Franklin County checks off another on way to state title

Published 1:06 am Saturday, November 17, 2007

MEADVILLE — Jordan Hunt stepped up at the perfect time for the Franklin County Bulldogs.

The 6-2, 215-pound junior fullback/linebacker scored three touchdowns, made six tackles and added an interception as the Franklin County Bulldogs picked Morton apart 34-12.

“Someone had to step up,” Hunt said after the game. “We as a team did.”

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The Bulldogs (10-2) used an assortment of big plays, with Hunt’s being the biggest of the night. Franklin County had a 14-12 lead on the Panthers (6-6), before Hunt reeled off three straight touchdowns — one rushing, two receiving — to give Franklin County the win walking away.

“Jordan made some big plays tonight, our whole team did,” said Bulldogs head coach Grady McCluskey. “I’m proud of my kids.”

With Hunt running and catching touchdown passes left and right, Morton couldn’t keep up. The Panthers made six turnovers in the contest.

“Franklin County flat out beat us,” Morton head coach David Park said. “Their defense is one of the best in the state. The Tillman boys are really good, but number 72 (Bobby O’Quinn) impressed me the most.”

O’Quinn, a sophomore defensive tackle made six stops and gave Bo and Josh Tillman enough time to disrupt Morton senior quarterback Dedric McDonald down the stretch. Bo Tillman made ten tackles and collected a sack, while Josh Tillman made eight stops, three sacks, and recovered a fumble. Tillman also broke the Franklin County sack record in the process Friday night with 18 sacks on the season.

“I just did what I had to do for us to win,” Tillman said. “This team keeps making plays, its hard to explain, but and we never give up.”

Franklin County junior cornerback Damien Burnett kept Morton’s high octane passing offense flat with two interceptions and two big hits.

“I was just trying to make a play,” said Burnett, a cat-quick defensive back. “We’ve got a good coaching staff and a great team. We want to win state again. We can’t settle for anything less.”

Bulldogs heavy hitters Garcia Vaughn and Alan Hunt collected a pair of fumble recoveries to add fuel to Franklin County’s already soaking hot defense.

“Defense played lights out in the second half,” McCluskey said. “In the first half we struggled, but I told the guys before the game, that we are the champs and every team is going to give us their best shot. So we’ve got to be ready to go 15 rounds.”

McCluskey’s echoed statements got the attention of his team. Jamie Collins started the game with a brisk 54 yard TD scamper. Morton followed with a 56 yard pass from McDonald to Terrence Taylor to cut the FC lead to 7-6.

Alan Hunt added a 4 yard TD, before McDonald hit Antonio Hughes in the end zone for a 14-yard score. After that it was Jordan Hunt, who collected took two passes to the house for scores of 57 and 59 yards respectfully and also ran in a 3-yard TD.

“Jordan’s just a ball player,” said FC offensive coordinator Jeremy Loy. “He’s a warrior.”

Hunt finished with 45 yards rushing on eight carries. He had three receptions for 137 yards.

The Bulldogs overcame 67 yards in penalties, compared to Morton’s 30.

Franklin County will next play at Newton County, Friday night in the third round of the Class 3A State Playoffs beginning at 7.