Down to one game for Franklin County

Published 12:18 am Thursday, November 1, 2007

MEADVILLE — It all comes down to one game for both the Amite County Trojans and the Franklin County Bulldogs.

To the winner goes the spoils of continuing their season as the third place team in the powerful Region 7-3A, but to the loser an end to what was considered to be a promising season.

“Basically its down to us and them,” Bulldogs coach Grady McCluskey said. “Whoever wins is going to the playoffs. It’s pretty simple.”

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Game time has been set for 7 p.m. in Meadville’s Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium.

The Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2) and winners of there last three games, cannot afford a letdown this Friday night in Meadville where expectations have been high all season for the 3A defending champions.

“We lost two games (Tylertown and Jefferson County) by a combined four points earlier in the year,” said McCluskey, who has seen his team overcome injuries and narrow defeats this season. “Right now we’ve just got to win out.”

The Bulldogs shut out Wilkinson County last week 42-0, and was paced by junior standout quarterback Jamie Collins in the victory. The 6-4, 210-pound Collins went 9-for-14 for 189 yards passing, which included four touchdown throws.

Senior defensive end Josh Tillman, an Ole Miss commitment, registered a game-high three sacks on five tackles and recovered a fumble.

“This is the biggest game of the year,” Tillman said. “We all know that.”

As for the Trojans (5-4, 2-3), and also winners of there last three games, defense has been leading them.

Amite County beat Crystal Springs 28-6 on the road last week, and won at Tylertown the week before 14-0. Coach Charles Jackson believes his group of road warriors, are ready for the Franklin County invasion.

“It’s going to be a good game that’s for sure,” said Jackson. “A big game like this is supposed to bring out the best in the players. We’ve been having some of the best practices of the year, this week. So I know we will be ready.”

Big two-way tackle James Brown, a 6-5, 335-pound monster leads the Trojans. Junior Gaberial Jackson is also a load at 6-4, 300 pounds.

“James is quick and strong,” said Jackson. “He and Gaberail have been getting a lot of looks from several D1 schools.”

The Trojans also have speed options in Tray Beteaste, Anthony Cain, and Alexander Cobb at running back.

For the Bulldogs, its running back trio of Jordan Hunt, Alex Smith, and Darnell Ford has been carrying FC as well.

The Trojans haven’t beaten Franklin County in Meadville since 2000, when ironically Amite County beat the Bulldogs in a similar must-win playoff match-up for a district spot off a buzzer-sounding hail-mary pass.

It’s also the last time the two rivals had so much riding on the outcome of one game, until now.

“Come Friday night, the season is on the line,” said Jackson. “It’s on the line.”

And with that said, to the winner gets one more chance to make this season a memorable one.