Bulldogs light up Port Gibson
PORT GIBSON – Nearly 1,000 people came to Port Gibson’shomecoming celebration Friday night to see the promised fireworksshow during halftime. When the smoke settled and the spectatorsdeparted, the only fireworks show everyone was talking about wasthe one the Franklin County offense displayed in a 54-34triumph.
The Bulldogs amassed 561 yards of total offense, with juniorD.J. Shaw counting for 230-yards on the ground.
“We knew that this was coming with D.J.,” said Hart. “He’s astrong runner.”
Shaw, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound junior, made the switch Friday nightfrom linebacker to fullback with relative ease. Shaw scored fourtouchdowns.
“Their big number 25 (Shaw) wore us down,” said Port Gibson headcoach Harry Brown. “He did a good job running and blocking.”
Shaw opened up holes for Franklin County speed backs JasperO’Quinn and Deandrea Cameron the entire night by taking on two andsometimes three Port Gibson defenders at a time. O’Quinn rushed for150 yards on 10 carries for four scores, while Cameron sprinted for101 yards on 17 rushes.
“Our offense really played well,” added Hart. “Our whole teamdid.”
Hart watched the Blue Waves (3-5, 2-2) score the first touchdownof the game, off a 26-yard strike from Port Gibson juniorquarterback Erik Hall to senior receiver Jerell Moore. The BlueWaves’ two-point conversion run failed.
The Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1) answered the Port Gibson score with oneof their own, as O’Quinn scored from 30-yards out on a quarterbackkeeper. After a Dane Hodges extra point kick, the Bulldogs led 7-6with 7:45 to go in the first frame.
Nearly 15 seconds later, one of the most controversial calls inthe state occurred when Moore took two steps back into the end zoneto gather a Hodges kickoff. Routinely this act would be called atouchback, but the officials allowed Moore to run out of the endzone and down the sidelines for a rare 102-yard kickoff return.Port Gibson led 12-7, after the illegal score.
Sensing an act of deception, the Bulldogs rallied back with astunning eight play, 62-yard drive that was capped off with a Shawone-yard plunge. Franklin led 13-12.
Six minutes later, Shaw and O’Quinn got into scoring act againas both scored from eight yards out for a quick 27-12 lead. Shawadded scoring runs of one and 40 five minutes from there, toincrease the lead to 41-12.
O’Quinn added the finishing touches in the first half, with anelectrifying 25-yard strike to senior wide out Jonathan Brooks.Franklin entered halftime with a 47-12 advantage.
In the second half, the Waves came out throwing with a thirdquarter air raid. The Waves scored two touchdowns through the airin two minutes as Hall connected with 5-10, 165-pound split endTobias Shanks from 51 and 60 yards out. Port Gibson trailed 47-26after three quarters of play.
Franklin County added its last score of the night off a one-yardrun from O’Quinn to take a 54-26 lead. Port Gibson quickly answeredthe Bulldog score with their last as well, with a 10-yard pass fromHall to Shanks. After a Hall run the final deficit tallied into therecord books.
“We have to continue to take it one game at a time,” added Hartwhose Bulldogs bounced back from a 12-0 loss at Hazlehurst. “We’vegot Amite County at home next.”
With a victory over the Trojans of Amite County this Friday, theBulldogs will be assured the runners-up spot in the district.Hazlehurst has already been crowned Region 7-3A champion.
Defensively, the Bulldogs got a banner seventackles and a sack from Bulldog junior linebacker Casey Hammack.Marcus Tillman and Gary Rogers each added six tackles and a sack,while junior strongmen Marvin Bridges and Andrew Smith added fivehits and a sack. Sophomore Mike Hunt recovered a fumble.
For the Waves, Dan Coleman led the Port Gibson defense with sixtackles and a fumble recovery.
On offense, the Blue Waves got 165 yards passing from Hall on7-of-15 passing. Shanks caught three receptions for three scoresand 121 yards.
Port Gibson plays at North Pike next, while Franklin hosts AmiteCounty. Both games have been set for 7:30 this Friday night.