FCHS trying to put tough loss in rearview

Published 11:30 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MEADVILLE — Even after a disappointing 28-12 loss to Hazlehurst High School last week, Franklin County High School cannot afford to kick itself.

That was head coach Rickey O’Quinn’s message to his team, and O’Quinn said the Bulldogs would also have to learn not to let scoring opportunities pass them by.

Although Franklin County was able to go into the half with a 6-0 lead, Hazlehurst scored 28 points in the second half to the Bulldogs’ six. And had the Bulldogs capitalized inside the red zone in the first half, O’Quinn said the game might have played out differently.

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“We had some missed opportunities in the first half to go ahead by a couple of touchdowns,” O’Quinn said.

“We had the ball inside the 20 four times and didn’t get but six points. One was a missed field goal from 13 yards out. Another time, we had a center-quarterback exchange that resulted in a fumble on fourth and goal from the 1. That’s 10 points, and it could have been a 16-0 ballgame.”

But what’s done is done, O’Quinn said, and now the Bulldogs must look ahead to their final three games of the season.

“We’ve been telling our guys we missed opportunities, but we have to keep playing,” O’Quinn said. “As much as we hate losing, we have to learn from our mistakes and look ahead to the next three ball games.”

Franklin County (5-3, 1-1) will host Crystal Springs for its final home game of the regular season.

“We feel like they’re an athletic ball club,” O’Quinn said. “They like to spread it out and get the ball to their athletes, so we’re going to have to be able to tackle in the open field.

“They have some big kids, and they have a big defensive line, so our guys will have to follow their assignments, just like every week we play.”

O’Quinn said Crystal Springs’ defense shuffles between a 4-3 and a 4-4.

“They don’t blitz much other than obvious passing downs, like third and long,” O’Quinn said. “They play man coverage. It’s stuff we’ve seen this year — nothing new for us.”

After Crystal Springs, Franklin County rounds out its regular season with road trips to Prentiss and Jefferson County.

“Road games shouldn’t matter to our guys,” O’Quinn said. “We started the season with three games on the road, and we opened district on the road with a win against Wilkinson County.

“Our guys just have to keep their heads up and have a positive outlook for the rest of the season. They just have to try and get the job done and get three wins.”

Kickoff at Franklin County is at 7 p.m. Friday.