Franklinton going against Jesuit tonight at Tad Gormley

Published 8:06 am Friday, October 28, 2016

Franklinton heads to the Crescent City tonight to face the Jesuit Blue Jays in a non-district matchup at Tad Gormley Stadium.

The Demons begin this week with a 4-4 overall record. Last week, Franklinton defeated Lakeshore, 27-21, as the defense came up with a key stop and the offense picked up two first downs — one on an incredible catch by Trequan Charles on a pass from Tahj Magee — that allowed Franklinton to run out the clock.

“They’re the best 4-4 team we’re going to play,” Franklinton coach Stephen Burris said, of Jesuit. “They’ve played an extremely tough schedule. They haven’t given up a lot of points, but they haven’t scored a lot. They’ve had some tough breaks. They’re real good on defense. They’ve been in every game to the end.”

Last week, the Demons allowed touchdowns on the first two Lakeshore drives, but gave up just one more touchdown in the rest of the game.

“We got in the proper gaps and made the tackles,” Burris said. “That’s something we’ve struggled with all year. The other night, we were gap sound. We gave up one big play and they didn’t score on that drive.”

The Demons did a great job of pressuring Lakeshore’s quarterbacks, to the tune of four sacks for a combined loss of 30 yards. Four players had a hand in those sacks, led by Rodney King’s 1.5 sacks. Shaq Burkhalter and Lamount Harris had one each and Wyatt Hensley had a half a sack. King and Harris are the Demons’ sack leaders, with 4.5 each.

Chandler Scott leads the defense this season with 90 tackles. Harris is second with 64, followed by James Bickham’s 63 and King’s 60.

Offensively, Magee is the team’s passing and rushing leader. He’s thrown for 1,570 yards on 113-of-238 (47.5 competition percentage) passing, with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also run 149 times for 873 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns.

Mike Martin is second in rushing, with 291 yards on 64 attempts (4.5) and two touchdowns.

Franklinton has been balanced on offense this season. The Demons have thrown 245 passes and run the ball 246 times.

Jamarian Crain has 33 catches for 542 yards (16.4 yards per reception) and three touchdowns. His catches and yards lead the team.

Rakerian Conerly enters with 21 catches for 334 yards (15.9) and a team-leading four touchdowns.

Darius Dawson opens play tonight with 25 receptions for 344 yards (13.8) and three touchdowns.

Jesuit won last year’s contest, 19-14.

Like Franklinton, the Blue Jays come in at 4-4 and the losses have been in close games. They’ve lost two games by seven points, one by four and another by three.

“We’ve lost to some really good teams,” Jesuit coach Mark Songy said. “St. Paul’s in overtime, St. Augustine by four, and we had a chance to win that game. We lost to John Curtis and Rummel by seven. Defensively, we’re playing well.

“I think the world of Tahj Magee. (Franklinton is) getting better every week. I think they’re starting to hit stride. The players seem like they’re getting confortable with what they’re doing.”

Jesuit defeated Archbishop Shaw last week, 44-0.

“I like the way we’re playing on offense and defense,” Songy said. “I think we’re getting Franklinton at the wrong time, because they’re really playing well and they continue to get better.”

Senior quarterback Denny McGinnis, who is a first-year starter, has thrown for just under 500 yards on 41-of-64 passing (64 percent) with five touchdowns and one interception. Songy said he is playing very consistently.

Running back Connor Prouet has run for 698 yards and 163 carries (4.2) and six touchdowns. Songy said Prouet is a physical type of back.

Wide receiver Bryce Musso has 25 catches for 400 yards (16) and three touchdowns.

Wide receiver Ashton Loria enters tonight’s game with 16 receptions for 223 yards (13.9) and a touchdown.

Defensively, linebacker Cameron Crozier, who is a third-year starter, has 100 tackles, five sacks and an interception return for a touchdown.