The 2016 meeting between the Georgia Military College football team and Hocking College was an easy win for the Bulldogs. This year's matchup between the two schools Sunday was anything but as the 13th-ranked Dogs (5-1) did almost all of their scoring the fourth quarter to get the 33-12 win on the road. "I thought our defense played very well," said GMC head coach Bert Williams. "I was really pleased with the effort. The offensive side struggled a bit and really couldn't get things going… It wasn't because of a lack opportunities. We just didn't do a good job of finishing drives."
The Dogs did finish one drive in the first quarter though aided by a blocked punt. Big Chris Felder rumbled in from one yard out to put GMC up early, but kicker Yaroslav Sherling missed the extra point which served as a bad omen for what was to come. The special teams aspect continues to be one of give and take for the GMC football team this season. Kick returns, blocks, and coverage have served the Dogs well while PATs, field goals, and punts have been question marks. "The special teams made some good things happen with some blocked kicks and did some things to get us some great field position," Williams said. "We got a recovery in the end zone on kickoff coverage for a touchdown, so I'm really pleased with some of that stuff. On the other side we missed two extra points and a short field goal."
The Hawks cashed in on a more than six-minute drive before the half, but GMC blocked the extra point to make the contest 6-6 heading into the half. Neither team could make anything happen in the third quarter, but the fourth made up for the lack of activity. Hocking quarterback Mikale Clark hit Kevin Greenhow for a 21-yard touchdown before failing on the two-point conversion to go up 12-6 early in the fourth putting the Hawks in great position for an upset. The improved Hocking squad impressed Coach Williams, and also showed some things the GMC staff had not prepared for. Constant press coverage on the outside coupled with wet conditions made throwing the football difficult while an added run-stopper slowed the Dogs' rushing attack. "We just didn't execute as well at really any position on offense," the GMC head coach said. "We felt like we took a step back this week on the offensive side of the ball as far as the way I'd like to see us progress through the season."
Even still running back Kendall Cross produced another 100-yard rushing game and scored from 12 yards out with less than six minutes to go to put his team up 13-12. Fortune found the Dogs on the ensuing kickoff when it was mishandled by the Hocking return man and recovered by GMC for a touchdown that allowed for a little breathing room. Down 19-12, all the pressure was on the Hawk offense to produce a comeback. They could not deliver as their quarterback threw two pick-sixes (one by Brandon Bawn, the other by Kishawn Miller) with less than a minute to go to get the Dogs to 33 points on the afternoon. "It was really a tight game," Coach Williams said. "The score's really not indicative of what happened."
After returning early Monday morning from Sunday's trip back home, the Dogs get a much needed bye week to lick their wounds and prepare for the home stretch of the 2017 season. They hit the field next Oct. 22 when they are scheduled to take on Army Prep.