Ninth-Ranked Waskom Pulls Away From Frankston For 63-35 Win
[By Nathan Wright, Special to ETSN.fm]
FRANKSTON -- Twenty-eight seconds into its game against Franktson on Friday night at Jeff and Opal Austin Stadium, No. 9 Waskom led, 7-6. Four minutes and 50 seconds into the District 8-3A Division II contest, the Wildcats were ahead, 14-13.
But after 48 minutes of football, the game was nowhere near as close as the first few minutes indicated as Waskom pulled away in the second half for a 63-35 victory in a battle of district unbeatens.
The game began with a scoring barrage as the Indians (3-2, 1-1) scored on their first play from scrimmage. Oran Jenkins caught a pass from Ozzie Buckner and raced 50 yards for the game’s first touchdown just 14 seconds in. Frankston went for two points and failed, but led 6-0.
“We knew they were going to be very good,” Waskom head coach Whitney Keeling said. “We knew they were going to be fired up. I didn’t expect them to throw it on the first play from scrimmage and score, but it happens. We overcame it and that is all that matters.”
Waskom (4-1, 2-0), which eventually rushed for 484 yards in the contest, answered Frankston’s first blow immediately. Kevin Johnson, who rushed for 87 yards on the night, returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to give the Wildcats the lead after the extra point.
On the Indians’ next drive, Buckner found Kendrick Rogers for a touchdown to give Frankston the lead at 13-6 following the PAT. Waskom answered on its next possession. Trace Carter, who finished the game with 91 yards rushing, ran it from 7 yards out to give the Wildcats back the lead at 14-13 less than five minutes into the contest.
Just four minutes later, the Wildcats were back in the end zone. This time, Chan Amie, who led all rushers with 122 yards, scored from 15 yards out to give Waskom a 21-13 lead with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
Neither team scored again until Frankson tied the game at 21-21 on a 5-yard run by Jenkins with 5:09 to go in the first half. But the Wildcats answered, with Kevin Johnson scoring on a 2-yard run with 1:48 left in the first half.
The game was close at halftime, but as the second half got underway, it wouldn’t be that way for long.
“We executed a little better,” Keeling said. “Our offensive gameplan was the same. Instead of not converting on third and fourth-down situations, we got the first downs in the second half that we didn’t get in the first half.”
Kevin Johnson scored for Waskom on the team’s first play from scrimmage, a 49-yard run that made it 35-21 just 14 seconds into the third quarter. Following an onside kick recovery, the Wildcats again needed just one play to score as June Bug Johnson scored from 55 yards out to make it 42-21 just 30 seconds into the second half.
The Wildcats again recovered an onside kick and needed just five plays to score again. June Bug Johnson, who finished the game with 52 yards, ran it in from 32 yards out to make it 49-21 with 8:43 left in the third period.
Frankston scored on its next possession, on an 18-yard pass from Buckner to Rogers to cut the deficit to 49-27, but that would be as close as the Indians would get. Buckner passed for 259 yards in the game.
Waskom scored twice in a span of 1:46 late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. Carter completed his only pass of the game, a 27-yarder to June Bug Johnson, to put Waskom ahead 56-27 with 1:36 left in the third, and Dillon Benton scored on a 50-yard fake punt with 11:50 remaining in the game to make it 63-27. Benton finished the game with 102 yards on the ground.
Frankson scored one last time, on a 21-yard pass from Buckner to Justice Bean with 4:32 left in the contest. A two-point conversion accounted for the final score. Bean finished the game with eight catches for 146 yards.
Next week, the Indians travel to Troup while the Wildcats will host Arp in another matchup of district unbeatens.
“You always want to be undefeated,” Keeling said. “Our kids came out in the second half and played the way they knew they could. Next week we have another game and we are going to try to be 3-0.”