Sweet victory

Published 9:49 am Saturday, November 6, 2010

Franklin High School’s Justin Grant intercepts a pass in the first half against Sussex Central. - Frank Davis | Tidewater News


FRANKLIN—“It was a battle,” remarked Sussex Central Head Coach Curtis Jefferson after his visiting Tigers lost 12-6 to Franklin Friday night at Armory Drive football stadium.

The victory puts Franklin at 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the Tri-Rivers District, while Sussex Central fell to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the district.

“We are going to enjoy this win, but we are going to get ready for Windsor,” said Bronco Coach Darren Parker.

After losing to Charles City two weeks ago, the Broncos had a lot riding on this game in hopes of winning the district and advancing to the state playoffs.

Bronco Martinez Hill recovered a Tiger fumble on Sussex Central’s opening drive to set up the first Franklin score. Lavon Evans powered the ball over on a 2-yard run. The 2-point conversion failed, giving the Broncos a 6-0 lead with 5:45 left in the first quarter.

On the next Tiger possession, the Bronco defense dug in to force a punt. On the punt return — running like a freight train — Justin Grant smoked down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown. Again the 2-point conversion failed.

The Tigers’ only score of the game came on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Tyquan Johnson with 2:19 left in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion failed.

A key turning point in the game happened in the second quarter as the Tigers continued their rushing attack at the Broncos. The Tigers late in the half had reached the red zone to the 2-yard line.

After a penalty by the Broncos, half the distance to the goal line and a 5-yard penalty against the Tigers, the ball was placed, on the 5-yard line. Fourth and goal, and the Tigers were going for it all. The Tiger runner was stopped just short of the goal line by a determined Bronco defense.

The Tigers starting a drive with 1:42 remaining in the half, moved the ball, but when they went to the air, Grant picked off a pass.

“We were well aware of Grant, and we tried to keep the ball away from him,” Jefferson said.

The half ended with the Broncos up 12- 6.

With time beginning to run out, the Tigers began to move the ball in the fourth quarter, but suffered another setback by the loss of the ball in a fumble that was recovered by Malquan Mitchell.

On the ground, the Tigers rushed for 220 yards to 187 for the Broncos. Sharheem Taylor had 110 yards for the Tigers and Hill had 141 for the Broncos.

The Broncos had 15 first downs compared to 13 for the Tigers.

On tackles for the Broncos, Hill and Mitchell had 6 apiece.