Semifinals: Franklinton vs. O.P. Walker

Franklinton and 6-foot-4 WR Chris Briggs may be seeded No. 6 in the Class 4A brackets, but the Demons are the odds-on favorite to win the state championship. Don't tell that to No. 15 O.P. Walker, however, which has slain two higher seeds - No. 2 Salmen and No. 7 Bastrop - over the past two weeks.

(Class 4A picks through three rounds: 18-10; Overall, 107-32)

NO. 15 O.P. WALKER (9-3) AT NO. 6 FRANKLINTON (12-1) -- Franklinton, the defending Class 4A state runner-up, traveled to north Louisiana last week and registered a come-from-behind 49-41 victory over then-unbeaten No. 3 Haughton and star QB Dak Prescott.

"Franklinton is very explosive and hard to stop," said Prescott, a Mississippi State commit. "They have two good backs and a really good offense, although their defense isn't the hottest.

"O.P. Walker will need to throw the ball well to beat them. If Franklinton goes two deep with their coverage, then O.P. Walker will have to throw it short and they (OPW) might be able to establish the run. I hope Franklinton gets the win."


Josh Robinson
The Demons, whose only loss came to Abilene, Texas, are a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Three-star running back Josh Robinson, a future teammate of Prescott at Mississippi State, ran for 120 yards on 10 carries with three TDs in the quarterfinals.

Senior QB Terrance Magee (LSU commit), another three-star prospect, threw for 200 yards and ran for 268 more.

"O.P. Walker's defense should have more speed than Haughton's defense and they'll have to keep Magee inside the pocket," said Salmen cornerback Chrishawn Dupuy, whose team faced both Franklinton and O.P. Walker this year. "You have to force Magee to throw the ball, because big things are going to happen for them if he gets outside."

Magee (118 carries, 1,239 yards, 19 TDs) is averaging 10.5 yards every time he runs the football.

Franklinton wide receivers Chris Briggs and Vincent Wilson have combined for 87 catches and approximately 1,350 yards with 19 touchdowns, while Robinson (19-518, 7 TDs) is averaging more than 27 yards per reception.

Tyson Magee leads the Demons with five interceptions. Lawrence Robinson is tops on the team in tackles with 67.

The Franklinton secondary struggled much of the time vs. Haughton, as Prescott passed for 350 yards and five touchdowns.


Anthony Johnson
O.P. Walker outlasted Bastrop last week, 26-20, in a quadruple overtime marathon.

The Chargers, with five-star defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (LSU commit) leading the charge, sacked Bastrop's quarterback seven times.

Cortez Johnson (Southern Miss commit), Dewayne Thomas, and Christian Landry all made marvelous defensive plays to thwart Bastrop's passing attack. The Rams entered the quarterfinals averaging over 500 yards of total offense per game, but O.P. Walker held BHS to only 141 yards.

Chargers QB Devin Powell threw for a touchdown and ran for two more last week and RB Robert Kelley, a Tulane commit, also rushed for a score.


Devin Powell
O.P. Walker is playing with plenty of confidence after shutting down two of the most powerful offenses in the state vs. Salmen and Bastrop, but Franklinton has so many weapons that it makes defensive coordinators' heads spin.

Robinson and Magee are compact, extremely stout runners who also possess the speed to turn the corner. Unfortunately for opposing defenses, Magee is also extremely accurate throwing the football (32 TDs, 2 INT) and the southpaw signal-caller will air it out and burn defenses that focus too much attention on stopping the run.

There's no question, though, that the Demons are top-heavy on the offensive side of the ball. Thus, O.P. Walker should have greater success moving the football this week than they experienced in the quarters.

The best bet for the Chargers is for Powell and Kelley to grind it out, move the chains, and attempt to keep Franklinton's offense off the field as much as possible.

Franklinton, 36-28


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