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Magee’s three TDs help Demons win fourth in a row

Franklinton’s Azende T. Magee had a monster night, helping the Demons to a 44-10 victory over Salmen in District 8-4A action at FHS Thursday.

Magee ran for 166 yards on 21 carries with a pair of touchdowns, a 2-point conversion and a kickoff return for a score.

Franklinton (6-1, 2-0), which has outscored its last four opponents 205-29 during its four-game winning streak, got things going toward the middle of the second quarter. FHS led 7-0 on a Relik Wilson two-yard run. Conner Ackerman’s PAT was good for the 7-0 lead. Salmen (1-6, 1-1) tied the game, 7-7, on Johnny Lowery’s two-yard run and L.J. Leonard hit the PAT with 8:30 left in the second quarter.

But FHS responded. The Demons went 77 yards in nine plays. On third-and-1 from Salmen’s 9, Magee took the handoff, ran left, cutback right and went in for the TD with 5:24 left.

The Demons set up to kick the extra point, but after the Spartans jumped offsides, FHS elected to go for two, and it worked. Magee lined up at quarterback and ran it in to make it 15-7.

Salmen went three-and-out. FHS took over at its 41 and scored in four plays. The drive began with Michael Wilson hitting DeAndre Allen, who made a diving catch for 40 yards at the 19. Magee ran the next two plays for four and 11 yards, bringing the ball to the 4. On first-and-goal, the Demons went to Tavion Partman, who scored the touchdown. Ackerman’s extra point was perfect, and it was 22-7 at the 1:55 mark of the second quarter.

Salmen began to pick up some momentum toward the end of the first half. The Spartans took the ensuing drive from their 44 and moved it to the 15, where Leonard lined up for a 32-yard field goal. Franklinton was penalized for having too many men on the field, shortening the kick to 27 yards. Leonard’s kick was good, and it was 22-10 with 19-seconds remaining.

Salmen attempted a squib kick on the kickoff, but the ball deflected off of a FHS player who was on the front line of blockers, and Wallace Duplessis recovered for the Spartans.

But Franklinton’s defense took over. The Demons forced an incompletion on first down at FHS’ 42. On second down, Kobe Crain came up with a sack, but Salmen was flagged for holding. The Demons took the penalty, which pushed the Spartans further back than the sack would have, and the clock ran out with the Demons up, 22-10, at the half.

With a 12-point margin at halftime, the next score could switch momentum for either team. Franklinton could really put some distance between itself and Salmen or the Spartans could trim it to one possession with one tally.

It didn’t take long to figure out which would happen.

The Demons received the second half kickoff. Magee caught the ball at the 15. He got some good blocking and then ran to daylight. Nobody was going to catch him, and he went all of the way for the touchdown, making it 28-10.

“I saw Adam Bush make a good block. Ryché Jenkins made a good block, and it was just me and the kicker,” Magee said.

Ackerman came in for the PAT, but the snap was low. Chandler Davis, the holder, scrambled and then threw to the end zone, where Ryché Jenkins was standing by himself. He caught it for the 2-point conversion. It was 30-10 with 11:47 left in the third quarter.

Franklinton coach Shane Smith said Magee’s return turned the whole game around.

“When you get up by three scores, the other team’s thought process changes, and they have to throw it a lot,” Smith said. “They went to their passing game. Kobe Crain put pressure, and the DBs held tough. Those guys made a few plays. They’ve got athletes, but for the most part, we played well defensively.”

Crain, a defensive lineman, said the TD return made them push farther because they know they can do it.

“We know if we can keep our head up, we can keep moving forward,” Crain said.

The Spartans’ drive after the return was a three-and-out, and then Magee scored his final touchdown on a 24-yard run, which was followed by Ackerman’s PAT for a 37-10 lead.

Magee was one of eight players to have at least one rushing attempt for the Demons.

Salmen nearly scored a 30-yard passing touchdown late in the third quarter, but the Spartans committed an offensive pass interference penalty.

FHS scored once more. In the fourth quarter, Tahj Magee, who ran for 100 yards, capped off the scoring with a 16-yard run, completing a seven-play, 90-yard drive. Ackerman’s PAT was good to make it 44-10.

FHS quarterback Michael Wilson threw for 127 yards on 8-of-12 passing.

Allen caught two passes for 70 yards, while Davis finished with four receptions for 48 yards.

Franklinton hosts Lakeshore Friday for its next game in league play.