zone for another Dog touchdown with 8:31 left in the half. Ridgeway's PAT was good. Suwannee was up 14-3.
Taj Roundtree threw an interception in the last minutes of the first half. Hamilton was able to capitalize on this Suwannee error and at the half the score was 14-10.
Suwannee received after the half. The Dogs drove hard to the Hamilton nine but could not score. Coach Bobby Bennett opted to try for a score from the nine instead of getting the field goal and the Dogs were unable to penetrate the Hamilton defense. Hamilton took over on downs on the four yard line.
With 5:24 left in the game, Yulee ran the ball in for Suwannee from the 10. Ridgeway's PAT was good and the Dogs were up 21-10.
But Hamilton drove hard in their next possession. Hamilton made the last score of the game with 3:01 left in the third. They went for the two-point conversion and made it. The score went to 21-18 and stayed that way through the rest of the game.
This was the final game of a very strange season of football. Suwannee fans had a new coach to adjust to as did the students. It was rough and the Dogs' season record a miserable 4-7 if you count the Kick-Off Classic. If you count the Spring Jamboree, Bennett's record as a Dog coach is 4-8.
First Federal Offensive Player of the Game is #1 Mario Hawthorne. Hawthorne, playing his first full season as a Suwannee football player, made two touchdowns.
First Federal Defensive Player of the Game is Dustin "Duke" Doe. Doe played his heart out against his old teammates from Hamilton County.