Franklin County attempting to bounce back

Published 12:38 am Thursday, August 25, 2016

For the second straight week, the Franklin County High School Bulldogs will be on the road against a team from a higher classification.

Last week it was Class 5A Brookhaven High School, and lost 21-13 at Co-Lin Wesson.

Franklin County travels Friday to Magnolia to take on Class 4A South Pike High School with kickoff at 7 p.m.

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The game will be a contest of first-year head coaches — Franklin County’s Trey Woodard and South Pike’s Brinson Wall. The Eagles are coming off a 20-14 overtime win at Jefferson County.

While Woodard said he was pleased that his team fought hard to the end against a bigger team with more players in Brookhaven, he said the Bulldogs still need to improve in some areas.

“We’ve got to develop a strong running game. Defensively, we’ve got to tighten a few things up,” Woodard said. “We had two chances to win, but we didn’t.”

Woodard said he is looking for consistency on both offense and defense.

“Can we finally get together on offense? Can the defense tighten up? That’s what I’m looking for.”

They will need to do both in order to return home with a win. In last week’s loss to Brookhaven, Franklin County’s ground game was held to 3.67 yards a carry and had just 193 yards of total offense while its defense allowed 389 total yards.

Woodard said this year’s tilt will be a much different South Pike team than the one the Bulldogs faced in a 19-0 win last year.

“Coach Wall has a long history of putting together good offenses,” he said.

As to what challenges South Pike present, Woodard said, “They are big, really athletic and big, specially their defensive line; they’re huge.”