PREP ROUNDUP: Franklin County wins big, Jefferson County loses

Published 12:03 am Friday, November 6, 2015

MEADVILLE — What a difference a year makes for Franklin County High School in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

In 2014, the Bulldogs were stunned and eliminated by Forest 21-0 at home after winning the Region 7-3A championship. Thursday night, they entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in 7-3A and promptly took care of the Region 6-3A No. 3 seed St. Andrews Episcopal Saints 38-10.

“We did some good things and some bad things, but the main thing is we won,” Franklin County head coach Anthony Hart said.

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Cortney Smith played an integral part in Franklin County’s win as he had 16 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns. So did its special teams and defense after St. Andrews took a 3-0 lead nearly midway through the first quarter.

St. Andrews kicker Matt Harjes, who just barely made a 33-yard field goal, missed a 47-yard field goal with time winding down in the first quarter. Then Gerryion Bell did his best imitation of Auburn’s Jeremy Davis III two years ago against Alabama by catching the ball and returning it 99 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.

Smith’s first touchdown run was from one yard out with 5:21 left in the second quarter and Deion Buckles picked off a Jack Blumenthal pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown as Franklin County’s lead expanded to 21-0 at the 3:41 mark of that quarter. Thomas Slagle, who had already made three extra points in the first half, connected on a 33-yard field goal with two seconds remaining until halftime for a 24-0 Bulldogs lead.

“We started out a little slow, but we made three or four big plays,” Hart said. “You score about every way you can. We almost had another interception returned for a touchdown.”

Smith scored his second touchdown early in the third quarter, this time from four yards out, to give the Bulldogs a 31-3 lead.

“Cortney ran hard. It’s been an up-and-down season for him because of injury. He’s close to 1,000 yards now. It was a good night for him,” Hart said. “Offense got on track. The three fumbles set us back.”

St. Andrews (6-5) scored on a Gus Carroll three-yard run midway through the fourth quarter before Jaquan Brown scored on a 62-yard touchdown run for Franklin County with 1:25 to go in the game.

“Overall, we played good defense and that set up our offense,” Hart said.

Chris O’Quinn led the defense with 11 tackles while Greg Queen had seven tackles, one sack and one interception. Buckles had six tackles to go with his INT return for a score.

Franklin County (8-4) will take on the winner of tonight’s game between Tylertown and Kemper County. Kickoff next Friday night will be at 7 p.m.


Raleigh 60, Jefferson County 32

RALEIGH — The Jefferson County High School Tigers saw their season come to an end Thursday night as they lost to the Raleigh High School Lions 60-32 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

“Raleigh’s a good team. They stuck to their game plan even when it was close,” Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said. “They didn’t panic and kept handing it off to their fullback. They’re a wing team (on offense).”

Jefferson County, the No. 4 seed out of Region 7-3A rallied from an early 14-0 deficit to tie the game at 14-14 before Region 6-3A champion and No. 1 seed Raleigh (10-2)

scored a touchdown late in the first half to go into halftime up 20-14.

The Tigers tied the game at 26-26 during the third quarter before the Lions outscored them 34-6 the rest of the way.

“It was a back-and-forth game. Late in the game, our lack of depth wore us down,” Herrington said. “We had a couple of dropped touchdown passes. We just came up a little short.”

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


St. Frederick 48, Sicily Island 6

SICILY ISLAND — The St. Frederick High School Warriors jumped out to a huge lead and never looked back in taking a 48-6 win over the Sicily Island High School Tigers Thursday night in the regular-season and LHSAA District 2-1A finale for both teams.

St. Frederick led Sicily Island 21-0 by the end of the first quarter and took a commanding 35-6 advantage into halftime. The Warriors put up another 13 points in the second half while their defense shut out the Tigers.

The one bright spot for Sicily Island was quarterback Tyreke Tolliver, who completed four of nine passes for 116 yards with no interceptions and a 71-yard touchdown pass to Devion Dunbar in the second quarter.

As a team, the Tigers were held to 154 yards of total offense despite somehow having 18 first downs.

St. Frederick (6-4, 5-2) will probably advance to the Class 1A Playoffs while Sicily Island finished 1-9 overall and 1-6 in district play in its first varsity football season since 2001.