Tylertown deflates Franklin County with late touchdown

Published 2:28 am Saturday, October 23, 2010

MEADVILLE — The Franklin County balloon was fully inflated with momentum in the second half against Tylertown Friday night.

But the Chiefs needed just one tomahawk throw, courtesy of quarterback Ashton Ellezy, to burst the balloon and pull ahead with less than seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

With third and 27 on their own 12-yard line, Ellezy connected with La Darrius Slocum on a 65-yard pass down to the Bulldog 23. On the next play, Ellezy punched it in from 23 yards to give Tylertown a 15-14 lead with 6:56 left in the game.

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Despite two more scoring opportunities for the Bulldogs, they were unable to take advantage, as Franklin County fell to 4-6 overall, 2-2 in Region 7-3A.

Franklin County head coach Ricky O’Quinn didn’t blame the big play for the loss, but said a flat performance in the first half put them in too big a hole.

“The difference in the ball game was the first half. We got a safety, and we didn’t play good offensively. They got good field position all night,” O’Quinn said.

“That big play in the end, on third and 27, you pick up (65) yards on that. That stuff isn’t supposed to happen, but it was a hard-fought game, and our guys played hard.”

In the second quarter, Franklin County was backed up to its own goal line on fourth down with 8:52 left before the half. A high snap on an attempted punt forced punter Calvin Robinson to run the ball out of the back of the end zone, giving Tylertown a safety.

Tylertown scored its first touchdown with 5:36 to go in the second on a 2-yard run by Ellezy, giving the Chiefs a 9-0 lead at the half.

But the second half was completely different for the Bulldogs. With 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, Franklin County quarterback Jadarius Davis threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Robinson, cutting Tylertown’s lead to 9-7.

A 32-yard pass to Jimmy Barnes from Milton Griffin set the Bulldogs up in the Tylertown red zone. Several plays later, Franklin County was able to punch it in the end zone on a 1-yard carry by Barnes to take the lead with 8:27 to go.

“I told them in the locker room (at the half) that we weren’t playing our game. We came out, and we challenged them, and they rose up to the challenge,” O’Quinn said.

But after Tylertown re-took the lead, the Bulldog offense couldn’t come up with one more big drive. Franklin County threatened when it got past midfield with less than a minute left in regulation, but Davis threw an interception, sealing the Chiefs’ win.

Franklin County will host Jefferson County next week for its final regular-season game. Even with the loss, O’Quinn said he told his team they still had something to play for.

“I’m proud of our kids. It was a good football game. I told our kids, we’re still in this thing,” he said.