Bulldogs pick off Taylorsville

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 21, 2009

TAYLORSVILLE – In a battle that featured two of SouthMississippi’s premier senior quarterbacks, Franklin County’s EdwardMcGhee came out on the winning side, tossing two touchdown passesto lead his Bulldogs to 24-19 win Friday night at Tartar Field.

The Bulldogs (3-2) forced Taylorsville QB Dominique Sullivan, aSouthern Miss commitment to throw three interceptions in a gamethat featured a second-quarter scoring spree from both squads. TheBulldogs got a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown byjunior cornerback Milton Griffin right before halftime for theeventual winning score.

“First and foremost my hat’s off to my team,” said Bulldogscoach Trent Hammond. “We were in a battle tonight and we came backswinging.”

Franklin County and Taylorsville battled through a defensivestruggle in the first quarter that featured muddy field conditionsthat slowed both team’s offenses. When the second quarter hit, bothoffenses woke up.

“It was going back and fourth during that quarter,” saidFranklin County All-State defensive lineman Bobby O’Quinn, who wasplaying in his first game back with the Bulldogs after serving a4-game suspension for an on-campus fight. “It feels good to beback. I missed these guys, but tonight was some kind of game.”

FC quarterback Edward McGhee opened the second quarter up with a27-yard touchdown strike to DeHendret Collins for a quick 8-0 leadas Collins added the two-point conversion run.

Taylorsville (3-2) answered quickly, scoring twice in 21 secondsas Sullivan went 62-yards untouched on a run before claiming a FCHSturnover moments later that resulted in Sullivan hitting awide-open Rodrigues Ducksworth from 37 yards out.

The Tartars led 12-8 after two failed PAT attempts, but weren’tdone scoring just yet. Three minutes later Taylorsville sophomoreFernando Hamilton took a Franklin County punt back 71 yards topaydirt.

Trailing 19-6 with less than a minute remaining, the Bulldogswent back to the air as McGhee hit Collins for another quicktouchdown pass, this one covering 37 yards. Griffin added the PATrun to cut the deficit to 19-16.

With less than 20 seconds remaining, Taylorsville looked to addmore points by going for several long passes near the red zone.Franklin County’s secondary was waiting with arms wide open, asGriffin deflected a pass into his mitts before returning it 70yards for the go-ahead score.

McGhee hit FC wide out Parnell Shell for the PAT right beforeentering intermission ahead 24-19.

“We needed tonight’s win more than anything,” said McGhee, whowas 3-for-5 in the air for 72 yards and two touchdowns. “I’ve gotto thank my offensive line, they did a good job giving me time tothrow. DeHendret made two great catches too.”

The second half featured a hit fest between both defenses.Franklin County’s defense rose to the occasion forcing two 4thquarter turnovers and making three quarterback sacks.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my defensive staff andcoach Adam Barron tonight,” added Hammond. “We’ve been practicinghard all week and leaving everything on the field. That’s how weare we’re a blue-collar team.”

Bobby O’Quinn led the Bulldogs on defense with eight tackles andthree QB hurries. Alec Fleming added seven hits and made a sack,while Frank Hunt had six tackles. Senior defensive end BradCovington had five tackles and two quarterback sacks. MiltonGriffin intercepted two passes and Calvin Robinson one.

On offense the Bulldogs were led by senior Darnell Ford on theground with 75 yards on 13 carries. Griffin finished with 35 yardson seven touches.

Franklin County plays hosts to Mendenhall Friday night inMeadville at 7:30.