SMYRNA – First there was a strong defensive stand to keep Franklin County out of the end zone; then Stewarts Creek’s offense got rolling.
The Red Hawks outscored Franklin County 28-0 in the second half to defeat the Rebels 42-14 and win their first Region 5-5A game in the school’s three-year history.
The teams were tied 14-all going into halftime. In fact, the Red Hawks were down 14-6 midway through the second quarter.
The Rebels had it inside the 10 with a minute left to go in the first half. They alternated quarterbacks throughout the first half, and one of their quarterbacks, Dalvin Russell, ran down to the 3 and didn’t get back up.
The game was held up while a stretcher was rolled out on the field, and Russell was taken to the hospital for examination.
That brought up 4th-and-2. The Rebels snapped it to running back Jai Kinslow in the “Wildcat” formation, and he had scored a touchdown earlier in the game, but this time the Red Hawks stopped him short of the first down.
“That’s a play we’ve run a million times, and it’s always worked in practice against the scout ‘D’, not the Stewart Creek ‘D’,” said Franklin County coach Scott Smith. “They played it well, and they stonewalled us.”
In the second half, the Red Hawk offense got cranking. They continually ran a “scissors” misdirection play in which quarterback Chris Dye would fake a handoff one way and turn and hand it off to Keyshawn Walker or Tre Bailiez up the middle.
Each scored touchdowns in the game. Bailiez had 121 rushing yards, and Walker had 55.
“That’s a staple of our offense,” said coach David Martin. “We made an adjustment on what we were running, and where we were going, and it worked out for us.”
In the second half, the Red Hawks had 257 yards of offense and held Franklin County to 88. Stewarts Creek had 14 first downs in the second half; Franklin County only had one.
“At halftime, it was 14-14, so we came out with fire the second half,” said Bailiez. “We just had to keep coming.”
Dye completed 7-of-11 passes for 149 yards including three touchdowns.
Stewarts Creek is playing in the 5A classification this season after competing in the 6A class the last two years.
Stewarts Creek (2-1, 1-0) will play at La Vergne on Friday.