Martin’s running, solid defense key Franklinton victory

Published 10:59 pm Friday, November 1, 2019

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Franklinton got off to a tough start against Salmen, but a key stop on fourth down, followed by a 99-yard drive, got the Demons rolling in a 33-7 District 9-4A victory over Salmen at home Friday night.

The Spartans drove the game’s opening possession 80 yards and scored on Mikell Marco’s run from the 1 to cap off the drive and make it 7-0 after Tristen Pugmire’s extra point with 7:55 left in the opening quarter. The key play was a 50-yard run on a reverse by Corey Wood.

Franklinton punted on its next possession and Salmen took over at the Demons’ 31. The Spartans drove to the 1, but Franklinton stopped them with 44 seconds left.

Then the Demons took over.

Facing third-and-two from the 9, Mike Martin ripped off a 57-yard run. Jasper LaSalle connected with Caleb Brown on a 30-yard pass on the next play and then Martin capped the possession with a 1-yard run. The extra point was no good, but Franklinton was on the board and trailing by just one with 11:24 left in the first half.

“We got in some of our heavy stuff just to get off our own goal line and it worked and we popped a big one. We were able to get some momentum there and then obviously go down and score,” Franklinton coach Jonathan Barber said. “Anytime we can play that brand of football, I feel like we’re at our best, so I was excited about that.”

Martin ran for more than 160 yards and three touchdowns.

“I just want to thank God for my offensive line,” Martin said. “That’s some big ole boys. Coach (John) Lambert, coach (Jonathan) Barber, coach Matt (Hughes), they just told me at practice all week in the rain, the conditions are going to be the same all week. I just focused on what my job was to do and just punched it in. Coach always preaches to me, just be a great runner like I am.”

Late in the first half, Franklinton took the lead for good when LaSalle and Brown connected on a 16-yard touchdown pass. Keaton Catrett hit the extra point for a 13-7 lead with 20 seconds left and it stayed that way through halftime.

The Demons broke the game open in the second half.

On third-and-5 from Salmen’s 20, LaSalle kept the ball and ran down to the 1. The ball came loose, but Franklinton’s Kadarious Mark was there to recover it in the end zone for a touchdown. It was a 12-point game after the two-point conversion was no good with 6:13 left.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Demons made it a three-possession game when Martin took it in from the 2 and Catrett’s extra point put Franklinton up 26-7 with 6:03 on the clock.

The Demons scored the final touchdown when Martin broke loose on a 29-yard run on a fourth-and-5 play with 49 seconds to go. Catrett put the final point on the board with the extra point, capping off the 33-7 victory.

Franklinton improved to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in league play. The Demons will be on the road Friday to close out the regular season against Pearl River.

Salmen fell to 3-6 overall and 0-2 in district. Salmen will host Lakeshore next week.

Lakeshore defeated Pearl River 43-7 on Friday.