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Franklin edges West Point
By MARTY O’BRIEN | email@example.com ¦ 247-4963
WEST POINT - After years of playing losing football, West Point High proved it’s ready to compete with the best in Division 1 Region A. It’s not quite ready to beat them.
The Pointers played region powerhouse Franklin even for a half and kept it close until the final minutes of the game. But the Broncos used their superior depth to pull away to a 35-23 victory before a large crowd at West Point.
Tailback Elliott Bottoms paced the Broncos (4-0) with 191 yards rushing and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. His 36-yard scoring run off left tackle with 2 minutes, 9 seconds to play settled the issue.
"Both teams came into this game undefeated and showed why they were undefeated," said Franklin coach Darren Parker, who dressed 37 players to the Pointers’ 22. "I think we wore them down some, but I’m not going to take any credit away from them or us.
"West Point might not have a lot of kids, but they have a lot of heart. It was a tough game."
The Pointers (4-1) came in hoping to take a step toward their first winning season and first playoff bid in eight years. The Broncos have not missed the playoffs in seven years.
The first half was even. The score was tied 14-14 at intermission, with Franklin holding a 150-146 advantage in yards gained. Both teams made nine first downs in the half and were each penalized 45 yards.
Terron Parker (13 carries, 111 yards) ran for first-half touchdowns of 7 and 38 yards from the Pointers’ double wing formation. Quarterback Donzell Shearin ran for a 14-yard TD and passed 50 yards to Isaiah Hudson for the Broncos first-half scores.
Antonio Roane’s 60-yard kickoff return led to a 35-yard Arne Hostvedt field goal that put the Pointers ahead 17-14 in the third quarter. Bottoms dominated from there, rushing for 137 yards out of the Power-I formation in the final 1½ quarters.
"He’s an athlete," Parker said of the 6-foot, 180-pound Bottoms. "But the line did a great job and he got great lead blocking from the other backs."
Bottoms’ 24-yard sweep set up Shearin’s 1-yard sneak that made it 21-17 late in the third quarter. His 17-yard scoring run stretched the margin to 28-17 early in the fourth.
The Pointers drove 72 yards in 10 plays to cut the deficit to 28-23 on Antonio Roane’s 1-yard run with 3:21 left. That was their last stand.
Franklin recovered the onside kick attempt at its own 45. Bottoms covered the 55 yards to the end zone on three carries, the final one being his 36-yard run.
"We hung with them for 90 percent of the game, but when we needed a stop late in the game, we couldn’t get it," West Point coach John Fulks said. "Our guys did a lot of good things tonight, and we’d love to see (Franklin) again in the playoffs."
Franklin 7 7 7 14 – 35
West Point 6 8 3 6 – 23
WP – Parker 7 run (pass failed)
F – Shearin 14 run (Jervey kick)
WP – Parker 38 run (Parker run)
F – Hudson 38 pass from Shearin (Jervey kick)
WP – Hostvedt 35 field goal
F – Shearin 1 run (Jervey kick)
F – Bottoms 17 run (Jervey kick)
WP – Ant. Roane 1 run (run failed)
F – Bottoms 36 run (Jervey kick)
Franklin West Point
First downs 21 15
Rushes-yards 46-332 44-234
Passing yards 50 0
Comp-Att-Int 1-3-0 0-4-0
Penalties-yards 7-85 9-65
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1
Punts-avg. 0-0 2-32.0
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