By Clellie Allen and Jonathan McNamara
CREEDMOOR — The game between South Granville and visiting Franklinton High was expected to be a clash between two conference titans. The 67-57 Viking win over the Red Rams fulfilled those expectations, even though it resulted in Franklinton’s first loss this season.
“I am really proud of my team,” said Franklinton coach Jeremy Buck. “There were many times in the game that a team with lesser character would have quit.”
The competition was fierce from the opening whistle. Barely a minute into the game, South Granville’s Matt McCutcheon completed a pass to Craig Wilkie for a 58-yard touchdown. The PAT was good and with barely a minute off the game clock, the Red Rams were down, 7-0.
Franklinton’s Shyheim Jones then returned the subsequent kickoff 85-yards for a Red Ram score. Jacob Woodward made the PAT and the game was tied 7-7.
South Granville again made quick work of the field when they regained possession. With not even two minutes knocked off the game clock, Greg McCalop scored on a 1-yard carry. The PAT was again successful.
The Vikings were up 14-7 and the scoring slowed.
It wasn’t until there were just over two minutes left in the first quarter that South Granville scored again. moving the Vikings further into the lead 21-7.
In the second period, the Vikings and Red Rams traded points. South Granville first moved further ahead on a 30-yard, McCutcheon-to-Wilkie pass.
Franklinton’s Brandon Fuller countered with a 9-yard reception for score on a pass from Daquan Neal with little more than two minutes left before the break.
South Granville managed to squeeze past Franklinton’s defense for yet another quick score with only 31 seconds remaining.
Then, Franklinton’s Mike Waverly scored on a 35-yard interception return. The game was still in the Vikings favor, at 35-21. but only by two touchdowns.
Coming back in the third quarter, South Granville got in the first two scores with Bowman tallying both. The PAT was good on the first, but the Vikings tried for a 2-point conversion that failed on the second, making the score 48-21.
Franklinton went on their own 21-0 scoring spree. First Travon Judkins returned an 88-yard kickoff for a score. Then, he scored again on a 7-yard toss from Neal, after the Red Rams recovered kicker Jacob Woodward’s onside kick.
Just seconds later, the Red Rams recovered their second onside kick and Neal pitched a pass that resulted in a 43-yard touchdown by Waverly. Heading into the fourth, the Red Rams had clawed the game to within six points at 48-42.
But the overall deficit was too great to overcome in the last period. South Granville scored three more times to Franklinton’s two and the game ended with the Red Rams getting a 67-57 defeat.
The Red Rams accumulated 208 yards passing, 205 yards rushing and 205 yards receiving as they struggled to stay in the game.
“South Granville is a top ranked team for a reason, it was a measuring stick game for us,” said Buck.
“We now see where we stand and we have four weeks to get ready for the playoffs where me must play at that level.” he added.
The Red Rams are now 5-2 and 0-1 in conference play.
Franklinton will travel to Warrenton tomorrow (Friday) for a conference match up against the Eagles of Warren County High (5-2, 1-0).
Game time is at 7:30 p.m.