DAWGS POUNCE: Varsity soccer squads take district opening wins over visiting Hazlehurst

by Sean Dunlap

If there was any rust build-up from the Franklin County High School soccer program’s 18-day Thanksgiving hiatus, it quickly dissolved in the district opener on Monday, Nov. 29 at home against Hazlehurst.

The Lady Soccer Dawgs cruised to a 15-0 win over the visiting Lady Indians while FC’s varsity boys powered their way to a 5-1 victory over Hazlehurst in the nightcap of the twin bill.



The Lady Dawgs pounded out 13 goals in the first 40 minutes of regulation and two more in the mercy rule-shortened second half to improve to 4-4 on the season and 1-0 in district play.

A total of 12 FC players found the net with a trio — Lilly Hutto, Kayleigh Bolt and Edniya Gordon — scoring two goals each.

Scoring one goal each were Ali Bolt, Ashlynn O’Quinn, Braxton Martin, Brooklynn Cupit, Carmen Coleman, Gre’yone Queen, Kaitlyn Fussell, Karlee Wallace and Morgan Laird.

In terms of assists, FC was paced by Cupit with three while Ali Bolt, Fussell, Hutto and Laird had two each.

Gordon, Kayleigh Foy and Savannah Emfinger each had an assist to their credit.

The Lady Dawgs’ offense amassed an impressive 36 shots with 20 shots on goal in 50 minutes of regulation while the defense collected 50 stops.

Kayleigh Bolt recorded a team-high six stops with Hutto and Ali Bolt contributing five apiece and Wallace and O’Quinn picking up four each.

Finishing with three stops each were Laird, Foy, Fussell and Cupit. Amberly Wallace and Gordon recorded two stops apiece with Addison Cooper, Addison Lunsford, Martin, Coleman, Emma Fussell, Queen, Ken’niya McGowan, Meg Kelly, Savannah Arnold and Emfinger all having a single stop in the game.

As goalkeeper, Katherine Romero earned the shut-out win.

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The Soccer Dawgs jumped out to a 3-1 first-half lead over Hazlehurst and added two insurance goals in the second half to thump the visiting Indians, 5-1.

The win boosted FC’s season mark to 3-2-3 overall and 1-0 in district competition.

Five Franklin County players — Jamari Tolliver, Xavien Felton, Nathan Griffin, Mason Emfinger and Kolby Cox — all found the net for goals in the district opener.

Assists were credited to Zachary Kent, Cox and Tolliver in the Soccer Dawgs’ victory.

The hard-charging Bulldogs had 37 shots during the outing with 17 shots on goal.

Cox led the way with five SOGs while Griffin had three with Felton, Terrence Fields and Emfinger recording two apiece.

Defensively, FC finished the night with 82 total stops — one fourth of those credited to Kent and Kennon Johnson, who recorded 10 take-aways each.

Fields and Cox wound up with nine stops apiece while Colton Shaw and Drew Mullins ended with eight each.

Emfinger had six stops and Felton recorded five. Griffin and Toliver each had four take-aways with Preston Cupit collecting three and Chris Carraway and Parker Cupit with one apiece.

Dakota Chisholm and Keyundre Felton split time in front of the net in the keeper role — with the tandem collecting two saves each while Felton surrendered one goal to the Indians.

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Franklin County’s soccer teams were slated to return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 30 with junior varsity and varsity road contests against North Pike.

Results of those contests were not available at press time, and will appear in next week’s print edition.

On Thursday, Dec. 2, the Soccer Dawgs will play host to Terry with varsity girls to play at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity boys to follow at 7:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, FC will travel to Brookhaven for JV and varsity contests starting at 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs return to district action on Thursday, Dec. 9 when they play host to Wesson Attendance Center with JV and varsity play starting at 4 p.m.