Demons clinch district title

Published 11:14 pm Friday, November 6, 2015

PEARL RIVER — Franklinton won the outright District 8-4A title by defeating Pearl River, 49-7, Friday night in the final regular season game of 2015.

“I’m just happy for our kids and our coaches,” Franklinton coach Shane Smith said. “We worked extremely hard and try to pride ourselves on doing things like this. We completed it tonight. I’m happy for our seniors.

“They’ve been with us for three years. A lot of them are three-year starters and some of them four-year starters, so we’ve got many kids that have played quite a bit of football. Finishing up the season undefeated in district (4-0) with a district championship, that’s good stuff.”

Pearl River won the toss and elected to receive, but on the third play of the game,
Martavius James intercepted a pass and ran it back 25 yards to pay dirt for the touchdown. The Demons went for two, but the snap was low and the conversion attempt was no good. Franklinton was still in front, 6-0 with 9:58 left in the first quarter.

The Rebels returned the kickoff to their 28 and drove to Franklinton’s 25. Pearl River faced fourth-and-7. The Rebels lined up for a field goal, but it was a fake. The pass was incomplete for a turnover on downs, ending the 13-play drive. Along the way, the Rebels converted two fourth downs.

Franklinton ran its first offensive play with 2:26 left in the opening period and the offense got rolling in a hurry. Azende T. Magee ran the first play 62 yards. Tavion Partman then ran a speed sweep for 10 and Tahj Magee threw to Ryché Jenkins for a 3-yard touchdown pass. Tahj Magee then threw a quick pass to Partman for two and the Demons led, 14-0, with 1:46 to go in the first quarter.

After the 13-play drive, Franklinton’s defense turned things up. They kept Pearl River from crossing midfield for the rest of the half.

Senior linebacker Relik Wilson talked about the defense’s play as a whole.

“It was just playing together and doing our assignments, sticking to our reads and our keys and just playing to the best of our ability,” Wilson said.

After forcing a three-and-out, Markus Conerly had a long punt return to Pearl River’s 15. On the first play after the return, Tahj Magee hit Dijimon Jenkins for a 15-yard touchdown strike. After an offsides penalty on Pearl River on the extra point, the Demons went for two and Renaz Wilson ran it in for a 22-0 lead with 11:35 left in the first half.

Pearl River punted on the next possession, which was downed at the Rebels’ 45. On the fourth play, Azende Magee ran it from the 7. Raif Branch’s extra point split the uprights, making it 29-0 at the 8:15 mark.

The Demons began their next drive at their 45. Azende Magee was held to no gain on the first play, but then took off on a 55-yard run on the second play for the score. Branch’s extra point had the team up 36-0 with 2:59 to go in the first half.

About 2:10 later, Tahj Magee connected with Azende Magee on a 30-yard touchdown pass, as Magee made a leaping catch in the end zone. Branch’s extra point made the score, 43-0, at the halftime break.

In the first half, Franklinton’s offense ran 11 plays and scored five touchdowns.

The Demons added one more touchdown on the first drive of the second half, as Azende Magee ran 62 yards. The extra point snap was low and the ensuing pass was incomplete.
Azende Magee had a big game. He ran six times for 193 yards (32.1 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. He also caught one pass for 30 yards.

Tahj Magee completed all three of his passing attempts for 48 yards and all three were touchdowns. He also ran twice for 43 yards.

The Rebels got on the board on the following possession, when Jace Littleton scored on a 16-yard run. John Cook-Moulin’s extra point was good.

Littleton finished with 107 yards on 20 carries.

Franklinton was 7-3 in the regular season and 4-0 in district play while Pearl River went 4-6 overall and 0-4 in district play.