EASTPOINT - Franklin County got a win Friday night in their pre-season exhibition against Liberty County, but two huge losses weren’t on the scoreboard, which showed the Seahawks with a 27-6 victory.
Not long after senior wingback Ethan Riley sped into the end zone on a reverse right from 58 yards out, on the Seahawk opening drive, he went down with a knee injury, and had to watch nearly the entire game leaning on a pair of crutches on the sideline.
In turns out he has a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament that will keep him out for the entire season. His mom Heather Riley said he’ll have surgery at Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic in the days ahead, and is expected to be back by the start of baseball season.
“Ehtan’s one of the best players in the state of Florida in Class 1A football,” said coach Tony Yeomans. “It was just a freak accident.”
In the second half, after he had put two touchdowns on the board in the first, sophomore wide receiver Lamarius "mONK" Martin was sidelined with a broken collarbone, that will require the installation of pins and will keep him out for the next six weeks.
“Adversity builds character,” said Yeomans. “How you handle adversity as a team makes you stronger or it makes you weaker, It’s your choice. We’re not going to quit. We have to have some kids who have to step up
“We have to circle the wagons and play for each other,” he said.
As for the game. Yeoman had nothing but raves for his defense, and a middling grade for his offense.
“We were sloppy, we’re not in very good shape. We didn’t block very well, we tackled OK but we’re not where we’re going to be,” he said. “We will get ready, we will be better.”
With less than a minute left in the first quarter, after penalties had backed the Seahawks up to a third-and-goal from the Liberty 19, junior quarterback Javon Pride rolled to his right and on the run hit Martin in the corner of the end zone for his first score of the night. Senior Abner Ramirez hit his first of three extra points, for a 13-0 Franklin County lead, as the quarter came to an end.
On the first play of the second quarter, Martin rushed in from 75 yards for his second score, and a 20-0 lead.
The first of two interceptions on the night by senior Colton Evans, and a recovered muffed punt by senior Tonnor Segree, kept the Bulldogs from mounting any serious offensive drives in the second quarter. Evans is out for the next two weeks, for personal reasons.
With 2:22 left, freshman quarterback Colin Amison hit a sprinting Pride on a 50-yard pass play, giving the Seahawks a 27-0 lead going into the locker room.
“They got in our kids heads early on and they held their heads down and it wasn’t until halftime we could get their heads back up,” said Liberty County Coach Derek Causseaux.
The Bulldogs outpointed the Seahawks 6-0 in the second half, with senior running back Destin Fletcher handling most of the running duties.
With 2:52 left in the third quarter, senior quarterback Brady Peddie connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to junior Lucas Barber.
“We won the second half,” said Causseaux. “if we can put four quarter together we have a good season ahead of us, but we have to put four quarters together.”
Yeomans said that at this Friday’s home opener, expect to see Amison at quarterback, and Pride and Jewayne O’Neal at wingbacks, and Rufus Townsend at fullback.
“We’re going to keep improving, we’re not going to change what we do,” said Yeomans. “The young boys have got to step up.”