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Wilkinson Co. trumps FC in dogs’ house

MEADVILLE — Not many opponents of Franklin County have walked into Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium and walked out of there with a win over the last decade.

But on Friday night, the Wilkinson County Wildcats not only defeated the Bulldogs 32-14 in the MHSAA Region 7-3A opener for both teams, they did so in impressive fashion thanks to the a strong defensive effort and a balanced offense.

Wilkinson County’s defense held Franklin County to just 205 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers. The Wildcats’ offense got 193 yards on the ground and 194 in the air while not committing a single turnover.

“Hats off to the defense. You’ve got to meet aggression with aggression,” Wilkinson County head coach Kenneth Brown. “Hats off to coach (Tyrone) Perry, coach (Michael) Smith and coach (Roderick) Lewis.”

Allenzae Staggers set the tone for the game when his 61-yard interception return led to Devin Voorhies’ 1-yard touchdown run with 3:12 to go in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.

Franklin County responded when Chris Robinson scored on a 3-yard run and Matt Brasher added the extra point to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead with 1:47 left in the opening quarter. Robinson was just about all of Franklin County’s offense as he had 18 carries for 153 yards and both of the team’s touchdowns to go with three catches for 28 yards.

Voohies had a 5-yard touchdown run and Staggers scored on a 10-yard run to give the Wildcats an 18-7 lead with 3:24 remaining until halftime.

“We want to be a balanced team and take what the defense gives us,” Brown said. “The kids stepped up. We can’t be overlooked. Nobody’s going to overlook us now.”

Robinson’s second touchdown of the game, a 19-yard run, closed the gap to 18-14 at the half. That would be the closest the Bulldogs would get the rest of the game.

Wilkinson County made it a 24-14 game when Voorhies connected with Latravion McKenzie on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 2:16 left in the third quarter. And that was just over a minute after Brasher missed a 31-yard field goal that would have made it a one-point game. Voorhies finished off Franklin County with his 4-yard touchdown run and LaDarian Peterson added a 2-point conversion run with 10:35 to go in the ball game.

Voorhies went 7-of-12 passing with one touchdown and no interceptions for 194 yards, had 13 carries for 75 yards and three touchdowns, and on defense he had seven solo tackles and three assists. Staggers had two catches for 118 yards to go with five solo tackles, 2 assists and one interception.

“He’s an athlete and he showed his skills again,” Brown said about Voorhies. “That’s what you want from your quarterback. Make the right calls, make the right reads.”

Wilkinson County (6-0, 1-0) hosts Jefferson County for homecoming next Friday at 7 p.m. Franklin County (4-3, 0-1) plays at No. 1 Hazlehurst at 7 p.m. next Friday.