Franklin County rolls to first round playoff win

Published 1:33 am Saturday, November 7, 2009

MEADVILLE — Dog duo Darnell Ford and Jermaine Stander proved too much for a Velma Jackson team in Class 3A South State first-round playoff action Friday night.

The Bulldogs rolled to an impressive 33-0 win Friday night and advance to the second round, when they will play at Philadelphia, a 38-0 winner over St. Patrick.

Not only did Franklin County, the No. 2 seed out of Region 7-3A, run the ball at will on Velma Jackson, but its defense was just as impressive once again. The Bulldogs held the Falcons to four first downs, less than a yard per carry (22 yards on 24 carries), and forced five turnovers.

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“Our defense has been playing really well the last few weeks. We put a lot of young players in in the second half. I’m proud of my guys for holding on for the shutout,” Franklin County head coach Trent Hammond said.

Ford finished with 13 carries for 11 yards while Stander had 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just five carries.

“Our guys came off the ball. They ran the ball hard. Anytime you have two 100-yard rushers, the offensive line is doing (its) job,” Hammond said.

Stander got things going for Franklin County (9-3) with a 63-yard touchdown less than a minute and a half into the game.

Milton Griffin scored on a 10-yard run with just over a minute remaining until halftime and then the defense produced a touchdown when Dehendret Collins picked off a Colin Johnson pass and ran it back 90 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the first half that gave the Bulldogs a 19-0 lead.

Franklin County then got a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Stander scored on a 26-yard run with 7:08 remaining and Griffin scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run with 3:55 to go.

Velma Jackson (9-3) tried to use the passing game, but to no avail. Johnson completed 13 of 23 passes for just 112 yards with four interceptions. Collins had two of those picks while Billy Norman and Fred Coleman each picked off a pass. Norman also had a fumble recovery.

With the Bulldogs’ running attack as potent as it was, Andrew McGhee didn’t have to throw the ball very much. He completed 1 of 3 passes for 34 yards.