EASTPOINT – In the Irma-shortened week leading up to Friday’s game against Liberty County, Franklin County Coach Tony Yeomans altered his offense, moving senior quarterback Landen Abel to tight end and placing freshman Lamarius Martin behind center.
The switch helped turn around the fortunes of the winless Seahawks, as they pounded the Bulldogs 52-6, the first time in the school’s decade-long history they have defeated their neighbors to the north.
“We went back to old school basic football,” said Yeomans. “We kept it simple, five running plays out of different formations. It’s pound, pound, pound and you get everybody coming up and you hit a quick pass. We’re big enough up front coming off the football and we can grind it out with anybody.”
On the first play of the Seahawks’ opening drive, junior running back Ethan Riley swept left for a 25-yard run, and then four plays later, on a first-and-goal from the 6, he took a pitch from Martin and scored the Seahawks’ first offensive touchdown of the season.
Four minutes later, Riley scored his second touchdown of the quarter, as he wrapped up a six-play, 55-yard drive when he galloped into the end zone from 18 yards out.
Halfway through the second quarter, Martin, under pressure, would loft a short pass to Riley who turned it into a 34-yard gain, followed two plays later by a 29-yard rush from scrimmage. Senior running back Dalin Sheridan would climax the six-play, 61-yard drive with a seven-yard burst for the score, and a 20-0 lead.
“Monk (Martin) is going to be our quarterback until he graduates,” said Yeomans. “He has a chance to be special. We just got to get him stronger.”
An interception by senior defensive back Nathan Jones thwarted the Bulldogs’ next drive, but on the following play, Martin committed his only miscue on the night when he fumbled the snap.
The Bulldogs’ drive could not advance the ball, and the Seahawks got the ball back on downs on their own 35. On their first play, Riley scored his third touchdown when he ran it in the length of the field, for a 27-0 lead with 4:30 left in the half. His fourth and final touchdown came on the final play of the game, when he ran a Bulldog kickoff back 90 yards.
Sheridan scored his second touchdown of the night with 9:30 left in the third, when he fumbled a pitchout on a fourth-and-six, scooped it up, and ran it in 36 yards for the score. Junior Abner Ramirez, who had four extra points on the night, gave the Seahawks a 34-0 lead.
Sheridan’s third and final score came with a minute left in the quarter, when he ran it 95 yards for a 40-0 lead, and the start of the running clock.
A pitch to sophomore Warren Kilpatrick midway through the final quarter gave him a chance to sprint 71 yards for the score.
The Bulldogs scored their lone touchdown with two minutes left in the game, when senior quarterback Caleb Wiley connected with Brandon Clark for a 40-yard passing touchdown.
Asked after the game if he wanted to cite any players for outstanding play, first year Liberty County coach Derek Causseaux paused and then answered simply “Yes. Franklin County.”