Explosive second quarter propels Friendship to win

Andy Reed • The Lebanon Democrat

Friendship Christian linebacker Bobby Owen puts a rush on Franklin Grace Christian quarterback Ashton Kelley deep in Commander territory during the first quarter.

Following a slow start, Friendship Christian exploded for 34 second-quarter points Friday night as the Commanders crushed visiting Franklin Grace Christian 55-7 on a comfortable evening at Pirtle Field.

Grace opened the game with an onside kick which the Lions recovered at midfield. Quarterback Ashton Kelley drove the visitors to the Friendship 8-yard line before a false start penalty backed them up. Cruz Hartman was wide right on a 30-yard field-goal attempt.

After running only four offensive plays in the first quarter, the Commanders finally got something going in the second with quarterback Justin Seagraves calling his own number for a 44-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead midway through the second.

After kicker Neill Kane tackled return man Maddux Lambert at midfield on the kickoff, linebacker Caleb Bridges intercepted Kelley and returned it to the Grace 31. Jaheim Robinson's 22-yard touchdown run two plays later upped the lead to 13-0. Jake Prince blocked the extra point.

After forcing a Grace three-and-out, return man Dorian Champion got a big hop on the field turf and returned the punt 48 yards for a 20-0 lead.

Friendship's pass rush teed off on Kelley, getting a couple of sacks. Those, plus a pair of penalties, forced another punt.

see friendship/page b7

But the snap was bad and the kick went just 9 yards. Seagraves covered the 28 yards in two plays, the latter covering 10 yards for a 27-0 rout.

With Kolby Gaines now taking the snap at quarterback, Seagraves moved to running back, took a handoff and went 54 yards for a 34-0 lead 53 seconds before halftime.

The Lions broke the shutout early in the second half when Carter Murphy broke a tackle and went 56 yards to bring the visitors within 34-7.

Friendship quickly got back on track. Seagraves' 39-yard run set up his 14-yard touchdown toss to a wide-open Andrew Mathis for a 41-7 lead.

A botched snap on fourth down resulted in a 32-yard loss for Grace and a recovery by Mathis. Robinson raced the remaining 24 yards on the next play for a 48-7 lead, starting the running clock.

Gaines got in on the scoring act on defense when he made a leaping interception and returned it 34 yards for a 55-7 lead as the Commanders climbed to 5-2 for the season and 5-0 in the East Region while Grace fell to 0-7.

Friendship will enjoy its open date next week before welcoming Mt. Juliet Christian to Pirtle Field for a 7 p.m. kickoff Oct. 18.

Week 7 scoreboard

LEBANON 38, Station Camp 0

WILSON CENTRAL 9, Hendersonville 30

WATERTOWN 35, Westmoreland 0

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