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|Franklin Parish rips Lake Providence|
In one of their most complete performances so far in the 2009 season, the Franklin Parish Patriots put together a string of defensives stands and a solid offensive output to deliver a 26-6 victory over the Lake Providence Panthers in a home game Friday night.
The combination of strong offensive performance and a defense able to hold the line has been several seasons in the making for the Patriots.
"For the first time this year we have seen our kids do everything we asked," head coach Barry Sebren said. "We put them away and that was real good to see."
Franklin Parish quarterback Tyler Roberts opened the scoring with a rushing score and finished the night with 65 yards rushing and one touchdown. Possibly the biggest story of Friday night for the Patriots was the emergence of sophomore running back Lonnie Bell.
Bell stepped in for the injured Noble Johnson who is questionable this week and the Patriots have now found another key offensive threat to add to their offensive playbook.
"Lonnie Bell had a real nice game," Sebren said. "After the injury he stepped in and did a real good job."
Franklin Parish finished with 99 yards rushing as a team including the Roberts touchdown.
Roberts was also very accurate in the passing game as he completed 3-of-3 pass attempts for 61 yards and no interceptions. The Patriots were able to get through the game with zero turnovers even in the rainy, muddy conditions.
The same can not be said for Lake Providence, whom were forced into five turnovers by the sturdy Franklin Parish defensive unit.
"Our ball security was excellent for us," Sebren said. "We have to continue to take care of the ball and win the turnover battle."
Kevin White had one of the big plays of the game as he scooped up the football and ran all the way in for a defensive touchdown.
Wilson Curtis recorded an interception for the Patriots. Gerry Johnson led the Patriot team with 10 tackles.
The Patriot defense was up against a high-octane passing offensive unit when taking on Lake Providence and responded well.
Lake Providence quarterback Lamar Caraway completed 12-of-35 pass attempts for 133 yards. The Franklin Parish defense also limited the Panthers to just 79 yards rushing on Friday night.
Another bright spot on the offensive side of the football was the play of the offensive line that continues to get more consistent in making plays.
"Yeah, we are getting some more consistency in the offensive line," Sebren said. "We had a few motion penalties and some silly mistakes that negated big plays. We have to get them corrected quickly."
This week, the Patriots travel to Oak Grove to tangle with the 2-1 Tigers. Oak Grove lost to Farmerville 30-22 last week and will certainly be out to prove themselves against the Class 4A Patriots. Oak Grove plays in Class 1A.
"We are going have to get after Oak Grove physically and outplay them," Sebren said. "We have a lot of respect for them. They have a fantastic program but this is our time now."
Last season, Oak Grove running back Kendrick Jackson ran for 220 yards and three touchdowns against Franklin Parish. Jackson has continued to dominate this season as he ripped through the Farmerville defense for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week.
"If we don't stop him," Sebren said. "It wont be because we didn't know about him."
Even with two seasons of losing to Oak Grove under their belts, the Patriots felt that they could successfully move the ball but not finish drives off with touchdowns. That is something the Patriots are proving that they can do so far this season.
"They are real aggressive on defense," Sebren said. "We need to keep up the pressure and we have to win the battle for field position."