Patriots capitalize on FSHS’ mistakes
LEROY _ Two critical mishandled punts opened the way for the North Vermilion Patriots to post a 37-20 District 9-3A win over the Franklin Senior High School Hornets here Friday at North Vermilion Stadium.
North Vermilion’s Jeremy James helped the Patriots break a scoreless tie with a 6-yard touchdown with 4:38 showing on the clock in the first period. James _ who scored on runs of 6, 30 and 7 along with a pass reception of 60 yards _ gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead late in the opening quarter. After North Vermilion recovered a muffed punt, James wasted no time in capitalizing on the mistake by going 21 yards in two plays. On the initial play after the fumble, James raced 14 yards, setting up the Pats up with a first-and-goal situation. One play later, James hit pay dirt from seven yards out before Trey Broussard tacked on the extra-point, sending North Vermilion out front by a 7-0 margin.
In the waning moments of the opening stanza, James again made his presence felt by weaving his way for a 30-yard touchdown before Broussard made good on the kick from placement, giving NVHS a 14-0 lead with 10.5 showing on the clock.
Franklin’s Dea’zhone Baker took the ensuing kickoff back 71 yards, setting up the Hornets deep in Patriots’ territory at the 22. The Hornets offense scored on a crucial fourth-and-goal from the 17 yard line when quarterback Micheal Poledore fired a dart in the waiting hands of Brennan Robinson. After Baker’s terrific runback, Franklin’s rode the running of Brian Robertson for gains of 5 and 6 yards for a first-and-10 from the 11. Zach Stewart picked up four yards before FSHS went in reverse on consecutive penalties of five yards, setting up a third-and-goal from the 17. On fourth-and-goal from the 17, Poledore tossed a pass in the direction of Robinson, who plucked the spiral out of thin air, scoring the Hornets’ first touchdown with 7:11 showing on the clock in the second quarter. FSHS trailed North Vermilion by a score of 14-6.
Franklin’s defense stiffened as North Vermilion came up empty on three straight passing plays. However, disaster struck again as FSHS muffed another punt, turning the ball over to the Patriots at the FSHS 7-yard line. James again made the best of a golden opportunity by racing in for the score from the 7, lifting North Vermilion ahead by a 20-6 margin at the 7:18 mark of the second stanza.
Franklin retaliated later as Brian Robertson scored on a one-yard plunge helping FSHS trim North Vermilion’s lead to 20-12 with 2:27 left before intermission.
During the final 1.7 seconds of the second quarter, North Vermilion kicker Trey Broussard connected on a 37-yard field goal, sending the Patriots out to a 23-12 halftime cushion.
Franklin took the second half kickoff and marched down to the Patriots 22 before giving up possession. A heavy dosage of Brian Robertson was all the Patriots could handle before the drive stalled on a fourth-down attempt. Robertson, who rushed 17 times for a game-high 112 yards, fueled the Hornets attack by gaining 55 yards on the 13-play, 60-yard drive. The momentum-swinging drive failed when a fourth-down pass fell to the turf as the Patriots seized possession and momentum with 5:41 showing on the clock.
The Patriots quickly regained control, driving the field for a score on the heels of quarterback Joe Duhon, who went the final 36 yards on carries on consecutive carries of 18 yards, handing the Patriots a 29-12 lead before Broussard made good on the kick to give NVHS a 30-12 cushion with 11 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.
Franklin’s Raheem Robertson brought back the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to the Patriots’ nine-yard line, setting up the Hornets’ next score. Robertson, who ignited the score with his kickoff return, hauled in a six-yard strike from Poledore on the touchdown. Robertson had his number called on the two-point conversion as Franklin shaded North Vermilion lead to 30-20.
North Vermilion dashed the hopes of the Hornets by picking up a fourth-and-inches before James was on the receiving end of a 60-yard bomb which gave the Patriots the 37-20 advantage.
Franklin ended its two-game winning streak with the loss after posting consecutive home victories over Opelousas and Abbeville. Franklin (2-3) is currently 1-1 in District 9-3A action. The Hornets will travel to face the Morgan City Tigers on Friday in non-district action.