Bulldogs need wins for playoffs

Published 11:33 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MEADVILLE — The mission is simple for the Franklin County Bulldogs.

In order to make the Class 3A playoffs, the Bulldogs must win their remaining two games.

Franklin County will try to account for the first task of the mission Friday night in Woodville, when they pay a visit to the struggling Wilkinson County Wildcats.

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Game time has been set for 7:00.

“We just have to have to play our game and not turn the ball over, said Franklin County coach Grady McCluskey.”

For the Bulldogs (6-2, 2-2) the opportunity to make the playoffs is one that seemed dismal a few weeks ago when Franklin County dropped their first two district games of the year at the hands of Tylertown and Jefferson County, but the Bulldogs have since bounced back from those defeats.

Junior quarterback Jamie Collins has played a large part in the Bulldogs return to 3A playoff contention. Since returning from a severe case of back spasms, Collins has reeled off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games and an assortment of touchdown runs.

“We’re mad now,” said Collins after last week’s 42-8 victory over South Pike, in which he ran for 103 yards on nine carries for two scores. “We’ve got to show everyone that those two losses we had earlier in the season were just a miscount.”

While Franklin County has regrouped this season, Wilkinson County has struggled. Since beating Class 2A Newton 20-12 in early September, the Wildcats have lost six straight. Wilkinson County currently stands 1-7 overall and a 0-4 inside the district.

Coached by John Moore, the Wildcats are paced by several underclassmen. .this season. They lost to Ferriday, 7-6 last month, in what was the closet game they have came to winning since beating Newton. They dropped a 32-18 decision to North Pike last week.

Defensively the Bulldogs have been a force to be reckoned with over the last two games. Franklin County has caused six turnovers over the last two games. The Bulldogs got an interception from junior cornerback Alex Smith last week, and 10 tackles from 6-6, 300-pound senior Bo Tillman.

Smith also rushed for a game-high 120 yards last week in the win over South Pike.