Firebirds flatten Franklinton
Jyronn Brinkley | Special to The Enterprise
Southern Nash's Jackson Vick (26) breaks a long run during Friday's home game against Franklinton. Vick scored two touchdowns and ran for 147 yards in the Firebirds' 48-22 victory.
With its place secure at No. 2 in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference varsity football standings, Southern Nash looked to build some security around a home game in the upcoming North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs with a 48-22 whipping of visiting Franklinton on Friday night.
After losing a 29-28 overtime heartbreaker to Northern Nash for the Big East title the week prior, Southern Nash didn’t let Franklinton entertain ideas of an upset. The Firebirds worked on their running attack as well as special teams against the Red Rams (4-6, 3-4).
Led by senior Jackson Vick with 147 yards on 11 carries, Southern Nash rammed Franklinton for 303 yards on 45 rushes while the Firebirds returned three kicks for touchdowns.
“It was really nice to see our guys respond,” Firebirds head coach Brian Batchelor said. “I was worried all week that we would be flat, but our kids are fighters and they’re winners, on and off the field, and I think that showed this week by how we responded.”
Vick got it going for Southern Nash when he bolted 44 yards to the end zone with 4:43 to play in the first quarter. Jonathan Daniels made the first of his six PAT kicks in seven attempts. Junior Tralon Mitchell, who already had a 5-yard TD run in the second quarter, answered a touchdown by Franklinton’s Jalen Ibrahim with 28 seconds left in the first half with an 82-yard kickoff return TD to put the Firebirds up 21-7 at the half.
Mitchell got his third TD, a 3-yard run, in the third quarter before Vick’s 51-yard punt return TD. Backup QB Zyshone White, a starting cornerback on defense, connected with Leo Jones on a 3-yard scoring pass that gave the Firebirds a commanding 41-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.
T.J. Taybron completed the return hat trick for the Firebirds as he sailed 69 yards with a kickoff return for the final Southern Nash TD with 7:58 remaining on the clock.
“I think those kids got a chance to shine tonight,” Batchelor said. “Our kickoff return team, our back five guys (Sammy Gandy, Vick, Mitchell, Taybron and White), any one of them can take it to the house.”
Southern Nash 48
1st Downs 10 20
Rushes-Yards 33-134 45-303
Passing Yards 66 78
Att-Comp-Int 13-5-1 6-3-2
Punts-Avg 3-32 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 5-59 14-110
Score by quarters:
Franklinton 0 7 0 15 - 22
Southern Nash 7 14 20 7 - 48
SN – Jackson Vick 44 run (Jonathan Daniels kick), 4:43, 1st.
SN – Tralon Mitchell 5 run (Daniels kick), 2:26, 2nd.
F – Jalen Ibrahim 6 run (Landon Heller kick), 0:28, 2nd.
SN – Mitchell 82 kickoff return (Daniels kick), 0:14, 2nd.
SN – Mitchell 3 run (Daniels kick), 7:37, 3rd.
SN – Vick 51 punt return (Daniels kick), 5:54, 3rd.
SN – Leo Jones 3 pass from Zyshone White (kick failed), 1:50, 3rd.
F – Chance Walker 26 pass from Matthew Ray (Heller kick), 8:12, 4th.
SN – T.J. Taybron 69 kickoff return (Daniels kick), 7:58, 4th.
F - Ibrahim 73 run (Walker run), 7:38, 4th.
RUSHING – Jackson Vick 11-147, TD; Tralon Mitchell 9-28, 2 TDs; Zyshone White 7-35; Nathaniel Palacios 1-3; Mitchell Jones 5-22; 44 Saunders 1-12; Justin Braswell 1-14; Ricks-Tucker 7-27; Madison Jones 2-15; Team 1-0.
PASSING – Brock Alford 2-0-1; Zyshonne White 4-3-1, 78 yards, TD.
RECEIVING – Vick 1-20; Taybron 1-55; Leo Jones 1-3, TD.
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