By PATRICK CASEY
The Walton Braves closed their 2008 football season a long way from home with a 54-6 victory over the Franklin County Seahawks. Traveling to the new school that is located between Apalachicola and Carrabelle took more time than it did for the Braves to build a 34-0 halftime lead and Walton wrapped up their second consecutive winning season under Walton Head Coach Lenny Jankowski with a 6-4 record.
The Braves enjoyed the trip as the rain stayed away from their finale while the points came in bunches. Issac Jackson scored the first three touchdowns for the Braves, much as he has done in several of Walton’s games over the last two years. He ran for a pair of scores and caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tarrell Bramlet for a 21-0 lead.
Senior Deron Hogans, Walton’s leading receiver, got in on the act with an 8-yard touchdown reception from Bramlet to increase the lead to 27-0. Bramlet capped the scoring with a smooth 50-yard run moments before halftime to up the lead after 24 minutes of play to 34-0.
Franklin County came out of the locker room and put together their only scoring drive of the night as they marched 65 yards, all on the ground, as senior quarterback Gene Anderson dove in from two yards out to cut the lead to 34-6.
The rest of the game was played with a running clock, perhaps due to the bad weather in the area, as Walton tacked on three more touchdowns over the final 15 minutes of play. Senior Jack Nowling caught a 7-yard touchdown pass to increase the lead to 41-6. D’Von Campbell followed a few moments later with an 8-yard reception from Liam Miller, who threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, to move the margin to 48-6. Franklin County fumbled the ensuing kickoff and freshman Conona Tarrant scooped up the loose football and ran it in from 42 yards out for the final margin of victory.
Issac Jackson led the Braves with 83 rushing yards on five carries. Jackson finished the 2008 season with 1,306 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Bramlet threw for 79 yards, giving him 1,215 passing yards with 10 touchdown strikes in 2008.
The Braves picked off three passes during the game as Deron Hogans, John Querisma and D’Von Cambpell each snatched passes that were intended for Seahawk receivers.
Walton finished a two-year sweep of the Seahawks that saw the Braves outscore Franklin County 120-6 in the two contests. The Seahawks, who just finished their first two seasons of football, are 0-20 in varsity play in their young history.
The game was the final contest for about a dozen Walton seniors, including Kelby Willcox, who returned to the field after his bout with encephalitis earlier this season.
Walton, like all the other football teams across the state, will await the Florida High School Athletic Association’s release of the 2009 classifications and new districts for the sport in the next few weeks. Walton, which has about 700 students at the high school level, has been a Class 2A team in District 1 with Pensacola Catholic and Mairanna as their district foes for the last four seasons in the sport of football.
SCORE BY QUARTERS 1 2 3 4 F
WALTON 14 20 0 20 54
FRANKLIN CO. 0 0 6 0 6
WAL- I.Jackson 9 run (Brack kick)
WAL- I.Jackson 18 pass from Bramlet (Brack kick)
WAL- I.Jackson 27 run (Brack kick)
WAL- Hogans 8 pass from Bramlet (kick failed)
WAL- Bramlet 50 run (Brack kick)
FC- Anderson 2 run (kick failed)
WAL- Nowling 7 pass from Miller (Brack kick)
WAL- Campbell 8 pass from Miller (Brack kick)
WAL- Tarrant 42 fumble return (kick failed)
TEAM STATISTICS WAL FC
First Downs 13 10
Rushes-Yards 12-201 40-162
Passing Yards 95 8
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-15-1 1-5-3
Plays-Total Offense 27-296 45-170
Return Yards 130 82
Punts-Average 0-0 2-9
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-2
Interceptions-Yards Ret 3-27 1-2
Penalties-Yards 3-20 8-47
Time Of Poss 14:27 33:33
Rushing: WAL- I.Jackson 5-83, Bramlet 4-58, Dorsey 1-26, T.Williams 1-21, Holmes 1-13. FC- Beasley 12-41, Lane 13-40, Anderson 10-34, James 2-27, Winfield 2-15, Butler 1-5.
Passing: WAL- Bramlet 8-13-1-79, Miller 2-2-0-16. FC- Anderson 1-5-3-8.
Receiving: WAL- Hogans 3-34, Q.Williams 2-13, I.Jackson 1-18, Lilland 1-13, Campbell 1-9, Nowling 1-7, T.Williams 1-1. FC- Putnal 1-8.