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Franklin Co. routs Columbia

MEADVILLE — Four touchdowns from junior fullback D.J. Shaw and426 yards of total offense were all the Franklin County footballmachine needed against the Columbia Wildcats in the first round ofthe Class 3A State Playoffs Friday night.

The Bulldogs beat Columbia 49-8 to advance to the second roundof the playoffs. They’ll play at Forest Friday night, beginning at7 p.m. Forest (11-0) eliminated Raleigh 34-10.

“I’m very glad we got this win,” said Bulldog field generalAnthony Hart. “We played well and dominated from the start. I’mproud of my kids and they kept their composure.”

The Bulldogs (10-1) came out with a ground display thatoverwhelmed Columbia from the start. Shaw started the Bulldogscoring feast with a 7-yard run for a quick 7-0 Bulldog lead aftersophomore Dane Hodges added the PAT kick.

“Offensively, that first touchdown helped us settle down,” addedHart. “We knew that they were going to throw and they did.”

Columbia’s air attack struck paydirt early but not often. TheWildcats got a 49-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Pat Oliverto senior receiver Brandon Johnson. After Oliver plunged into theend zone for the two-point conversion, the Wildcats (5-6) led8-7.

The Bulldogs answered the Columbia dagger with a Shaw showcaseof touchdowns in the second quarter. Shaw’s scoring runs of 33 andthree yards gave the Dawgs a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.

After the 20-minute intermission break, the Bulldogs went tosenior running back Deandrea Cameron for three dynamic touchdowns.Cameron scored on two runs from the three and 11-yard lines in thethird frame and five yards in the fourth.

“I’m proud of my coaches and my team,” continued Hart. “Tonightwas a team effort.”

Franklin was aided by two 100-yard plus performances by Shaw andCameron on offense. Shaw carried the ball 19 times for 153 yardswhile Cameron added 20 carries for 161 yards.

For the Wildcats, Oliver led with 140 yards passing on 7-of-15completions.

On defense, Columbia was led by Derek Shaw with seven tacklesand two interceptions.

For the Bulldogs defense, sophomore linebacker Gary Rogers ledwith seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Junior linebackerCasey Hammack added six hits, an interception and a sack. Freshmandefensive tackle Bo Tillman was credited with four tackles, a sack,and two pass deflections.

Brandon Goldsmith, Jonathan Brooks and Jonte Marshall added aninterception apiece. Reggie Tenner, Andrew Smith and DeAndre Davischipped in with sacks. Junior Marcus Tillman finished with fourtackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.