Bulldogs blitz Amite Co.

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 25, 2004

MEADVILLE — For three hours and 30 minutes, the Franklin CountyBulldogs threw everything and anything at the Amite County Trojansfor a decisive 59-12 Friday night victory to wrap up the runners-upspot in powerful Region 7-3A. The Bulldogs scored eight touchdowns,amassed 501 yards of total offense and injured eight Amite Countyplayers in an action-packed game.

“We played well tonight,” said Franklin County head coachAnthony Hart. “We played hard on both sides of the ball and madesome big plays.”

The Bulldogs got off to a sluggish start but finished with abang. Franklin (8-1, 4-1) got a 23-yard field goal from sophomoreplacekicker Dane Hodges for an early 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs neverlooked back.

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“We started off sluggish but we got it together in the secondquarter,” added Hart. “Our offense did a really good job of movingthe ball, both in the air and on the ground.”

Franklin scored 35 points in the second quarter to take a 38-0lead before Amite County could hit a fuse on the scoreboard. TheBulldogs got back-to-back touchdown runs of 57 and three yards fromjunior fullback D.J. Shaw.

Senior speedster Deandrea Cameron added touchdown jaunts of 70and 33 yards to aid Franklin’s dynamic ground force.

Bulldog senior quarterback Jasper O’Quinn also got into the actby hitting a wide-open Jonathan Brooks from 21 yards out in thesecond period. Hodges was a cool 5-for-5 on extra point attempts inthe quarter.

Amite (1-7, 1-4) added their first score of the night, off aseven-yard quarterback keeper by sophomore Jeremy Snowden. TheTrojans’ two-point conversion pass failed and Amite enteredhalftime, trailing 38-6.

Fresh off the intermission break, the Bulldogs got back into thescoring act with 6:48 to go in the third quarter with a 23-yardstrike from O’Quinn to junior tight end Marcus Tillman.

Tillman’s little brother, 6-foot-6, 310-pound freshman BoTillman, then got into the act by helping Bulldog defensivespecialist Marvin Bridges block an Amite County punt into the backof the end zone for a Bulldog safety.

Shaw would later add his third score of the night from six yardsout for a resounding 52-6 Bulldog lead.

The Trojans, who were eliminated from playoff consideration withthe loss, got a souvenir score of eight yards from senior LeeRobinson on a quarterback keeper. Robinson, (6-4, 215), a DivisionOne recruit, replaced Snowden after halftime.

Franklin would match Amite’s scoring march with one of theirown. Bulldog freshman running back Michael Jenkins plunged into theend zone from two-yards out. The Hodges extra point gave Franklinthe final margin of victory.

“I’m proud of how we played tonight,” continued Hart. “I’m alsovery pleased with my senior cornerback/wide receiver’s performancein Jonathan Brooks. He had a great game on both sides of theball.”

Brooks (5-8, 165) gained 250 all-purpose yards as a dual threatspeedster. Brooks picked off three passes and deflected four fromhis cornerback position. He also caught four passes for 80 yardsand a touchdown and carried the ball seven yards on one rush. Heamassed 106 yards on returns and 56 yards on interceptionthefts.

Elsewhere on the Franklin County defense, sophomore linebackerGary Rogers led all tacklers with 11 hits, a sack and a deflection.Bridges and linebacker Casey Hammack finished with eight hits.Junior nose guard Reggie Tenner added six hits, two sacks, and fourquarterback hurries.

Cameron, Brandon Goldsmith, and sophomore Greg Hunt interceptedpasses, while Jenkins and sophomore linebacker Preston Griffintallied a sack apiece.

The Franklin defense injured several players on Amite County’sroster with jarring hits that required the call of the ambulance toLouie Mullins Memorial Field on three separate occasions.

As for the Elbert “Mo” Lyles-coached Trojans. Carl White led thedefense with 10 tackles and a pass deflection. Robinson added ninehits and recovered a fumble as well.

Offensively, Robinson finished with eight carries for 40 yardsand added four receptions for 50 yards.

For the Dawgs, Cameron and Shaw each finished with 110 yards.O’Quinn ran for 33 yards on four attempts while passing for 144yards on 6-of-7 completions. Both O’Quinn and Cameron are now lessthan 100-yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard mark for theseason on the ground.

The Bulldogs host Wilkinson County Friday beginning at 7:30 inMeadville. The Wildcats (6-3, 2-3) beat Calvary Academy out ofLouisiana Friday 38-17. Wilkinson must beat Franklin to receive abid into the Class 3A state playoffs.