Franklin County, Wilkinson County lose in playoffs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2017

DEKALB — De’Onte Rush threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns while Rondarius Gowdy ran for over 150 yards and two scores as the Kemper County High School Wildcats defeated the Franklin County High School Bulldogs 36-9 Friday night in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Neither team entered the playoffs with spectacular overall records — Kemper County, the Region 5-3A No. 2 seed at 2-8; Franklin County, the Region 7-3A No. 3 seed, at 1-9.

Rush completed 12 of 18 passes for 206 yards with no interceptions. Gowdy finished with 158 yards on 14 carries. Quandarius Bohannon had three catches for 74 yards and one touchdown.

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Franklin County tried to stay in the game in the first half after quarterback Jaquan Brown went down with a shoulder injury in the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession of the game. Even though Brown did return for the second half, Kemper County made sure there would be no rally by the visitors after being down just 6-3 at halftime.

Rush threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Rodrick Williams with 11:41 left in the third quarter and D’anthony O’Neal scored on a six-yard run with 10:53 to go in the same quarter to go up 22-3.

Brown tried to provide a spark for the Bulldogs with a 57-yard TD pass to Darion Jackson late in the third quarter, but the defending Class 3A South State and State champions responded with TD runs of 47 and 65 yards by Gowdy in the fourth quarter.

Brown ended up going 5-for-16 passing with one interception for 83 yards. Kalev Robb was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 39 yards on 18 carries.

Franklin County finished at 1-10 overall.

Forest 31, Wilkinson County 20

FOREST — The MHSAA Region 5-3A champion and No. 1 seed Forest High School Bearcats held off a second-half rally by Region 7-3A No. 4 Wilkinson County High School to defeat the Wildcats 31-20 Friday night in the first round of the Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Forest (9-3) scored 21 points in the second quarter en route to a 24-0 halftime lead. But Wilkinson County would not go away quietly. The Wildcats scored twice early in the third quarter to make it a 24-14 game. But they would not get any closer.

Wilkinson County finished its season with a 3-7 overall record.