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Turnovers doom Winder-Barrow in loss to Jackson County

JEFFERSON -- Winder-Barrow and Jackson County renewed a dormant rivalry Friday night, and the Bulldoggs were hoping a traditional opponent would result in a victory and the end of their 24-game losing streak.

But the same turnover demon that has plagued Winder-Barrow during the streak once again doomed the Bulldoggs in a 21-10 loss in Jefferson.

Winder-Barrow opened the game on a promising note.

After forcing a Jackson County punt, the Bulldoggs marched 42 yards in six plays to the Jackson County 32-yard line. But on his first pass of the season, quarterback Christian Hodge was intercepted by Jackson County's Keyshaun Curry in the end zone to end the threat.

"We took a shot there," Winder-Barrow head coach David Wagner said, "their corners were playing soft and the pass was thrown well. We have to make a play there."

With the game still scoreless late in the first quarter and the Bulldoggs again driving, Jackson County defensive tackle Chris Foster picked up a Hodge fumble at midfield and rumbled to the Winder-Barrow 25-yard line. The Panthers capitalized six plays later when Kyle Daniel connected with Ben Brissey down the middle for a touchdown and 7-0 lead with 8:50 remaining in the quarter.

Winder-Barrow dominated the third quarter. After a long kickoff return by Chadd Platt, Colin Shannon connected on a 41-yard field goal to slice the lead to 7-3 midway through the third quarter.

After forcing a punt on the ensuing Panthers possession, Hodge plunged a yard for a TD to cap a 10-play, 55-yard drive to give the Bulldoggs a 10-7 lead with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

After another Panthers punt and Winder-Barrow seeming in control, disaster struck for the Bulldoggs. Jackson County's Chandler Todd recovered another Bulldoggs fumble on the Winder-Barrow 11-yard line. The Bulldoggs committed five turnovers during the game.

"They made a great call and sent a linebacker right at our mesh point in the backfield," Wagner said. "That was a big play. We just keep shooting ourselves."

Three plays later, Daniel again found Brissey in the end zone for a 7-yard TD pass and 14-10 Jackson County lead with 8:18 remaining in the game.

Jackson County's Daivon Ledford later added a 4-yard TD run to provide the final margin.

Hodge led the Bulldoggs going 7-for-14 for 111 yards and one interception.