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Written by: TC Jones on Saturday, October 9th, 2021
The Franklin offense had no answer for Meadville’s front seven in a Region 5 game that quickly got out of control. The Bulldog defense forced 10 turnovers on its way to its third straight shutout. To top it off, the offense was firing on all cylinders, putting 70 points on the scoreboard in the first half on the way to a 77-0 victory.
“The coaching staff has known that as this team matured, we would eventually reach our potential. We are starting to see that now,” head coach Ray Collins said after the game.
And the hard work from the players and coaching staff really is paying off. How’s this for the Bulldog’s defensive dominance: Meadville forced seven turnovers on Franklin’s first seven possessions.
And how about this for offensive efficiency: The Bulldogs capitalized on all seven of those turnovers, scoring a touchdown on each possession and jumping out to a 49-0 lead before the first quarter ended.
Leading the way for the Bulldog defense was 6’5 lineman Ruric Douglas. On Franklin’s second possession, he sniffed out the Knight’s screen pass, jumping in front for the interception. Then early in the 2nd quarter, he recovered a fumble and almost took it to the house before he was tripped up on the 15 yard-line.
“The defense has been practicing hard ever since we lost to Grove City in the season opener,” Douglas said. “Our D-line is doing a great job filling the gaps and getting off blocks. We are improving every week.”
Improvement is an understatement — Meadville dominated in all aspects of the game. Here are just some of the stunning first-half defensive and special teams numbers:
But the offense wasn’t about to be overshadowed. Three Bulldogs had multiple touchdowns in the first half, including Griffin Buzzell (2 touchdowns), Khalon Simmons (4 touchdowns), and Brady Walker (4 touchdowns).
The mercy rule in the second half moved the game along to the final horn. Even with the running clock, the Bulldog backups added one more touchdown, inflating the score to a 77-0.
“We are going to enjoy this win tonight and be back and ready to work at 8 am tomorrow,” coach Collins said.
Meadville improves to 5-2 on the season. Franklin falls to 2-5.
The first place Bulldogs have an important Region game against Oil City (3-3) next week.
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