TIFTON -- After a summer of practicing against each other, the Tift County Blue Devils finally get to hit someone else tonight. The Devils will travel to Thomasville to take on the Bulldogs in the first scrimmage of the 2004 football season.

The 7 p.m. scrimmage will feature three nine-minute quarters featuring both school's varsity teams. The final nine-minute quarter will be for the junior varsities.

All kicks, with the exception of kickoffs, will take place. If a kickoff is called for, the ball will be spotted on the 30-yard line.

Even though Thomasville is in Class AA, the Bulldogs "will be a good test for us", Tift County head coach Tommy Seward said.

"Thomasville has always had a good team and we are expecting nothing less this year," the coach added.

Quarterback Clay Hodges (6-foot-1, 180) will lead the Bulldogs. He will operate behind a veteran offensive line that returns four starters from last season. Leading the line is 6-foot, 250 pound Joseph Dunbar, who is listed as a college prospect by Thomasville head coach Tommy Welch.

While five starters return on offense, only three are back on defense for Thomasville. They are defensive back Chris Burkes (5-foot-9, 170), lineman David Clark (6-foot, 240) and end Robert Thomas (6-foot, 180).

Besides quality competition, Seward is also looking forward to the Thomasville encounter for another reason.

"We are looking forward to getting a chance to hit someone else. The kids are still pretty enthusiastic and they are excited about playing Thomasville," said Seward.

Senior quarterback Donnell Cullins will lead the Tift offense. On defense, the Devils' line of Matthew Cushion, Ryan Wilson, James Carter and Stan Summers will go up against the veteran Thomasville offensive front.

After the encounter with Thomasville, Tift will prepare to host Twiggs County Aug. 13 in another scrimmage. Twiggs will feature linebacker Antonio Clay. The senior is ranked No. 83 among the nation's top college prospects, according to theinsiders.com website.

The season begins for real Aug. 20 when Crisp County comes to Brodie Field.

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