Darius Floyd + Franklin End Tatum’s Season, 49-30
ATHENS — Franklin scored the game’s first 14 points and never looked back, riding Darius Floyd and a potent ground game to a 49-30 win against Tatum in Friday’s Class 2A Division I Region III semifinal at Bruce Field.
Franklin (10-2) faces Newton (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lufkin’s Abe Martin Stadium in the 2A Division I Region III final.
Floyd carried 29 times for 250 yards and three touchdowns, while teammate Hayden Luhn added another 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Franklin built a 21-3 lead through one quarter behind Floyd, who gained more than 100 first-half yards. Tatum (9-3) cut Franklin’s lead to 21-9 on Shaq Johnson’s one-yard touchdown run, but Franklin extended its lead to 19 points just before halftime on Luhn’s two-yard run, 28-9.
Tatum tried to stay alive in the third quarter. Jaylon Shans scored on a 59-yard touchdown run and QB Darian Brooks raced 25 yards for a touchdown to cut Franklin’s lead to 35-23, but Franklin responded yet again. Dylan Smitherman threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this one a seven-yarder to Luke Lowery for a 42-23 advantage.
Floyd capped the night with a one-yard touchdown for a 26-point advantage before Brooks hit Shans on a 20-yard TD toss for the 19-point margin.
Smitherman’s first touchdown pass was a 46-yard strike to Zach Short for a 14-0 first-quarter lead. That followed Luhn’s first touchdown run of the game, a one-yarder to open the scoring.