The road is long for any team to make it to a state title game, but Cedartown took a preseason step in that direction with a 21-0 scrimmage win over Morrow.

With the season just under two weeks from getting underway, Bulldogs head coach Doyle Kelley said the team is rolling in the right direction. They just have to keep adding points to the scoreboard — especially when they host Rockmart at home in less than two weeks.

“It was great to be able to see what the team can do,” Kelley said. “We got a lot of reps on offense, and that’s exactly what we needed to see from our football team.”

Cedartown’s offense took until the second quarter before they began to hit their stride, and a pair of Taji Hudson touchdown passes from the senior quarterback put the Bulldogs up in the second quarter as the defense came up with big plays to stop the Mustangs from making any headway.

Hudson combined with Jayden Johnson on both passes — 28 and 42-yard scores on back-to-back drives — to put the Bulldogs up at the half.

“My teammates helped me do what I was able,” Hudson said. “Especially with coach Benji (Frazier) working with me a lot.”

The Mustangs threatened to score late before halftime, but came up empty against the Bulldogs defense.

“We didn’t want to give up a touchdown with our defense,” Kelley said postgame. He got his wish even with Morrow threatening to score late in the third quarter.

All it took was a bad snap to start the fourth quarter and senior Kobe Pryor on defense scooped up the ball and ran back for a 76 yard score.

“As soon as I saw Kobe grab the ball I knew it was going to the house,” Kelley said.

He mostly kept the pressure off of Pryor to perform in the opening scrimmage and let others get a chance to touch the ball.

Cedartown’s cast of offensive talent combined for 236 yards against Morrow, and between Hudson and freshman quarterback Reece Tanner they threw for 8 of 13 for 102 of those yards.

Morrow put up more yardage with 250 total for the Mustangs on the night, but couldn’t capitalize off their possessions through the scrimmage.

On offense, the night was also an opportunity for the CJ Washington to showcase some of his talents on both the offense and defense, carrying the ball when it wasn’t handed off to Pryor or Corben Cuzzort.

He joined the rest of his teammates in enjoying their first win back on the field.

“This is my first year getting to touch the ball,” Washington said. “I know I’ve got to work and grind everyday to get better.”

Defense players including Chadriq Neal, Micah Arbuthnot, Rashad Walker and Dorian Gibson also took some opportunities to shine with big tackles on Morrow’s Kyree Miller and Khalil Daniels.

“We got to see a lot of people play tonight, so we’re going to go back and evaluate some of our kids,” Kelley said.

Good performances were enough for Kelley — who later pulled Neal and others out as they suffered from cramps and pulled muscles — to see the potential talent the Bulldogs have as they head into their next scrimmage against Chattooga overall healthy.

“Everyone came out tonight with no injuries,” Kelley said. “That’s the big thing. To get through these scrimmage games without injuries and get the season underway.”