Marshall leads Franklin County

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 7, 2005

TYLERTOWN — When his team needed him the most Friday night,Jonte Marshall delivered a clutch performance. Franklin County’s5-foot-8, 165-pound senior quarterback wore out the heavy-hittingdefense of the Tylertown Chiefs through the air and on the ground,helping his Bulldogs team to a dramatic 20-14 come from behindvictory.

“This is the best ball we have played all year,” said Marshallafterwards. “They (Chiefs) were playing the run on me the entirenight, so we adjusted.”

The adjustment came on two crucial and swift throws. Trailing14-7 with 8:09 remaining in the contest, Marshall found a wide-openMarcus Tillman from 50-yards out. After kicker Dane Hodges beltedthe extra-point, the game was tied at 14-apiece.

After a defensive stand by Franklin County (6-3, 5-1), Marshalland company went back to work deep in their territory. Facing a keythird and eight on their 10-yard line, Marshall hit sophomorewideout Ryne Tutor on a fade route for a 52-yard gain.

“We had our chances, but we let them slip away,” said Tylertowncoach Walter Denton. “Those two passing plays they made hurtus.”

Marshall stayed busy from there, running for 11 and seven yardsto continue Franklin County’s rally. Senior fullback D.J. Shawadded a rugged five-yard run to the end zone with 1:04 to go,giving the Bulldogs a 20-14 edge after a failed extra-point.

“We made some big plays,” said Bulldog general Grady McCluskey.”We beat a very good Tylertown team.”

The Chiefs (5-3, 4-2) had their chances to take the lead back,but missed opportunities haunted them. Tylertown quarterback AdamFayard watched two of his well-thrown passes bounce off histeammates’ hands in the final seconds.

“I’m proud of my kids, because we played hard the entire ballgame,” added Denton. “It was a war out there.”

Tylertown’s elusive 5-8, 160-pound sprinter Terry Jackson hadhis way with the Bulldogs in the first half, collecting 120 yardson 13 carries from his wingback position. Jackson was sidelined inthe second half with a bruised ankle.

Jackson’s second quarter touchdown run of 44 yards gave theChiefs a 7-0 lead, after kicker Kurt Mord connected on theextra-point.

The Bulldogs tied the game up at seven-apiece, when Shaw bowledover several Tylertown defenders en route to a 14-yard touchdownrun in the third period. Hodges added the extra-point.

Fayard put the Chiefs back ahead 14-7 with a one-yard plunge,with 3:30 remaining the third quarter.

“It was a hard game,” said Bulldogs senior captain MarcusTillman. “We were flat in the first half, but we got it going inthe second half.”

Tillman, an LSU commitment at defensive end, matched wits withTylertown’s Josh Davis, an Ole Miss commitment at offensive tackle,the entire night.

“They just battled one another,” continued Denton. “Both have abright future ahead of them.”

Franklin County’s Casey Hammack led all hitters with eighttackles. Marcus Tillman and his younger brother Bo Tillman each hadsix hits apiece.

The Bulldogs claimed the runners-up spot in the powerful Region7-3A with the win. They will host Forest Friday night at 7 inMeadville. The Chiefs must travel to Velma Jackson.

“Every game from here on out is the biggest of the year,” addedMcCluskey. “Beginning this Friday night.”