Franklin Co. rolls past South Pike

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 20, 2008

MAGNOLIA – Frank Hunt was a man on a mission Friday night,hitting every South Pike Eagle that got in his way as the FranklinCounty Bulldogs collected a stunning 42-6 victory over the Eaglesat Colee Field.

The victory clinched Franklin County a playoff berth in 3A, andkept the Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1) within a game of Region 7-3A leaderTylertown.

“We had guys step up and make some big plays tonight,” saidBulldogs’ coach Trent Hammond following the game. “Anytime you canwin here (at South Pike), it tells a lot about your team.”

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Hunt, Franklin County’s human hit-stick registered 10 tackles,forcing a fumble and recovering one as well. The 5-11, 215-poundlinebacker kept South Pike’s offense in check the entire night witha barrage of big hits.

“We’re a strong team,” said Hunt, whose older brother Bobby Leestarred for the Bulldogs 10 years ago as an All-State running back.”Defense knew what it had to do and we did it.”

The Bulldogs held South Pike (4-1, 3-1) to a mere 60 yardsrushing on 30 carries. The Eagles had 158 yards of total offenseand three turnovers.

Franklin County controlled the game from the opening kickoff.Sophomore speedster Milton Griffin returned the opening boot 84yards to help set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by JamieCollins.

Griffin reached the end zone moments later, by intercepting aSouth Pike pass and returning it 39 yards for a score. The Bulldogsled 14-0 after one quarter of action.

“That set the tone,” added Hammond. “Milton had some big specialteams’ plays and an interception return for a touchdown that reallygot things going our way.”

In the second period, FCHS got touchdown runs from Alex Smithand Jamie Collins of 20 and 8 yards to take a 28-0 lead intointermission.

South Pike came out of the break and scored on an Edward Gaines10-yard touchdown run. The Eagles failed on the extra-pointattempt.

In the fourth quarter, FC senior running back Damien Burnett puton his own highlight show, by scoring back to back 12-yardtouchdowns on runs that shook South Pike defenders out of theirshoes.

Burnett, a 5-9, 165-pound speedster, finished with 71 yards onfive carries with two touchdowns. It was his second straightmulti-touchdown game.

On defense, the Bulldogs got nine tackles and a fumble recoveryfrom junior defensive tackle Bobby O’Quinn. Junior defensivelineman Brian Covington added four tackles, two sacks, and forced afumble. Seniors Carl Johnson and Jacques Rogers each had sevenhits, while senior linebacker Jordan Hunt added five hits andblocked a punt. Junior defensive back DeHendret Collins made threetackles and deflected two passes. Griffin made an interception andbroke up three passes.

For South Pike, LaDarrious Peters led the Eagles with eighttackles and a pass deflection.

Offensively, Jamie Collins led all rushers with 85 yards and twotouchdowns on 7 carries. Through the air he was 2-of-5 for 36yards.

Franklin County entertains Wilkinson County Friday night inMeadville, beginning at 7.