The host Tiger Sharks ensured Friday that the Franklin County Seahawks’ two-week swing through Gulf County was a bumpy one.
One week after losing at Wewahitchka the Seahawks ran into a buzz saw at Shark Field, dominated in every phase in a 49-6 loss.
The win improves Port St. Joe, which was celebrating Homecoming, to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in District 1-1A entering a bye week.
The Tiger Sharks will face Tallahassee FAMU in two weeks then host consecutive district tilts against West Gadsden and Liberty County that will likely determine playoff positions.
The Seahawks dipped to 0-6, 0-1.
“We got to play everybody, get a lot of younger guys some action which is a nice thing,” said Port St. Joe coach Chuck Gannon. “It may just be me, but I think a lot of coaches see the distractions of Homecoming as a necessary thing they would like to see get over.
“But I think our kids were focused, though not as much as I would like them to be. It was a good ending to a nice Homecoming week.”
The Tiger Sharks controlled every facet of the game and inserted the junior varsity en masse before the first half ended 35-0.
Port St. Joe chewed up 191 total yards in the first half – 293 for the game – while limiting the Seahawks to 46. Franklin County only first down against the Tiger Shark varsity came courtesy of a roughing the passer penalty.
The Tiger Sharks also transformed a long punt return and a blocked punt into points and allowed Franklin County to score only on the final play of the game, the second half played while the clock ran continuously.
“We will keep working and we’ll get better,” said Franklin County coach Aaron York. “I saw improvement tonight.
“We are a young team and we just need to keep working to get better every week which we have since the season started.”
The Tiger Sharks wasted little time getting on the scoreboard.
Port St. Joe stopped the Seahawks on downs on the opening drive, took over at the Franklin County 34 after a punt and Dwayne Griggs did the rest in two carries, the touchdown coming from the 7.
Drew Lacour nailed the first of his six extra-point kicks.
The roughing the passer penalty extended slightly the next Seahawk drive, with Port St. Joe taking over at its 24 after a punt.
Three plays later Aaron Paul, on his only carry of the game, sprinted around right end and threaded through the defense on a 62-yard touchdown jaunt and Lacour made it 14-0.
Franklin County went three-and-out again and Griggs returned a rolling punt that got over his head 34 yards to the Seahawks 31.
After an offside penalty against Franklin County, Lacour found Chad Quinn, Jr. on a perfectly placed 26-yard pass to the right flag and the extra point made it 21-0.
The Tiger Shark defense stopped Franklin County in its tracks and Umstead Sanders blocked a punt, Port St. Joe taking over at the Franklin County 27.
Two plays later John Simpson broke a trap play for a 19-yard touchdown and Lacour again did his thing with his right foot.
The Port St. Joe coaching staff at that point inserted the junior varsity – the team suited 40-some players for Homecoming instead of the typical 23-25 – and Jak Riley scored from the 1 on the Tiger Sharks’ final drive before intermission.
Trey Sanders, a seventh-grader who despite not entering the game until the second half was Port St. Joe’s leading rusher with 65 yards, scored from the 7 midway through the third period.
Antonio Moree swept left end from the 12 for the final Tiger Shark touchdown.
The extra point came from Isaac Rocha, one of six seventh-graders the Tiger Sharks played.
The Seahawks’ Cole Wheeler, the game’s leading rusher with 73 yards, scored from the 5 as the clock ran out.