Franklin County shuts out South Pike, 19-0

Published 12:27 am Friday, August 28, 2015

MEADVILLE — In what turned out to be a defensive slugfest, Franklin County’s defense rose to the challenge while the offense made just enough plays to overcome five turnovers in the Bulldogs’ 19-0 win over the South Pike Eagles Friday night.

Franklin County’s defense held South Pike to just six first downs and 130 yards of total offense while forcing four turnovers of its own. The Bulldogs also forced the Eagles to punt the ball six times.

“We played really well defensively. Any time you get a shutout, that’s big. Those things are hard to come by,” Bulldogs head coach Anthony Hart said.

Email newsletter signup

Hart said that no one player stood out for his team, but that it was a team win. Not only did the defense step up, but so did its special teams. Thomas Slagle converted both of his extra points and made a key 25-yard field goal with 4:22 to go in the third quarter that gave Franklin County a 12-0 lead.

“Sometimes when you play as well as we did on defense and special teams, you don’t have to do much offensively,” Hart said. “Offensively, we played well in spurts. But at times, we didn’t move the ball well.”

After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard when De’Martre Collins scored on a two-yard run. Then linebacker Julian Matthews sacked South Pike quarterback Bobbieal Ellzey in the end zone for a safety to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead at the 6:33 mark of the third quarter.

“The front got some pressure. The secondary covered well. The linebackers played run and pass well,” Hart said.

La’darius Norman put the finishing touches on the win with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:04 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs won the game despite not having the services of running back Cortney Smith, who was out with a shoulder injury.

“We didn’t sit on the lead, but at the same time we didn’t want to put ourselves in situations to give them the ball,” Hart said.

Franklin County quarterback Jacob McDaniel had his issues with South Pike’s defense as he completed just three of 17 passes for 60 yards and was intercepted four times. Collins was also held in check by the Eagles as he had just 39 yards on eight carries.

Ellzey didn’t do much better than McDaniel, though, going 4-for-14 passing with two interceptions for 40 yards. Marc Varnado provided the majority of South Pike’s offense with 16 carries for 47 yards and four catches for 40 yards.

The Bulldogs’ defense was led by Chris O’Quinn, who had 13 tackles and one interception. Marquavis Dunn and La’darius Norman had nine tackles each and Cameron Young ended up with eight tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

Franklin County (2-0) will play its first road game of the season next Friday at North Pike. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.