Franklin Co. defeats weather, too

Published 12:39 am Sunday, September 2, 2007

HAZLEHURST — When the Franklin County Bulldogs weren’t scoring touchdowns Saturday afternoon, Mother Nature was.

Originally scheduled for Friday night, the game was postponed due to severe thunderstorms in the area that blew transformers at Hazlehurst Field. The game was rescheduled for Saturday afternoon, but Mother Nature hit again late in the fourth quarter with lightning strikes that ended the game with Franklin County winning 29-0.

“The weather wasn’t a problem to us, we knew we had to come up here and take care of business,” said Bulldog senior defensive end Aljoshua Tillman, who had six hits, a sack, and forced two fumbles. “Our defense rose up today.”

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Franklin County limited Hazlehurst to 47 yards of total offense, and registered four sacks in the process. The Tillman cousins of Aljoshua and Bo gave the Indians fits the entire night. Bo had three sacks and seven tackles.

“Defense played great,” Bulldog head coach Grady McCluskey said. “They did a good job.”

Franklin County (1-0) drew first blood in what was featured as a rematch of last year’s Class 3A South State championship. Franklin County struck in the second quarter, off a Jordan Hunt two-yard touchdown scamper. Junior tailback Alex Smith would add a 2-yard TD run of his own minutes later, to give FC a 14-0 lead.

Bulldog sophomore fullback Alan Hunt capped off the quarter in the final seconds with a touchdown plunge from a yard out, to give Franklin County a 20-0 advantage.

In the second half, the Bulldog defense kept hitting the Indians with big plays. Bo Tillman sacked Hazlehurst QB Justin Durr for a safety.

Jordan Hunt added his second touchdown of the day in the fourth frame, off a three yard run. The game was than called seconds later, due to lightning strikes that hampered play and cleared the stands.

FC quarterback Jamie Collins, who kept several Bulldog drives alive with hard runs and strong throws, finished the game with 9 carries for 70 yards and 47 yards passing on 7-of-12 passing.

On defense, FC senior Carlos Johnson led all hitters with 8 tackles. Alex Smith made an interception, while sophomore Bobby O’Quinn had six hits and a fumble recovery. Van Starks and Jordan Hunt also had six tackles.

For the Indians, linebacker Jamilson Gordon made five tackles and picked off a pass. Kynshon Reese had five hits and deflected a pass.

The Bulldogs resume play Friday night, hosting McComb at 7 in Meadville’s Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium. Hazlehurst plays host to Tylertown.