Franklin-Simpson Wildcats’ football team scored four touchdowns in their five offensive possessions in the 1st Half for the 43-7 victory at the Russell County Lakers last Friday night.
The Wildcats picked up their first win in Class 4-1 Region 1 District 2 play as their record stands at 1-1 while the Lakers fall to 1-2.
“The key word is consistency. We haven’t been consistent on both sides of the ball,” Wildcats’ head coach Max Chaney said. ”We challenged the kids and we knew they had it in them. We need to play consistently for four quarters, not for a play here or a quarter there. Coming off a rough loss last week, they did a good job of responding and tonight was the best we played on both sides of the ball.”
The Wildcats scored on all three possessions in the 1st Quarter as senior Omat Harrison had three touchdown runs of 48, 3 and 7-yards. With the extra points from senior Isaac Callis, they led 21-0.
Harrison scored his fourth touchdown with a 9-yard run early in the 2nd Quarter for a 28-0 lead. Late in the quarter, junior Jackson Payne intercepted a pass from Lakers’ senior quarterback Gavin Gossage and the defense turned into offense as he returned it 43 yards for a touchdown for the first defensive touchdown of the season.
“The return for the touchdown felt amazing,” Jackson Payne said. “Saw the ball in the air and it was an overthrow so I jumped on it and ran. The defense gave me a great lane to run with their blocks.”
Senior Luke Richardson’s 3-yard fade pass to the right corner of the end zone for junior Jalen Briscoe converted the two point conversion to make the score 36-0 at halftime.
After Russell County missed their 25-yard field goal attempt on their initial drive of the 3rd Quarter, Harrison scored his fifth touchdown of the game on the very next play with an 80-yard run that made the score 43-0.
“The line executed their blocks very well,” Omar Harrison said. “The long touchdown run was a little iffy but the line gave me a perfect hole and I turned on the jets and took off.”
The Lakers scored a touchdown late in the 4th Quarter with a 28-yard touchdown run by Gossage that made the final score 43-7.
Franklin-Simpson outgained Russell County 371-173 in total yards of offense. The Wildcats’ offensive line paved the way for 338 yards rushing, averaging over 10 yards per carry. Harrison had 14 carries for 210 yards and five touchdowns. Junior Landon Graves had four carries for 58 yards and sophomore Gavin Dickerson had five carries for 34 yards.
“The offensive line worked hard all week,” Chaney said. “We worked on a couple of things based on the way the Lakers have played us in the past. We knew that if we could get up by some points, they would start blitzing. We took advantage of that and it worked out for us very well.”
Freshman Braxton Walters led the Lakers with 73 yards rushing on 11 carries and Gossage had 12 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats are off this week for Fall Break and will play their third district game of the season next Friday, Oct. 15 against the Warren Central Dragons at James “Shadetree” Mathews Stadium at Hugh Crowdus Field.