Top-ranked Aberdeen Bulldogs strike quickly, then romp over Kossuth

ABERDEEN – Aberdeen scored its first two touchdowns in a 25-second span on Friday night. That’s how Kossuth’s night went in Monroe County in the opening round of the 2010 MHSAA Class 3A playoffs.
The Bulldogs (11-1), ranked No. 1 in the Daily Journal’s Class 3A rankings, erased any hopes of an upset early on in a 50-6 win against the visiting Aggies (5-7).
It was Aberdeen’s 11th consecutive win.
Kossuth coach Pete Seago said the early attempts to control the clock just weren’t enough.
“I’m sure people have tried that before,” Seago said. “That was part of our strategy. We were trying to find every advantage we could get. We had a couple of miscues. They were as fast on the field as they were on film.”
Aberdeen got the ball and took advantage of it. After Aberdeen quarterback Desmond Jones overshot Aaron McMillian on what would have been a first-play touchdown, McMillian took a pitch and raced 52 yards for a 7-0 Aberdeen lead after Antonio Crayton’s kick.
The Bulldogs recovered the first of two straight muffed kickoffs and added a second score 25 seconds later on Victor Hodges’ 4-yard run. Coreno Blanchard came away with the fumble to set up the score.
“It was the first time in four or five weeks that we turned it on and played well in all aspects,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said. “You want to turn it on this late in the year and I’m glad we were able to. We’re going to find stuff we want to get better at but I think overall we had a pretty good ballgame.”
Kossuth’s Zack Cooper picked Jones to halt the damage from the second fumble recovery but Aberdeen got the ball back and Hodges raced 44 yards for his second touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 1:37 left in the quarter.
Hodges scored three times and rushed for 145 yards on only nine carries.
Aberdeen scored three second quarter touchdowns, the first two 20 seconds apart. Hodges had a 4-yard run capped by Crayton’s two-point run. Jones added a 6-yard walk into the end zone and Brandon Smith had a 47 yard run through seven tackles after he had a touchdown called back in the drive. Jones’ score was set up by a fumble Braxton Anderson recovered on a backward pass from Kossuth quarterback Jay Vanderford.
Kossuth had four fumbles and Vanderford was picked off three times, twice by Jonnie Wilson, once by Ramontez Hodges.
Kossuth converted only one first half first down as Aberdeen racked up 446 yards, 392 on the ground.
“We had a pretty good week of practice,” Duncan said. “This time of year, these kids are used to it. They know what’s at stake. They know what they’ve got to do. We got focused and when you do that, that’s the kind of effort you have.”
Freshman Chico Harrison scored Aberdeen’s lone second half touchdown on a 5-yard fourth quarter run after Vanderford hit Heath Wood for a 50-yard strike to take the zero off of Kossuth’s side of the scoreboard.
“We had a good plan for them,” Smith said. “They were physical. The line had to block well. We tackled pretty good on defense. We played tremendous.”

Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal

Click video to hear audio