Tough test for FC

Published 12:03 am Thursday, September 27, 2007

MEADVILLE – Coming off a convincing 42-6 victory over Natchez High last week, the Franklin County Bulldogs must regroup and play their first district game of the season against the 4-0 Tylertown Chiefs, who are also coming off a big 45-14 victory over North Pike.

The Bulldogs travel to Tylertown Friday for a 7 p.m. meeting.

“This is your typical Tylertown team,” said FC Bulldogs head coach Grady McCluskey. “They’ve got speed and they always give us fits, especially down there.”

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Franklin County beat the Chiefs 14-12 for the Region 7-3A championship last November in Meadville. The Bulldogs pulled out a pair of overtime victories at Tylertown in 2004 and 2005 respectfully.

“We know its going to be tough at there place,” adds McCluskey. “Last year they were a passing team, this year there back to running it.”

The Bulldogs (4-0), ranked first in Class 3A were led by a trio of 100-yard rushers last week in Darnell Ford (5-115), Jordan Hunt (10-115), and Alex Smith (10-125). Smith also scored three touchdowns, while Ford hit the end zone twice. Hunt also scored.

On defense, senior defensive end Josh Tillman had 8 tackles and 3 sacks.

“They (Franklin County) are very big, very physical, and very fast,” said Tylertown coach Walter Denton. “They control the outside game with the two Tillman’s (Josh and Bo), and have two of the best linebackers in the state in the Hunt boys (Jordan and Alan).

Denton and McCluskey traded film earlier this week. Denton insists that Franklin County’s head hunting defense impresses him the most.

“Their defense really stands out,” said Denton. “They make plays and are very good all around.”

Franklin County junior quarterback Jamie Collins is listed as questionable for the game with an injury.

“It could be a game time decision on Jamie,” said McCluskey. “We’ll see how he’s feeling.”

Senior Ryne Tutor drew the start last week in place of Collins, and did a good job running the Bulldog offense. Tutor rushed for 44 yards on six carries.

“We’ve got to be ready,” added McCluskey. “Tylertown is strong and fast.”