Georgetown Football

Georgetown football uses losses as fuel for season

For The Sun NewsAugust 9, 2012 

  • Editor’s note This is the seventh in a 13-team series previewing area high school football squads. Saturday: North Myrtle Beach.
  • The scoop Coach | Bradley Adams (12-9 in two seasons at Georgetown and overall) Last year | 7-4, 3-2 in Region VIII-AAA, third place; lost in first round of Class AAA playoffs Returning starters | 6 offense/7 defense Strengths | The Bulldogs have plenty more experience than even a relatively high number of returning starters suggests. Many of the key components this year gained valuable playing time in split roles a season ago, and it adds up to big potential on both sides of the ball. If Georgetown is able to put it all together, this should develop into a team that competes for not only a playoff game but one at home. Weaknesses | In 2011, Adams’ team got blown out of a Week 9 region game at Myrtle Beach, and things got out of hand from there. And while it won’t count toward postseason status, the Bulldogs will have a huge test in Week 0 this year against Conway and star quarterback Mykal Moody. Should Georgetown lose that game, it will need to prove it can bounce back. That’s something it wasn’t able to do last year.
  • Three players to watch Caleb Hughes, Sr., QB | He could finish his time at Georgetown with the most passing yards and victories in school history. If he does that, it means the Bulldogs’ season has extended deep into November. Julian Lunsford, Sr. RB | After running for 522 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, Lunsford takes over the top spot. Tarik Tucker, Sr., WR/DB | He was second on the team in receptions (22) and yards (411) last year while catching four touchdowns. He also had a team-leading three interceptions and took one back for a score.
  • 2012 GEORGETOWN BULLDOGS
    No. Name Position Height Weight Grade
    1Zaquan CollinsWR/DB5-1013210
    2Alvin WalkerWR6-420512
    3Anthony BlairDL6-321212
    4Michael BillingsRB/DB5-1117410
    5Juwan GibbsDL5-719012
    6Cannon BallardWR6-318512
    7Jordan WardDB/RB6-016711
    8Caleb HughesQB5-1117012
    9Jackson BrittK6-217512
    10Daquan GibsonWR/DB5-916011
    11Leon FordLB/QB5-1020512
    12Tarik TuckerWR/DB5-717412
    14Marquez DraytonDB/WR5-1016510
    15Emerson WhiteDL6-120412
    20Josh HuneaultP/K5-916512
    21Javon LeakeH5-1016710
    22Davonte GriffinLB5-1017411
    23Gerald GermanLB5-916810
    24Brandon LarimoreRB/DB5-913812
    25Julian LunsfordRB5-1019012
    30Bernie KeithDB5-715512
    31Cody FloydH/LB5-919811
    32Jordan ManigaultDB5-81509
    34Kris CrosbyWR/DB5-713810
    35Chris GambleH5-719112
    40Keith CollinsWR/DB5-1015912
    42Jarvis BrownQB/DB5-91409
    44Darian GrahamH/DL5-111959
    47Brandon MyersWR5-1117211
    50Dustin MartinOL6-225512
    51Dillon AlfordOL6-427012
    55Jalil SmithOL/DL5-1120010
    56Justin WearingDL5-929012
    58Asa HolmesOL5-919512
    60Luke EaddyOL5-1025310
    61Marcus DraytonOL/DL6-22309
    64Jacob ArcherOL5-817010
    65Comega MyersLB5-1019810
    66Jordan KenningtonOL5-1021311
    70Davious GrantOL6-123011
    72Matthew AltmanOL5-112109
    74Patrick MinnifieldOL5-927412
    77Kenlynn CumbeeDL6-125012
    78Nick CooperOL/DL5-825511
    80Tres JamesWR6-017511
    82Dominick WigfallDL6-222412
    86Xavier ThompsonWR5-101459
    88Jeremy DraytonWR/DB5-613512
    95Denzell ArchieDL6-226012
    99Jerome BlakeDL5-1116411
  • 2012 schedule
    Date Opponent ’11 result
    Aug. 17at ConwayDNP
    Aug. 31ANDREWSL, 34-14
    Sept. 7JAMES ISLANDDNP
    Sept. 14at Carver’s BayW, 42-18
    Sept. 21LORISDNP
    Sept. 28ST. JAMESW, 27-0
    Oct. 5at North Myrtle BeachW, 36-14
    Oct. 12at SocasteeW, 23-22
    Oct. 19MYRTLE BEACHL, 42-0
    Oct. 26at WilsonL, 34-27

It’s been more than nine months since Georgetown played a football game.

But the memories of how the 2011 season ended are still fresh.

The Bulldogs went into the fourth week of region play still competing for the title. However, Georgetown was blown out by Myrtle Beach, then lost by a touchdown to Wilson after missing a pair of field goals that would have won the game.

The three-game skid continued in the playoffs, where the Bulldogs lost in the first round to eventual Lower State champion Bluffton by 40 points. That three-week stretch put a damper on what was an otherwise outstanding season.

“It hasn’t left our mind, not one bit,” coach Bradley Adams said of the final three games last season. “We all know and all the kids know that we were very close to being an 8-2 football team [at the end of the regular season]. We lost a game that the players … knew was for a No. 2 seed. The kids pay very close attention to it. It led us and fed us in the offseason. They’ve been working since November. It has not left their head and their hearts one bit.”

Some believed the Bulldogs simply ran out of gas. More likely, though, is that the growing program simply wasn’t ready to compete with the top talent.

And while Georgetown has yet to play a game this year, Adams’ team is start to look – at least on paper – like the next transition from solid team to high-quality one is underway.

It doesn’t matter that defensive line standouts Trenton Grate-Reed (Newberry) and LeeShawn Cromedy (North Greenville) have moved on to the college ranks or that leading rusher Leonard Leake and top receiver Kysheem Muhammad have graduated.

What the Bulldogs bring back far outweighs the losses.

In the mix are six returning starters on offense and seven on defense. There’s quarterback Caleb Hughes, who last year set the school’s single-season passing record with more than 1,300 yards.

Running back Julian Lunsford steps into the top spot after splitting time with Leake, and receivers AJ Walker and Tarik Tucker give Hughes a pair of targets to make the spread offense that much more effective.

Defensively, Adams contends linemen Dominique Wigfall and Anthony Blair could be better than Grate-Reed and Cromedy. Behind those two will be a stable of experienced linebackers and defensive backs that could make Georgetown’s defense into one of the best in the area by season’s end.

Again, it all started with the kick in the pants that was the final three games of last season.

“Those last three losses made us more hungry,” Hughes said. “What happened against Wilson was bad luck. I think the playoff game at Bluffton really matured us as a team. We learned a lot from that.”

Enough so, it seems, that Georgetown’s regularly scheduled battle of attrition was limited to graduations – not players transferring out or quitting football altogether.

Adams said that is a product of winning, but also the connection between the coaching staff and the players. Either way, it’s built toward this.

Twenty-four seniors aim to not only take the Bulldogs back to the postseason, but help the program win its first postseason game since 2005. Even that, though, isn’t something the Georgetown coaches and players talk about.

They keep their goals in relatively generic terms, in part because they’re not exactly sure how good they can be. The Bulldogs found out the hard way a year ago how one loss can spiral into three.

“We believe they are beginning to grasp that,” Adams said. “They have grasped that understanding and they firmly believe what’s going on. They have worked so hard that they are going to fight it until the end and they are going to see what the reward is going to be at the end of the tunnel.”

Contact IAN GUERIN at ian@ianguerin.com.

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