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Franklin County roughs up North Pike in region clash

McCOMB – With one move to the left and another to the right, theFranklin County Bulldogs moved back into the thick of the Region7-3A playoff picture Friday night with a convincing 38-7 victoryover the North Pike Jaguars.

The Bulldogs (5-2, 1-2) used three interceptions and twotouchdowns apiece by Jamie Collins and Jordan Hunt to subdue theJags. FC racked 370 yards of offense, and limited North Pike to amere 55 yards of total offense.

“Defensively we made some plays tonight with the interceptions,but we’re still not playing like we’re capable of playing as ateam,” said FC Bulldogs head coach Grady McCluskey. “Right nowwe’re making too many mistakes, stuff we have to correct.”

Franklin County junior quarterback/strong safety Jamie Collinsreturned to action after fighting a month-long case of back spasms.Collins carried the ball 8 times for 120 yards and scored twotouchdowns, he also had an interception and a tackle ondefense.

“We needed this win really bad,” said Collins after the game. “Iwas feeling good and anxious to play. I got tired of sitting on thesidelines watching.”

FC never let North Pike into the game, as junior kicker JaceCarlock started the frenzy with a 27-yard field goal that gave theBulldogs an early 3-0 advantage. Collins would add a 24-yard TD runminutes later, giving FC a 9-0 lead after one period.

In the second frame, junior fullback Jordan Hunt started gettingloose and rambled 9 yards for a score. Hunt would also add atwo-point conversion run to give FC a 17-0 lead and control of thegame.

North Pike, directed by first-year coach Chris Smith, got on theboard late in the second period off a fourth down pass fromfreshman quarterback Revis Butler to tight end Jimmy Robinson from42 yards out.

Jaguars’ kicker Corey Price would add the extra-point to cut theBulldogs lead to 17-7 heading into intermission.

“I can’t explain it,” said McCluskey. “That’s the third time inthe last three weeks that we’ve given up a touchdown on fourthdown. We’ve got to do better than that.”

The Franklin County defense would rise up in the second half.Junior Jarvis King started things off with a 25-yard interceptionreturn for a touchdown.

Jordan Hunt would add a 42-yard TD run and Collins a 67-yardjaunt for a score moments later to give FC the margin ofvictory.

“We can’t play like we did tonight next week,” added McCluskey,referring to his Bulldogs’ showdown with the South Pike Eagles inMeadville Oct. 19. “South Pike is a strong bunch and they get afteryou.”

The Bulldogs are now seeded fourth in the district standingswith the victory over the Jaguars.

The top four teams from each division go to the playoffs. SouthPike is currently in first place.

Carlos Johnson, the Bulldogs 5-10, 175-pound sparkplug atlinebacker, led the team in tackles for the third straight week,registering 12 hits and deflecting a pass.

Darnell Ford, Jarvis King, and Jamie Collins each madeinterceptions. Senior defensive linemen Bo and Josh Tillman eachmade seven tackles. Alan Hunt and Garcia Vaughn had six hitsapiece.