Dixons leads Terry’s rally over Franklin Co. Bulldogs

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 12, 2005

TERRY — When the Terry Bulldogs needed him the most Fridaynight, Anthony Dixon took control and did what he does best. Dixonran and ran some more. The talented 6-foot-1, 232-pound seniorrushed for 200 yards on 31 carries to rally past Class 3A powerFranklin County 27-24 before a standing-room only crowd of nearly3,000 at Terry Stadium.

“I take the blame for this one,” said Franklin County head coachGrady McCluskey. “We just weren’t ready to play. Terry has a goodfootball team, they could make some noise in Class 4A thisyear.”

Franklin (1-1) controlled the game for the first 23 minutes and49 seconds, using a pair of quarterback Jonte Marshall scoring runsof 73 and 4 yards, plus a 17-yard field-goal by Dane Hodges to takea 16-0 lead with 0:10 remaining in the first half.

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Terry (2-0) answered, using a 91-yard kickoff return bysophomore Rashun Dixon to break Franklin County’s bid for ashutout. Terry went into the half trailing 16-8, after Dixon hauledin a two-point conversion pass from quarterback CharlesShearer.

“Rashun made some big plays tonight,” said veteran Terry coachBill French. “He missed a wide-open pass earlier in the game, buthe made up for it the rest of the way. That return was big.”

Blessed with rich Dixon bloodlines in brothers Rashun, Anthony,and Antwon, the Terry’s offensive attack made life miserable forthe Bulldogs, both offensively and defensively.

“We are a close family,” said Anthony who is being recruited bythe likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.”As a team, we’ve been trying to get this spark this season, thatthere wasn’t going to be any more of that losing this year.”

Anthony scored from one-yard out after the half, to cutFranklin’s lead to 16-14 with 6:12 left in the third period. Nearly12 minutes later in the fourth, Dixon added another one-yard plungeto give his home-standing Bulldogs a 21-16 advantage.

Sensing their first deficit of the season, Franklin Countyquickly powered its way down the field, off head-busting runs fromsenior fullback D.J. Shaw. Marshall capped the drive with a 15-yardcorner run to paydirt. After the touchdown, Marshall hit awide-open tight end Marcus Tillman in the end zone for thetwo-point conversion. Franklin led 24-21, with 2:43 to go.

“I really thought when we scored at the end we could hold them,but they’re a good team,” added McCluskey. “They made some bigplays.”

Rolling along behind Anthony Dixon, Terry had no problemsdriving down the field in the remaining minutes. Dixon reeled offruns of 10, 21, and 32, before Shearer hit a streaking Rashun Dixonfor the game-winning 17-yard strike. After Ryan Weaver added theextra-point kick, Terry took command 27-24.

“This was the biggest victory our team has had since I’ve beenhere,” added Anthony Dixon. “We’ve lost to them (Franklin) the lasttwo years, so we had to get this one. It was a great game.”

Franklin County had one last shot of staying undefeated, but theBulldogs’ hopes diminished when Marshall was met by the other Dixonbrother, Antwon, with a spine-jarring sack, that dislodged the ballout of Marshall’s hands and onto the ground. Dixon recovered, thuspreserving the win for Terry.

“This is probably our (school’s) biggest victory, added French.”We haven’t had many big wins here.”

French watched his All-State running back have a career night,despite fumbling twice early in the game, Anthony Dixon won thebattle of All-State players by overpowering Franklin County’sdefense and its All-State defensive end Marcus Tillman. Dixon had200 yards and two touchdowns. Tillman had three tackles.

Defensively, Terry was led by senior defensive end Zach Miltonwith six tackles and a fumble recovery. Antwon Dixon added fivehits, a sack, and a fumble recovery.

For Franklin County, senior linebacker Casey Hammack led allhitters with 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pass deflection.Sophomore standout Bo Tillman added nine tackles, a sack, and afumble recovery. Andrew Smith and Mike Hunt finished with eighttackles apiece. Antoine Guice intercepted a pass.

Offensively for the Bulldogs, Marshall rushed eight times for 99yards with three scores. Shaw ran for 103 yards on 22 attempts.

Franklin County resumes play this week at home against Prentiss.Terry travels to Yazoo County. Both contests begin at 7:30.