ROANOKE RAPIDS -- Franklinton's key swing game with Roanoke Rapids went back-and-forth last Friday as the clubs jousted for important positioning in the Northern Carolina Conference football standings.
Needing a victory to remain in the upper tier of the NCC, the Red Rams stayed with the Jackets for most of the game before Roanoke Rapids pulled away for a 48-28 triumph at Hoyle Field on the RRHS campus.
The Jackets are now 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the league, while Franklinton fell to 4-5 and 1-2. The Red Rams will return home this Friday to tangle with conference leader Bunn.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the FHS Football Field. Tickets will be available at the gate.
Franklinton got off to an effective start as the Red Rams went ahead 7-0 thanks to Avery Wilder's 12-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Perry in the opening period.
But Roanoke Rapids would rally to lead 28-14 at halftime, though Franklinton drew back closer early in the third frame when Semaj McCowan returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown.
The teams then exchanged scores, with Franklinton locating the end zone off a 45-yard touchdown gallop from Tyreese Williams -- his second of the game.
The Jackets were ahead 35-28 before scoring the final 13 points. Roanoke Rapids also ended a potential scoring drive from the Red Rams with an interception in the red zone.
"We just couldn't get enough stops,'' said FHS head coach Jeremy Buck. "We compete hard -- our guys are going to fight to the end. But we are a young team that is still gaining experience. We are still trying to find out how some of these guys fit in on the varsity level.''
Williams paced Franklinton's offense with 123 yards on 15 carries.
Josiah Trotter had another big game on defense with 14 tackles.
The Red Rams' final two regular season games will be at home, including Friday's meeting with a high-scoring Bunn club that currently holds down first place in the NCC.
Franklinton will remain at home next Friday to entertain the Southern Vance Runnin' Raiders.
"We have to win one of these last two games to feel good about the playoffs,'' Buck said. "We might be in already, but we don't know. Winning at least one of these would really help.''