Franklin County takes on North Pike, Wesson in spring jamboree

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2017

Franklin County High School’s Ja’Quan Brown may have just recently begun his journey as a starting quarterback, but he has already fallen comfortably into the role.

The rising-junior led the Bulldogs Friday night, scoring three touchdowns against North Pike in a round-robin spring football scrimmage in Meadville.

“As a first time starting quarterback, he made plays,” FCHS coach Trey Woodard said. “It’s hard to replace the production of (senior) De’Martre (Collins), but we have someone who can do it.”

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During the scrimmage, both teams ran three 10-play offensive drives and one red zone opportunity from the 10-yard line.

Brown capped off two of the Bulldogs’ drives with rushing scores of 10 and 8 yards, and then connected with Xavier Green for a 13-yard touchdown on fourth down to tie the matchup. Both Franklin County and North Pike scored three times on the night.

“It’s good to see because that’s the question mark position,” Woodard said. “What we want to see from him is just steady progress. We don’t really have goals for him, and it’s not really about making plays, you just have to run the offense and make decisions.”

For whatever game situation comes his way, Brown said he’s ready for the challenge.

“I like running the ball, but if he wants me to throw it, I’ll throw it,” he said. “It feels great to be back in pads.”

Woodard said if anything needs work, it would be Franklin County’s offensive line. After finishing last season 5-6, the Bulldogs will be filling in multiple positions with first-year starters including at center and right tackle.

Developing the front seven, Woodard said, will also add to the depth of running backs Kalev Robb and Keontè Bee.

“Right now, we have a bunch of guys with a bunch of reps, and other guys with no reps,” he said. “(Brown) has got it in him, and we have good people around him. We just have to protect him. Also, (Robb) is a great back, but we just could never get any room for him today, and (Bee) is a monster.”

With the aid of 22 seniors, Woodard said he expects his team to be ready to play in the fall.

“It’s stuff we will clean up. We will be fine,” he said. “The pieces are coming together.”

In the Bulldogs’ second matchup of the night with Wesson, FCHS scored six times over the Cobras’ four scores.

Brown scored twice more on runs of 15 and 10 yards. He also threw for two additional touchdowns on a 40-yard toss to Green and a 1-yard pass to Jaden Sanxton.

Green also ran in a touchdown from 4 yards out, and Robb added a 40-yard scoring run.