The Franklin County Rebels lost to the Summit Spartans 56-21 on the road Thursday for their fourth loss of the season.
The Spartans scored on eight of their 10 possessions for the game, and the Rebels were not able to keep up as they remained winless in regional play.
Franklin County head football coach Cary “Mac” McCurry said the Spartans were the superior team on both sides of the ball as it was an uneven matchup for his roster.
“We were outmatched,” McCurry said. “They were just bigger, faster and stronger than us.”
The Spartans established an early tone for the game by scoring on the third play from scrimmage to make it 7-0 less than one minute into the contest.
The opening drive for the Rebels would be cut short after losing a fumble in their own territory. The Spartans scored again a few plays later to make it 14-0.
The Rebels got the ball deep into enemy territory on their second drive, but an interception would bring an end to the series.
The Spartans marched down the field once again and scored a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter to make it 21-0.
The third drive of the game for the Rebels would be hampered by multiple holding calls as they were forced to punt to the Spartans. Summit kept up the pressure by scoring yet another touchdown to make it 28-0 with seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Marquice Toliver gave Franklin County a boost on the next drive as he found some open space and ran the ball 62 yards for a score to make it 28-7 with five minutes remaining in the half.
The Rebels’ defense stepped up to force a Summit punt, and the ensuing long drive by the Rebels would end in a touchdown pass from Isaiah Sisk to Toliver to put the deficit at 28-14 with 1:13 remaining on the clock for the half.
The Spartans would get the last points of the half as they quickly moved down and added one more touchdown with seconds remaining in the period.
The Rebels trailed 35-14 at halftime.
The second half for the Rebels got off to a poor start as an interception by their offense set up another touchdown by the Spartans to make it 42-14.
The next drive for the Rebels would technically feature two interceptions as the first one resulted in a Summit defender fumbling the ball back to the Rebels for an unexpected net gain of 21 yards. The Spartans would hold on to the second interception for the drive with that being the sixth and final Franklin County turnover of the day.
The Spartans capitalized on the turnover by scoring another touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter to push the deficit to 49-14.
The Rebels were able to piece together one more scoring drive as they went 80 yards and scored on a run by Toliver to make it 49-21.
However, the Spartans added one more score for good measure in the final minute of the contest as the Rebels took the loss by 35 points.
Toliver finished the game with 102 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards in addition to scoring all three touchdowns for Franklin County.
Sisk passed for 136 passing yards and added 11 rushing yards. Dakota Waggoner carried the ball for 50 yards and also caught a pass for 22 yards in the contest.
Mason Mitchell caught three passes for 53 yards while Grant Faulkner had two catches for 34 yards.
McCurry said his players are doing their best to overcome the injury issues which have plagued the roster, but errors in the games continue to get in the way of success.
“I know that they’re frustrated. We’re frustrated as coaches,” McCurry said. “We just keep on making mistakes that put us in a hole and then we’re playing from behind. We don’t do that very well.”
With the loss, the Rebels moved to 3-4 on the season and 0-3 in regional play.
They will next play on Oct. 18 at home against Lipscomb Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.