FRANKLIN FURNACE — The East Tartans wasted little time Friday night proving their 18th overall ranking in Division VII was anything but a fluke.
East scored two touchdowns in 27 seconds to begin the game as the Tartans built an insurmountable lead, eventually beating the Green Bobcats 51-8 in Franklin Furnace.
East (4-0) was led by Akia Brown, who scored four touchdowns. Brown rushed for 142 yards on six attempts while finding the endzone once. Brown’s other three celebrations came as a receiver as the all-purpose back caught three passes for 81 yards. Brown also became the school’s leading rusher with a 53-yard scamper in the first quarter, passing Justin Craiger in the Tartan record books.
”Last year, he touched the ball against Green three times, and have 90 yards and a touchdown, ” Tartans head coach James Gifford said. “We really limited his carries and a man really shouldn’t look at this, but he’s worked hard and he didn’t get SOC back of the year. I kind of blame myself in the sense that I pulled him out of some games and he didn’t get his touches.
“So this year I made the commitment to him, the team and myself that we would get him what he needed to get the stats. Akia came in, he was focused and ready to go.”
Brown’s accomplice Friday night was Drew Lowe, who did damage with his arm and his legs. Lowe scored two touchdowns, one through the air and the other one on the ground.Lowe’s lone touchdown pass started the night off for East as he hit Kanyan Bruton in stride from 58 yards away.
“It starts with Drew in the classroom and he’s just a great individual,” Gifford said. “The kids respond to him. He prepares properly. He’s not the best athlete in the world, but he’s a good athlete. He has such a great sense of direction. He knows where everybody needs to go. You never have to worry about his effort and his preparation.”
Overall, the Tartans had little to complain about as East put up 24 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second.
”The guys, they were really focused, ” Gifford said. “We talk about how we don’t play up to someone’s competition and we don’t play down to someone’s competition. We play Tartan football. There are things we’ve got to work on every week to get better. Even this game, there were a couple of penalties I didn’t like, we fumbled the ball, missed a couple of reads …
“It doesn’t surprise me to come out here focused and fired up.”
Green (2-2) dropped its second consecutive contest after beginning the year undefeated. While Bobcats head coach Ted Newsome can see his team’s overall progress from year-to-year and week-to-week, he still knows the Bobcats are still a ways away from where they need to be.
“The first two plays. They score on a long pass, then we have a nice play design but it’s a little under thrown and they take it to the house. It’s just a lot to dig out of against a good football team,” Newsome said. “They are a good football team. They are able to do a lot of different things and they can attack you a lot of different ways. They’re a handful for anybody.”
Despite the loss, Tyler Darnell continued to run with authority. Darnell finished the night with 80 yards on 20 attempts while scoring the lone Bobcat touchdown in the fourth quarter from 6 yards out.
“He’s just a man,” Newsome said. “I can’t say enough about that kid. His heart is just immeasurable. He runs so hard and our young guys up front knew we were in for it a little bit this week. We knew it was going to be tough up there and then we dug the whole early and they’re defensive front could really cut loose and go. That made it a really long night for us on the offensive side.
“We still have some limitations out there, and the kids that we have that are athletic are still very young and inexperienced.”
East —Bruton 58 yd pass from Lowe (Conversion good), 11:43
East — Flannery 35 yd Int return (Conversion good), 11:27
East — Lowe 2 yd run (Conversion good), 5:34
East — Brown 72 yd run (Conversion failed), 10:12
East — Brown 59 yd pass from Lowe (Conversion good), 2:42
East — Brown 20 yd pass from Lowe (Kick failed), :36
East —Brown 2 yd pass from Douthat (Douthat kick), 2:55
Green —Darnell 6 yd run (Conversion good), 7:40
Rushing — East: Brown 6-142, Martin 2-43,Douthat 1-42, Gifford 4-20, Flannery 1-9, Lowe 3-5; Green: Darnell 20-80, Hughes 8- (-1), Smith 1- (-4)
Passing — East: Lowe 4-6-140, Douthat 2-2-(-5) ; Green: Hughes 2-4- 43
Receiving — East: Brown 2-81, Bruton 1-58, Flannery 1-3, Martin 1-(-7) ; Green: Smith 2-43
East 4-0; Green 2-2.