By PATRICK CASEY
The South Walton Seahawks began the 2013 regular season where they left off in 2012 as they traveled to Franklin County and came away with a 66-7 victory over the same squad they posted their lone win against last season.
The Walton County squad scored on all eight of their first half possessions to hold a 54-7 lead at intermission as most of the second half was played under the Mercy Rule.
Running back Anthony Gundrum scored four touchdowns in the contest while junior quarterback Johnathan Ortner hit on 15-of-16 passing attempts with a pair of touchdown passes while throwing for 182 yards.
The visiting team rolled up 489 total yards while holding the Eastpoint-based squad to just 136 total yards of their own.
Zach Reese led South Walton with 117 rushing yards while Gundrum posted 112 yards. Reese scored on runs of 18 and 30 yards while Gundrum had jaunts of 5, 4, 20 and 10 yards for touchdowns.
Sage Roberts took over the quarterback duties for part of the game and completed 2-of-3 passes for 22 yards, including a 15-yard pass to receiver Alex Smith for the third touchdown of the first quarter. Roberts also led the team in receiving with five catches for 68 yards.
Junior Alex Smith caught four passes for 39 yards with touchdown receptions of 11 and 15 yards.
Franklin County put together one scoring drive on the night as they got a touchdown early in the second quarter on a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped by senior quarterback Logan McLeod’s 1-yard plunge to cut the lead to 28-7 with 10:23 left in the first half.
South Walton will play their first home game of the season on Friday night when they host North Bay Haven in a non-district contest. The Buccaneers, who began varsity football play on Friday night, beat Rocky Bayou 28-20 to begin the season with a 1-0 mark. The game is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Seahawk Stadium.