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Kemper County eliminates Franklin County

SCOOBA – Kemper County ended Franklin County’s season Friday night with a 26-7 victory over the Bulldogs at East Mississippi Community College.

With the win, Kemper County will advance to the third round of the 3A State Playoffs.

The Wildcats (11-2), winners of their last 10 games, amassed 530 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs. Junior quarterback Eric Clark Jr. scored three touchdowns in the game and threw for 287 yards on 17-of-22 passing.

Franklin County (8-5) watched Kemper County build a 18-0 lead in the first two quarters. The first score came in the first frame, as Clark hit a wide-open Otis Cross Jr. from 31 yards out to highlight a seven-play, 78-yard scoring drive.

Clark added a 2-yard touchdown run and a 10-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Clayton to set the tone as both teams entered halftime. Kemper County missed each of their two-point conversion attempts in the first half.

Eli Cole added a 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, while Clark Jr. hit Cross. with the PAT for a 26-0 lead.

Franklin County ended the shutout in the fourth frame, as Cortney Smith rumbled 10 yards into the end zone. Smith led the Bulldog rushing attack with 108 yards on 20 carries.

De’Martre Collins completed 10-of-14 passes for 61 yards. Antonio Christmas was the top receiver for the Bulldogs with three catches for 31 yards.

For Kemper County, Cole ran for a game high 119 yards on 14 carries.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by Ryan Johnson and Chris O’Quinn with 17 tackles apiece. Cameron Young contributed eight tackles. Dominique White, Marquavis Dunn, La’darius Norman and Marquis Hunt provided seven tackles each. Keonte’ Bee had an interception, three tackles and deflected two passes.

The Wildcats will travel to defending 3A champion Collins Friday in the third round of the playoffs.