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For the third time in four varsity football regular seasons, Southern Nash High finished with an unbeaten record as the Firebirds thumped visiting Franklinton 49-20 in Friday’s 3-A Big East Conference finale.
The win was the 21st straight in Big East play for the Firebirds (11-0), who won their fourth straight conference championship in unbeaten style. The Red Rams ended their season with a 2-9 overall mark and went winless in five Big East outings.
The Firebirds were without senior wingback Quinton Cooley, who sat out the finale to avoid injury heading into the postseason. Instead, Southern Nash nearly had three runners with more than 100 yards as senior quarterback Matt Foster erupted for a career-high 147 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Jackson Vick had 107 yards, including a 76-yard scoring burst, on eight carries while senior Jason Bland ran for 98 yards and two TDs. Senior Evan Barnes was perfect on all seven extra-point kick attempts.
Foster dove into the end zone from a yard for the only TD in the first quarter before Terrence Raspberry scored from two yards out on the first play of the second quarter.
After the Red Rams answered with an 8-yard TD pass from quarterback Stephens to Lye’shon Parker, the Firebirds essentially put the game away with 21 points in the last four and a half minutes of the half.
Bland scored on runs of 8 and 22 yards before Foster dashed 28 yards to paydirt with 1:49 to play in the second quarter.
The onslaught continued in the second half when Foster rambled 68 yards for a TD on the Firebirds’ first possession. Vick’s long run later in the third capped Southern Nash’s scoring, giving the Firebirds a 49-7 lead, but the Red Rams added a pair of TDs after the running clock started.