One half enough for Rose; Franklinton forfeits

JH Rose quarterback Grant Charles Jarman (12), shown in this photo from the New Bern game on Nov. 2, passed for 262 yards in the first half against Franklinton Friday night. At the half, Franklinton forfeited the game. (252Buzz file photo by Bill Hudson)

By Mike Grizzard

J.H. Rose’s rescheduled game with Franklinton on Friday night lasted just one half. Apparently that was still more than the visiting Rams and head coach Jimmy Williams wanted.

With Rose leading 20-7 after two quarters and a bank of lights out at Percy Daniels Field, Williams informed Rampants’ head coach Dave Wojtecki that his team was forfeiting the second half and heading back to Franklinton.

The two teams originally were scheduled to play on Sept. 14 but were postponed because of Hurricane Florence. A Rose athletics department representative said last week that Williams did not want to reschedule the game, but Franklinton ultimately agreed to honor the contract.

Wojtecki said Williams told him after halftime that his team would not take the field for the second half, citing the health of his 24-man roster heading into the playoffs.

“He said he had a couple of injuries, and they couldn’t afford anymore,” Wojtecki said. “With the lights going off, he just forfeited the rest of the game.”

Both teams are expected to land spots in the playoffs that begin next Friday night. Rose rolls into the Class 3-AA playoffs with an 8-3 record and wins in five of its last six games. Franklinton slips to 7-4 and will compete in the Class 3-A brackets. Pairings will be announced Saturday at 1 p.m.

“We’re going to come to work on Monday and try to work on whoever we play,” Wojtecki said.

The Rampants will be a confident bunch after a second straight impressive performance. They piled up 254 yards Friday, scored on three of their four possessions and forced two Franklinton turnovers.

Senior quarterback Grant Charles Jarman turned in a second straight splendid performance, connecting on his first six passes and finishing 13 of 14 for 236 yards and two touchdowns. In his last six quarters, Jarman has completed 32 of 37 passes for 463 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jake Henry Rogers and Ben Harris combined for eight receptions against the Rams. Rogers finished with four catches for 68 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown. Harris also had four catches for 97 yards and one score.

Senior running back Kendall Harris accounted for the bulk of Franklinton’s offense, rushing for 104 yards on 11 carries, highlighted by a 57-yard dash in the second quarter for the Rams’ only touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Herbert Cornell completed just 1 of 6 passes for 14 yards and was intercepted once.

Franklinton penetrated Rose territory on each of its first two possessions but turnovers ended both threats. Cornell fumbled on the opening drive, and Silas James recovered at the Rose 23. Wesley Shade came up with his third interception of the year at the 40 on a fourth-down pass.

The Rampants converted both turnovers into points. Jarman directed an 11-play drive after the James fumble recovery, converting a pair of third downs with passes to Ethan Boyer. After a holding penalty wiped out a 10-yard run for an apparent score by Grant Humphreys, Jarman flipped a 20-yard pass to Rogers for a 7-0 lead.

Jarman and Rogers teamed up on a 40-yard pass on the second scoring drive, and Humphreys scored from the 1 on a fourth-down run for a 14-0 lead.

The Rampants threatened to extend the lead after Jarman hit Ben Harris for a 37-yard gain, but a fumble on the next play ended the drive. Kendall Harris then gave the Rams a spark, weaving through the Rose secondary on a 57-yard run to cut the lead to 14-7 with 8:01 to play in the half.

The Rampants answered with Jarman zipping a 25-yard pass to an open Ben Harris on a hitch-and-go route with 2:14 showing, one play after a 21-yard pass to Humphreys.

Franklinton ran out the clock in the first half then decided to call it a night.

Mike Grizzard of Winterville has more than 30 years of experience as a writer for both print and digital publications in the areas of sports, business, news, faith and personal profiles. Contact Mike at 252-916-4206.