Franklin Parish 59, Bastrop 42
Franklin Parish never put a ball in the air Friday night; there was no reason to.
With a trio of backs topping the 100-yard mark, the Patriots rushed for 471 yards on 60 carries — a fraction under eight yards per pop — in a 59-42 victory over visiting Bastrop on Friday night.
After playing the Patriots on even terms through a 28-28 first half, the Rams came up with their only defensive stop of the evening.
Taking over at the Franklin 35 following a shanked 3-yard punt, Bastrop appeared to have grabbed the lead for the first time on Antwone Green's 18-yard run. But for the second straight week, the Rams had a touchdown negated by a holding penalty.
Things went sour for the Rams from there.
Three straight incomplete passes later, the Patriots regained possession at their own 26.
Capping a 10-play drive, Reginald Carter darted into the end zone from 15 yards out to put the Patriots ahead for good. Jordan Jeter, who was a perfect 8-for-8 on PATs, knocked home the extra point to give FPHS a 35-28 lead at 3:39 in the third quarter.
Demetric Rollins' fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff put the Patriots' offense right back on the field.
Four plays later, Marcus Bingham did the honors from eight yards away, increasing the spread to 42-28.
Staying within striking distance, the Rams covered 62 yards on just three plays on their next series. Christian Doaty's 48-yard pass to Isaiah Graham and Jerry Powell's 2-point run shaved the deficit to 42-36 with less than a minute to play in the third period.
Moments later, Franklin countered with a big play of its own as Carter took a perfectly-executed pitch to the left side and sprinted 71 yards to paydirt on the first play of the final quarter. Carter's fourth touchdown of the night put the Patriots up 49-36.
Bastrop's next possession lasted only three snaps as Jaylon Hendrix intercepted a third down pass in front of the visitors' bench.
Hendrix's 8-yard return gave the Patriots a short field at the 32.
Facing fourth-and-seven from the 8, the Patriots settled for Jeter's 25-yard field goal and a 52-36 advantage with 4:01 to play.
Starting from the Franklin 48 after an unsuccessful onside kick, the Rams cashed in six plays later on Green's 24-yard jaunt. The 2-point pass fell incomplete, leaving Bastrop down by 10, 52-42, with 2:32 on the clock.
Bastrop's onside kick did not travel the required 10 yards and the Patriots set up at the Bastrop 49.
Three plays later, Brandon Hillman's 24-yard run with 1:49 remaining clinched the victory.
Hammering away at the Rams with Hillman (22 carries, 156 yards, 2 TDs), Carter (17-151-4) and Bingham (15-139-2), the Patriots held a 60-48 edge in offensive plays and a 28:14-19:46 advantage in time of possession. More importantly, the Patriots won the turnover battle 4-0.
Bastrop's turnover woes began on the second play from scrimmage when Hendrix recovered a loose ball to give the Patriots a short field.
Methodically driving the ball down the field, the Patriots covered 39 yards on nine plays in 5:08, before Hillman opened the scoring on a 3-yard thrust to the right side.
Bastrop answered with a six-play, 66-yard drive, closing the gap to 7-6 on Doaty's 44-yard pass to Jamari Payne.
Continuing to trade touchdowns, Bingham dashed 53 yards for a touchdown and Doaty found Payne on a 25-yard TD strike. Graham's 2-point reception tied the game at 14 in the waning seconds of the first frame.
Franklin then embarked on a grueling 13-play, 68-yard drive, which culminated with Carter's 2-yard run.
Demarcus Banks' interception led to Carter's 1-yard run, extending the Patriots' lead to 28-14 with 4:37 left in the half.
Bastrop erased the deficit by intermission.
Devin Brown's 25-yard reception helped set up Kevin Heard's 7-yard run, closing the gap to 28-20.
Jawara Davis then recovered an onside kick at the Franklin 48.
Ten plays later, Doaty's 4-yard pass to Travion Burks, followed by Powell's conversion run tied the score at 28 with 38 seconds to play in the half.
Both teams resume District 2-4A play Friday night. Bastrop (2-5, 0-1) is at home against top-ranked Neville (7-0, 2-0), while Franklin (4-3, 1-1) visits West Ouachita (3-4, 0-1).