Bunn avenges 2011 loss to Franklinton

October 5, 2012 

Bunn lost to rival Franklinton last year, but roared past its Franklin County rival 45-8 on Friday in a Northern Carolina 2A game.

By Geoff Neville

Correspondent

BUNN -- Despite eventually making the quarterfinals of the Class 2-AA state playoffs, one hard-to-shake negative image remained with the Bunn Wildcats from the 2011 football season.

Bunn lost to rival Franklinton last year, but roared past its Franklin County rival 45-8 on Friday in a Northern Carolina 2A game.

A year ago against Franklinton, the Wildcats moved inside the 5-yard line in the closing minute with a chance to win. But Franklinton recovered a Bunn fumble to preserve the win and set off a Rams celebration with their first win over Bunn since 1989.

“It wasn’t just anybody who put on a uniform that night -- it affected everyone who had played before (at Bunn),’’ said Bunn head coach Chris Miller. “People in the community reminded the kids about it all summer. They reminded me about it all summer. It was a motivating factor for us.’’

County bragging rights wasn’t the only thing on the line on Friday-- the winner also took over first place outright in the Northern Carolina Conference.

Bunn upped its record to 5-2 overall while becoming the lone unbeaten team in the NCC at 4-0. Franklinton, which saw its six-game victory streak snapped, dropped to 6-2 and 3-1.

Franklinton had a chance to make an early statement after recovering a Bunn fumble just two plays in. But the Red Rams threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-one at the BHS 27, and Franklinton wouldn’t get back into Bunn territory for the remainder of the first half.

After the defensive stand, Bunn needed just four plays to get on the scoreboard as Dominic High rumbled up the middle from two yards out.

Freeman Jones added the PAT, and the Wildcats were ahead 7-0 at the 9:02 mark of the opening period.

After a four-and-out, Bunn struck on its next snap as speedster back Tarik Cohen raced away off the right side for a 44-yard touchdown.

Cohen struck again after Franklinton’s next four-and-done, taking a punt and returning it to the Red Rams’ 9-yard line.

That dash set up Jones’ 32-yard field goal that sent Bunn ahead 17-0 -- with 1:42 still left in the opening frame.

Neither club would score again until Cohen broke free from 28 yards away with 5:12 remaining before halftime.

High finished off the first-half scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run up the middle just 50 seconds before the break.

Following Jones’ fourth straight successful PAT, Bunn went to halftime in charge at 31-0.

Cohen would tack on a 1-yard run and an 88-yard kickoff return for two more touchdowns in the second half. He finished with 143 yards on the ground on just eight carries.

Franklinton’s offense, which was hindered by an early-game injury to quarterback Daquan Neal, was limited to 162 total yards.

“Our defense was the key,’’ Miller said. “We held (FHS) to just 26 yards in the first half.’’

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