Collins, Hardy pace offense
Last year, Franklin County quarterback Jamie Collins andLawrence County running back Kendrick Hardy were The DAILY LEADER’SMost Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year on the 2007All-Area Football Team.
This year, it was no different. Collins guided theMeadville-based Bulldogs to a 12-2 record. Franklin County advancedto the South State finals before falling to Tylertown for thesecond time this season.
Hardy broke 1,000 yards rushing as the Monticello-based Cougarswon the Region 6-4A title and made it to the second round of thestate playoffs before falling to Northeast Jones.
For their accomplishments, Collins repeats as the 2008 All-AreaMVP and Hardy is the Offensive Player of the Year on the All-AreaFootball Team. The team is made up of players outside of LincolnCounty and are selected by members of the DL sports staff withimput provided by area high school and college coaches.
Joining Collins at quarterback are Chance Schmidt of Parklaneand Dexter Marshall of McComb.
In the offensive backfield, Hardy is joined by Fred Fuller ofHazlehurst, Josh Cameron of Lawrence County and Jeromy Smith ofWesson.
Blake Brown of Parklane and Justin Durr of Lawrence County areat wide receiver. The tight end is Ronald Fair of Hazlehurst
The offensive line includes Zach Williams of Wesson, MontarioTaylor of Lawrence County, Frank Hunt, Gavin Weathers and WillClinkscales of Franklin County.
Connaly Crump of Hazlehurst and Josh
Armstreet of Parklane are the all-purpose players. The returnspecialist is Matthew Wells of Lawrence County. Jace Carlock ofFranklin County repeats from the 2007 team as the place kicker.
Collins (6-4. 210, sr.), recognized as Mr. Football, rushed theball 143 times for 1,149 yards and an 8.03-yard average, scoring 15touchdowns. In the air, he completed 38 of 102 passes for 486yards, including 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Collins has verbally committed to Southern Miss and will sign inearly February. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Franklin Co. first-year head coach Trent Hammond enjoyed workingwith Collins. “Jamie is a great athlete. He has been blessed withhe ability to run. He can make the plays. He is physical. He didn’trun out of bounds. He’s a hard nosed runner.”
Collins also punted for the Bulldogs 36 times with the longestpunt going 46 yards.
Hardy (6-0, 200, sr.) used his break-away speed to rush 177times for 1,762 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this season. He alsoparticipated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game.
Lawrence Co. head coach Mike Davis has enjoyed having Hardy onthe team. “Kendrick is one of those kids you like to have around.He is a hard worker who will do the right things. He is always inthe weight room. He was a pleasure to coach.”
Hardy was also named the Region 6-4A Offensive Player of theYear.
Hardy comes from an athletic football family. His older brother,Wayne, played fullback and linebacker during his 4-year career atSouthern Miss. His brother, Kenterio, plays defensive tackle forNicholls State (La.).
Chance Schmidt (6-1, 175, jr.) was instrumental in helping theMcComb Parklane Pioneers to a 7-3 record at quarterback. Schmidtrushed for 880 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He passed for 990yards and 8 TDs.
Schmidt played for new Parklane head coach Bo Milton.
Marshall Dexter (5-11, 170, jr.) started at quarterback forCoach Randy Martin’s 3-7 McComb Tigers. Dexter rushed 103 times for350 yards and completed 156 of 455 passes for 11 touchdowns and atotal of 1,222 total offensive yards.
Fred Fuller (5-11, 180, sr.) helped the Region 7-3A HazlehurstIndians to a 8-3 record before losing to Franklin County in theSouth State playoffs. Fuller, under first-year head coach ToddMcDaniel, rushed for 1,566 yards.
Josh Cameron (5-11, 190, sr.) was another member of LawrenceCounty’s 1,000-yard plus club with 103 carries for 1,213 yards andscored 14 TDs.
Jeromy Smith (6-1, 195, jr.) was the top running back for theWesson Cobras. Coached by Tommy Clopton, Smith led the Cobras to a7-3 worksheet.
Smith carried the football 195 times for 1,141 yards and scored13 touchdowns.
Justin Durr (6-2, 185, sr.) helped Hazlehurst, catching passestotaling 776 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns.
Blake Brown (6-2, 185, sr.) was a wide receiver for the Pioneerswith 29 catches for 600 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Ronald Fair (5-11, 210, sr.) helped power the Indians with 1,151rushing yards.
Zach Williams (6-0, 240, sr.) played offensive tackle for theCobras. Williams finished the season with 42 solo tackles and 26assists on defense.
Williams was named to the Region 6-2A First Team.
Montario Taylor (6-1, 240, sr.) helped anchor the Cougarsoffensive line. Taylor collected 56 tackles, including 30 solotackles, 2 sacks and a pass interception.
Frank Hunt (5-10, 180, jr.) was an impact player on the Bulldogsoffensive line. On defense, Hunt made 83 tackles, had 2 assists andrecovered 3 fumbles.
Gavin Weathers (6-1, 215, jr.) helped power the Franklin Countyoffensive line.
Will Clinkscales (6-1, 260, sr.) used his size and strength tohelp the Bulldogs’ offensive line.
Connaly Crump (5-10, 175, soph.) rushed for 1,097 yards onoffense for Hazlehurst.
Josh Armstreet (5-10, 185, jr.) was one the runners forParklane. Armstreet carried the football 170 times for 1,188 yardsand scored 14 touchdowns.
Matthew Wells (6-2, 195, jr.) was a big impact player forLawrence County. Wells, who was named MVP in Region 6-4A, rushed113 times for 1,357 yards and score 19 touchdowns. He caught 10passes for 323 yards and 7 TDs.
Wells finished with 42 tackles on defense. He intercepted 4passes and returned two kickoffs for 28 yards.
Jace Carlock (6-0, 205, sr.) repeated as the place kicker. Hecompleted 39 of 42 extra points for the Bulldogs.