West Monroe turned in one of its most complete defensive performances of the season in a 23-6 win over Franklinton on Friday at Don Shows Field at Rebel Stadium.
West Monroe overcame turnovers and penalties at inopportune moments with stout defense and tough running by fullback Charlie Harvin and running back Trey Coleman. Harvin rushed for three touchdowns and 32 yards on 10 carries. Coleman ran for 128 yards on 21 carries.
Franklinton trailed by just 10 with 4:37 to play when the Rebels gave up their second fumble of the game. The West Monroe defense then forced Franklinton to turn the ball over on downs four plays later. It was the third time West Monroe accomplished that on Friday and the team also forced a fumble of its own.
“Our guys made a lot of plays tonight,” West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge said. “We knew this could be a let down relative to how good Franklinton is and how this was another tough game in a row for us. Our kids responded.”
GOOD PLAY: West Monroe (4-0) kept the Franklinton defense on the field a lot during the first half thanks in large part to successfully converting three fourth-down attempts. West Monroe turned two drives into touchdown runs by Harvin. Harvin scored on a 4-yard run with 9:28 remaining in the first quarter. Harvin then battled into the end zone from 3 yards out with 5:15 left in the second quarter. West Monroe led 13-0 at halftime.
Harvin gave credit to his teammates for helping each other stay unbeaten.
“It all starts with the offensive line,” Harvin said. “That is why I am able to do what I do. This is a team sport. It was a good team win.”
SOMETHING SPECIAL: West Monroe and Franklinton each made an effort to raise awareness for finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Each team had a young fan suffering from the disease as honorary captains for the coin toss of Friday.
Seph Ware, 13, of West Monroe led the West Monroe team out of the tunnel before the game Friday. Ware attends Good Hope Middle School and was on the sideline with the team as well. Coaches wore green and blue “Coaches for A Cure” patches on their shirts at the game. Logan Taylor was honorary captain for Franklinton.
Coach Casey Sanders, West Monroe strength coach, was part of his 300th win with the Rebels Friday. Sanders has been the strength and conditioning coach since 1988.
BAD PLAY: West Monroe was called for roughing the kicker on a second-quarter punt that extended a drive for Franklinton (2-2). West Monroe picked up five penalties for a total of 45 yards in the game . Franklinton was penalized seven times for 55 yards on Friday.
Franklinton quarterback Tahj Magee pulled Franklinton within 13-6 on a 15-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter. West Monroe then scored 10 unanswered points including a third Harvin touchdown run and 25-yard field goal by Ian Alexander to pull away.
UP NEXT: West Monroe hosts Ridgeway High of Memphis, Tennessee, next Friday, at 7 p.m. on Don Shows Field at Rebel Stadium. Franklinton visits Church Point next Friday.
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