Franklin County falls on road to Lumberton High School

Published 1:27 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

Franklin County High School’s defense and special teams did what they could to keep the Bulldogs in the game against one of the top teams in MHSAA Class 1A in Lumberton High School.

Unfortunately, the offense was a completely different story as the Bulldogs couldn’t hold leads of 14-0 and 17-14 as the Panthers, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 1A, rallied to defeat the Class 3A Bulldogs 34-17 Friday night.

Clay Wright recovered a Lumberton fumble and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown with 7:07 left in the first quarter. Spencer Romero added the extra point to give upset-minded Franklin County a 7-0 lead.

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Dawson Rockhold picked off a Xavier Holder pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown and Romero’s point-after made it 14-0 in favor of the Bulldogs with 2:08 remaining in the second quarter.

Then Lumberton (3-1) got the momentum-changing play it was looking for as Kee’von Fells recovered a fumble and returned it 33 yards for a score at the 1:02 mark and went into halftime down just 14-6.

After a 35-yard run on a fake punt, Davion Edwards scored on a 2-yard run and Holder’s 2-point conversion run with 6:06 left in the third quarter tied it up at 14-14. Romero made a 37-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the quarter to put the Bulldogs back up 17-14.

Then the Panthers took over the fourth quarter. Edwards scored on a go-ahead 3-yard TD run at the 9:07 mark and Robert Henry, who had 20 carries for 105 yards, had TD runs of three yards and one yard to complete the comeback win.

The Bulldogs’ offense was downright dreadful in this game — four first downs, minus-11 yards rushing on 35 carries, minus-two yards passing on their only completion, and four total turnovers.

Franklin County (0-4) hosts Class 4A Lawrence County next Friday at 7 p.m.