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Franklin Co. hosts Lawrence County

After beating the Class 4A Brookhaven Panthers 35-34 in overtimelast Friday, the Franklin County Bulldogs play their first homegame of the season in Meadville against the tough Lawrence CountyCougars Friday night. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

In other area action, Raymond is at North Pike, McComb is atAmite, La., and Hazlehurst plays its first game on the road atWilkinson County in Woodville.

Franklin County (1-0) is coached by Grady McCluskey. TheMeadville-based Bulldogs looked good in their win over Brookhavenlast Friday.

“Lawrence County looks like they have a good ball club,” saidMcCluskey. “They are very capable of coming in here and winning. Ifthey don’t fumble as they did against West Jones, it could havebeen a different game.”

“Their two wingbacks and tight end are very good,” continuedMcCluskey. “They move the ball very well. I think they are going tobe a good ball club. They need to stop dropping the ball on theground.”

Because of Hurricane Katrina last year, the scheduled gamebetween Franklin County and Lawrence County was not made up.

In the Bulldog’s win over the Panthers, Alex Smith directedFranklin County with 9 carries for 158 yards. Antoine Guicefollowed with 113 yards and scored a touchdown on a 52-yardrun.

The Bulldog defense got 14 tackles from linebacker Gary Rogerswho was named the DAILY LEADER Defensive Player of the Week.

Lawrence County (0-1) is coached by Mike Davis. Last Friday, theCougars fell to West Jones’ Mustangs 28-14. Powering the Cougarswas Isaiah Ferdinand with 18 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown.Will Harris followed with 10 carries for 104 yards.

“They (Franklin County) look like your fixing to step out on thefield with a college team,” said Davis. “The big guys are big andtheir skill people are tall and lanky and they can fly. The OleMiss signee No. 2 (wide receiver Greg Hunt), he is just everywhereon the field. The Tillman kid is impressive. They rotate theirbacks in. They all can run.”

Davis also complimented the speed on the Bulldog defense.

“They have two linebackers in the middle,” explained Davis.”Where the ball is at, they go. The defensive line, you can’t seedaylight against them. They have a lot of speed and size.”

Davis said his team must eliminate the turnovers to win. “Wehave to cut down on our turnovers,” added Davis. “We had too manyagainst West Jones. We have to be careful not to give up the bigplays.”

“I look forward to us having a good crowd and a good game. Itshould be interesting.”

McCluskey feels the game could be close.

“It is going to be a good ball game,” added McCluskey. “It willgo down to the wire. They will come in here fired up. We have to beready to play.”

North Pike (0-1) gears up for a visit from theRaymond Rangers Friday night. Coached by Adam Barron, theSummit-based Jaguars stopped the Bogue Chitto Bobcats 34-28 lastweek.

LaDerrick Turner paced North Pike with 18 carries for 205 yardsand three touchdowns. Following with 123 yards on 9 carries wasQuaderick Pittman.

Raymond (0-1) dropped the season-opener to Terry by a score of38-20.

McComb (1-0) ended a four-year losing streak toPike County rival South Pike last Friday as the host Tigers clippedthe Eagles 7-0. The Tigers are coached by Randy Martin and invadeAmite, La. this week.

Hazlehurst, the defending Class 3A state champ,begins its season on the road at Woodville to meet WilkinsonCounty. The Indians, under new head coach Vernon Perry, have a lotof talent returning.

Wilkinson County (0-1) was whipped by St. Stanislaus49-0 last week.