Franklinton comes up short in Class 4A playoffs

Published 3:17 pm Friday, November 16, 2018

By Raymond Partsch III
The Daily Iberian

ST. MARTINVILLE — The playoff drought is over in St. Martinville.
With Friday’s 55-42 victory over No. 30 Franklinton, No. 3 SMHS earned its first playoff victory in seven years, the first playoff win for Vince DeRouen as head coach of the Tigers, and the program’s first home playoff win since 2006.
“It definitely feels good,” DeRouen said. “I am excited for the kids. I am excited for the school and the community. They put in the work and they definitely deserve it. I am definitely pleased.”
St. Martinville (11-0) wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard.
After forcing Franklinton to punt on its opening possession, SMHS needed only four plays to find the end zone. After fumbling the exchange on the first snap, Markavon Williams found tight end Tony Rabon for a 41-yard pass, and then Travien Benjamin took a handoff for a 39-yard run. That set up an easy 9-yard touchdown run by Williams.
SMHS would score on its next two possessions as Benjamin scored on touchdown runs of 33 and 10 yards.
At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers had rolled up a 21-0 lead.
“We had a good game plan going in,” DeRouen said. “The coaching staff did a good job game planning and the kids did a great job executing it in the first half.”
The second quarter was more of the same as Williams appeared ready to score yet another touchdown. The Tigers star rusher though fumbled the ball inside the red zone while fighting for additional yardage.
However, Franklinton (4-7) could not take advantage as the Demons’ drive would end with a turnover when Tigers freshman defensive back Mandrell Butler picked off a pass. A few moments later, Benjamin scored his third touchdown of the first half as he powered his way into the end zone from 35 yards out.
For the first half, Benjamin had 159 yards on 12 carries.
SMHS’ defense would close out the first half by forcing yet another a turnover, a fumble this time recovered by Todrick Toussaint who also ended the game hauling in an interception on the final desperation throw by Franklinton.
The Tigers would find pay dirt again as Williams ran into the end zone from four yards out. SMHS entered halftime up 34-0.
The Tigers’ offensive starters scored once more to start the third quarter as Benjamin raced past the Demons’ defense for a 35-yard touchdown run.
Franklinton managed to get on the scoreboard in the second half as Jasper LaSalle found wide receiver Shayland Allen wide open for a 69-yard touchdown. The Demons then recovered the pooch kick and then found the end zone again as Kian Conerly took the end around for an 8-yard touchdown.
Franklinton recovered yet another onside kick and scored again another touchdown to cut the lead to 41-21 with 11:23 left in the game.
That prompted SMHS to put its first-team offense back in the game.
Williams scored his third touchdown of the game with an 8-yard bootleg run and then Butler hauled in his second interception of the game. This time, off a tipped pass, the Tigers freshman returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.
“Once it got a little closer we put our starters back out there,” DeRouen said. “They sealed it for us.”
Franklinton scored a few more touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Demons ended the game recovering four onside kicks, but it wasn’t enough as St. Martinville held on for the victory.
LaSalle threw for 306 yards with four touchdowns in the contest. Corinthious Dickerson completed his only pass attempt for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Shayland Allen had a big night with seven receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Duke Bell also had a big night, as he caught seven passes for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Mike Martin ran for 48 yards and made one catch for 63 yards and a score.
Quaran Warren had two receptions for 17 yards.
Benjamin led all rushers with 224 yards on 15 carries.