Forest upsets Bulldogs

Published 12:39 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

Two things that Franklin County High School had done well during its six-game winning streak — run the ball and stop the run — disappeared Friday night in the Bulldogs’ stunning 14-0 loss to the Forest High School Bearcats in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

The Bulldogs went into the game as champions of Division 7-3A and a deep playoff run was expected. The Bearcats entered the game as the No. 4 seed out of Division 5-3A, but even with being one of four teams from that division to have a winning record, they were expected to be one-and-done. Apparently, Forest did not get the message.

Franklin County ran the ball 29 times but finished with a grand total of 25 rushing yards. Benard Selmon was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 40 yards on 17 carries. The rest of the team had minus-15 yards on 12 carries.

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If that wasn’t bad enough, the Bulldogs’ defense could not slow down Forest senior running back Mikell Daniels, who finished with 218 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries. Daniels scored on a 5-yard run with 8:20 to go in the first quarter and a 16-yard run with 6:23 left in the third quarter.

Selmon was not the only Bulldog offensive weapon who was thwarted by the Bearcats’ stingy defense. Quarterback De’Martre Collins completed 11 of 23 passes, but for just 77 yards with one interception. Selmon was the leading receiver with six catches for 44 yards.

All of Forest’s 234 yards of offense came on the ground. The running game was so effective that quarterback Landen Cook attempted only one pass, and it was incomplete.

Franklin County finished with an overall record of 7-4.