Mustangs trample the Bulldogs for youth gridiron championship

Published 9:45 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Mustang football coaches, players and cheerleaders gather after the game to hold up the team championship trophy. -- JIM HART | TIDEWATER NEWS

The Mustang football coaches, players and cheerleaders gather after the game to hold up the team championship trophy. — JIM HART | TIDEWATER NEWS

Jim Hart/Contributing writer

FRANKLIN—The Franklin Mustangs took on the Boykins Bulldogs for the 2013 Franklin-Southampton Youth Football League Championship and overpowered them from the start.

The Mustangs were fast to put points on the board. Following a quarterback sack and taking over on downs on the Bulldog 40-yard line, the Mustangs easily rolled into the endzone with a 40-yard run on their third play by Shamon Wilkerson. The extra point was good with a short run up the middle by Markeen Tyler, putting the Mustangs in front of the Bulldogs 7-0 with 4:24 left in the first quarter.

After another set of downs, Franklin took over on the 37-yard line and with a 25-yard pass, took the ball down to the 2-yard line (Note that the field is reduced to 80 yards in this league). Markeen Tyler ran the ball up the middle for the score and then was successful on a repeat of the play for the extra point, extending the Mustang’s lead to 14-0 with 37.2 seconds left in the quarter. The Mustang’s recovered their on-side kick on the 39-yard line of Boykins.

After marching down the field, Markeen Tyler took it around the far side after going back and forth behind the line of scrimmage, dodging defenders for a 5-yard touchdown run with 7:06 left in the second quarter. The extra point failed and the Mustangs led the Bulldogs 20-0.

After another set of downs by the Bulldogs, Franklin took over on the Bulldog’s 25-yard line, and with 2:07 left on the clock, Markeen Tyler scored another touchdown with a 9-yard run.

The extra point again failed and the Mustangs led 26-0, which would be the score at the end of the first half.

At the beginning of the second half, Boykins kicked to Franklin and recovered the ball on the Franklin 32. They were unable to capitalize, and Franklin took over on the Bulldog 38-yard line.

Following an offside penalty, Shamon Wilkerson took it up the middle and down the far side line for a 43-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left in the third quarter. The extra point failed and the Mustangs led 32-0. No further scores were made in the 3rd quarter. Just 10 seconds into the 4th quarter, Markeen Tyler ran in a 3-yard touchdown run. The extra point failed and the Mustangs went up 38-0, which would be the score when time ran out.

Following the game, Head Coach Rob Carter accepted the Championship Trophy from the football league Commissioner Bobby Dunlow and as Coach Carter said, he accepted it “For the whole team.”

Following the game, pictures and congratulatory handshakes, hugs, etc., Coach Carter gave a brief interview. He was asked if this was his last year. He replied, “Yes, this is it. It has been a good run. I have been doing this for 30 years now since 1980 with a brief 3 year interruption when the team was coached by William Tawney. 30 years is enough. I have other obligations to my family, to spend time with them and especially my grandchildren. It is now someone else’s time to enjoy what I have enjoyed so much.”

When asked about this particular championship game and team, he was quick to respond with respect to Boykins.

“Boykins is always tough,” Carter said. “They are an excellent team and you never know what to expect when you play them. However, I need to tell you that I am very proud of my boys…all of them. They played hard the whole game and everyone participated. This team is special. Every now and then you get a special group of young men that just play well together and this team is one of them. They dominated every team this year.”

In closing he said, “ I just also want to thank every parent, grandparent, family member, friend, sponsor, busines and individual that helped me over the years. Without their support, none of this would be possible. Keep it up.”