Franklin Co. gets revenge on NHS

Published 1:38 am Saturday, September 22, 2007

MEADVILLE — The stain Natchez High left on the Franklin County record last season was quickly wiped away Friday night.

A full dose of smash mouth football and steady defensive showing gave the Franklin County Bulldogs a decisive 42-6 victory over Natchez Friday night.

The loss brings Natchez to an even 2-2 record on the season.

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Franklin County (4-0) and winners of their last 11 home games, started back-up quarterback Ryne Tutor in place of junior standout Jamie Collins who was out due to injury and still Franklin County rolled up 420 yards of total offense.

“We played smash mouth football tonight,” Bulldogs head coach Grady McCluskey said. “Our defense played another lights out game.”

Franklin County’s defense limited Natchez to a mere 174 yards of offense and forced the River City Bulldogs into three turnovers.

“Our defense played hard, and we’re stepping up each game,” senior defensive end Josh Tillman said. Tillman accounted for eight tackles and three sacks.

The Franklin County offense also showed out, as junior Alex Smith rushed for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 carries. Sophomore speedster Darnell Ford added five carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

“Our offense played a great game, and (Ryne) Tutor did a good job running our offense in place of Jamie (Collins),” McCluskey said. “We ran the ball hard the O-Line played a great game. We did what we had to do.”

Franklin County took a 28-0 lead into halftime, off two scores from Ford and one each from Smith and junior full back Jordan Hunt, who also eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 15 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.

“We ran it down their throats,” Franklin County offensive coordinator Jeremy Loy said. “Down their throats!”

With Franklin County clicking on offense, the Bulldog defense took care of the rest. Natchez scored late in the fourth quarter, off a 1-yard plunge by Ricardon Richardson off Franklin County reserves.

“I’m proud of my kids,” McCluskey said. “They played hard tonight.”

With the win Franklin County avenged their only loss last season, which came at Natchez.

“It feels good to win this one,” Bulldog senior linebacker Garcia Vaughn said. “We came out and did what we had to do tonight.”

Richardson provided Natchez only bright spot with eight carries for 47 yards and a score.