Bulldogs whip Amite Co.
LIBERTY – Sweet revenge! That’s the feeling the Franklin CountyBulldogs felt after leaving Amite County with a 28-8 victory Fridaynight. The Bulldogs broke a three-year losing streak to the Trojansoff a breakout night from sophomore halfback Cecil Kinzie. Kinziesilenced the Trojans with 18 carries for 138 yards and threetouchdowns.
“Franklin County made the plays in the second half,” said AmiteCounty coach Charles Jackson. “They ran the ball on us morephysically in the second half than they did in the first.”
The Trojans (2-6, 2-3) controlled most of the first half withpunishing runs from senior fullback Bobby Torrance. Torrance (6-0,240) was nearly unstoppable as he scored the Trojans first and onlytouchdown of the night off a four-yard plunge. After Torrance addedthe PAT run, the Trojans led 8-0 with 4:19 left in the firstframe.
The Bulldogs (6-3,4-1) would answer the Trojan score with a28-yard run from senior fullback James Hunt. Hunt powered overseveral Amite County defenders to give the Dawgs a first-and-goalpossession at the Trojan eight-yard line.
On fourth down, the Trojans regained the momentum by stoppingFranklin junior quarterback Colby Beach at the two-inch line. TheTrojans regained the ball but only mustered four yards after threedowns. Torrance came in to punt but Bulldog sophomore defensive endDonald Ray Smith changed that by blocking the Trojan punt.
The blocked punt gave the Dawgs another first and goal at theTrojan two-yard line. Kinzie began his sudden running explosion byscoring from two yards out. After senior wingback Tommie Smithadded the PAT run, the Dawgs and Trojans entered halftimedeadlocked at 8-8.
“We knew we had to come out in the second half and play better,”said Smith. “We weren’t going to let them hang around like the lasttwo years.”
The Dawgs made sure that the Trojans weren’t going to hangaround too long as Kinzie added his second touchdown of the night,off a two-yard blast late in the third quarter. The Dawgs enteredthe fourth quarter leading 14-8 for the third straight year.
But, unlike recent years, the Dawgs built on their lead offtouchdown runs of six and 18 yards by Kinzie and junior runningbackJon Hickingbottom. Both touchdowns were set up by two keyinterceptions by Tommie Smith. Smith had been the goat in a 21-19loss to the Trojans his sophomore season but as a senior he madesure the Dawgs were going to leave Liberty with a victory for thefirst time since 1997.
“It feels good to win down here,” continued Smith. “I’ve alwayswanted to beat Amite County, especially after my sophomores seasonand last year when I got hurt. Winning here on their home fieldmakes it even more special.”
Smith’s statement was also echoed by Bulldog headmaster MichaelGoff. Goff expressed how the Bulldogs defense made the plays bykeeping the Trojans out of the endzone.
“We did what it took to win,” said Goff. “Overall, we playedwell on both sides of the ball. Our defense made the big plays whenwe needed it.”
With the win, the Dawgs improved to 4-1 in the region. The Dawgsare currently in a second place tie with North Pike heading intoFriday night’s showdown with region foe Wilkinson County (8-0,5-0).
“Wilkinson County is going to be a challenge,” added Goff. “Ourdefense is really going to have to step it up for us to besuccessful against them.”
Leading Goff’s Dawgs on defense against the Trojans wassophomore linebacker Marcus Stewart with 11 tackles and a fumblerecovery. Seniors James Hunt and Cliff Herring each had ninetackles. Sophomore defensive end Donald Ray Smith had six tackles,two sacks and a blocked punt.
For the Trojans, senior safety Sedric Cain led with nine tacklesand an interception.