Liberty County took the opening kickoff Friday night and marched 74 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. Franklin County responded by driving down the field on its first possession to tie the game.
From there, it was a fast-paced, offensive explosion of high school football.
The Seahawks matched Liberty County score for score until late in the second half.
“A couple of ill-timed turnovers hurt us, and then sophomore quarterback Christian Amison suffered an injured shoulder late in the second half after he was forced to scramble on a pass play," coach Randy Brock said. “That kind of took a little bit of our momentum away.”
Liberty County managed a 35-21 lead at the half.
“I told the kids at halftime that we just needed to keep playing hard and don’t give up,” Brock said. “Believe in yourself.”
After the Seahawks were forced to punt, Liberty County controlled the third quarter and built a 42-21 advantage by the end of the third.
Things looked bleak for the Seahawks, who lost several key players to injury in the second half, but their determination would not be denied. Franklin County dug deep and staged a grand comeback.
The Seahawks put 21 points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but the injuries proved too much to overcome.
“In the end, it was a hard-fought 56-42 loss,” said Brock. “I’m so proud of these kids. They fought to the very end. We had some turnovers and some injuries that cost us, but we never gave up. We missed some golden opportunities, but we finally have come together as a team.
“I love these kids, and I believe we are so close to turning that corner,” he said.
The Seahawks managed 349 yards of offense. Sophomore running back Rufus Townsend had seven carries for 36 yards and 2 TDs, and senior Tyler Howard had 119 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Howard also had two pass receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown. Junior Zacc Townsend had three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Howard returned an interception 63 yards. Christopher Newell had a crushing QB sack that caused a fumble that was recovered by Micah McLeod.
Sophomore linebacker Tonnor Segree had a team-high 14 tackles before leaving the game with a knee injury. Linebacker Townsend and defensive tackle Michael Taylor each had 11 tackles for the Seahawks.
Franklin County takes on Aucilla Christian for homecoming on Friday night.