Soccer Dawgs fall to Ridgeland Titans in 2021-22 season debut

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County’s varsity soccer programs opened their regular season campaigns during last Saturday’s Ben Yarbrough Classic by hosting perennial soccer power Ridgeland.

The Lady Titans claimed a 1-0 decision over FC in the girls outing while the Titans took a 5-1 win over the host Bulldogs in boys action.


The Lady Dawgs saw a stellar effort from goalkeeper Katherine Romero, who collected 11 saves against the visiting Lady Titans.

Ridgeland scored in the first half and that would be enough to claim a 1-0 win over Franklin County.

Among those with shots for the Lady Dawgs were Ashlynn O’Quinn, Karlee Wallace, Kayleigh Bolt and Lilly Hutto.

Ali Bolt led FC in terms of steals with 12 during the contest while Wallace had nine and Kaitlyn Fussell and Kayleigh Bolt both collected eight.

The Titans scored once in the first half and four more goals after the mid-game break to upend the Dawgs, 5-1.

Ridgeland had 18 shots on goal and 24 shots overall in the game while FC saw two shots offensively.

Franklin County’s lone goal came when Landon Furlow scored from 20 yards out after collecting a “through ball” assist from midfielder Kolby Cox.

Furlow aggravated a hamstring injury and left the game while Cox, who recorded his team’s other shot in the affair, played despite the effects of a hip flexor in the contest.

Goalkeeper Dakota Chisholm had seven first-half saves in front of the net before being hurt an a sliding save. Jamari Tolliver came in to fill the slot and recorded six saves for the Bulldogs.

Colton Shaw led the FC defense with 12 steals while teammate Zachary Kent added 10 and Kennon Johnson had nine. Furlow, Ethan Touchstone and Terrance Fields accounted for eight stops each.

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Adams County Christian School slipped past Franklin County’s Lady Dawgs, 2-1, in a pre-season jamboree matchup on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Trailing by a 2-0 margin, FC’s lone goal to cut the Lady Rebels’ lead in half came when Ashlynn O’Quinn scored in the contest’s 58th minute.

In all, the Lady Dawgs had 11 shots, including an impressive shot by Lilly Hutto, which hit the crossbar and failed to go into the net.

Keeper Katherine Romero recorded three saves in the game. ACCS had five shots against Franklin County.


The Bulldogs found the net four times after intermission in the preseason jamboree against Adams County Christian School on Saturday, Oct. 23 to claim a 5-0 win over the Rebels.

Xavien Felton punched in a Jamari Tolliver first-half shot to give FC a 1-0 lead that would hold through the first half.

The second half saw Landon Furlow score twice thanks to assists from Tolliver and Zachary Kent; Terrance Fields added a goal off an assist by Chris Carraway; and Colton Shaw tacked on another goal.

Goalkeeprs Dakota Chisholm and Blake Mann had five and one saves, respectively, in helping preserve the Franklin County victory.

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Franklin County’s soccer upperclassmen have put a lot of weight on their shoulders when it comes to being successful during their just-started seasons.

Kayleigh Bolt, who has made a reputation for herself as being a true competitor, said she enjoys all elements of the Soccer Dawgs program.
“I like being part of a winning team and I feel like there’s a lot of pressure being a senior in the program,” she said. “I want to lead by example and help push my team to be its very best every time we take the field.”

Bolt said her personal goals include winning district again, but especially wants 2021-2022 to be a fun year.

“We have some great players who are eager to learn and that is something that makes this fun,” she said.

Morgan Laird said she, too, is thrilled to be back with her teammates and there is a great deal of anticipation where the current season is concerned.

“I like being a senior, and I want us to not only make district but to continue on into the playoffs further than we have gone in the past,” she noted.

“To do that, we’re really going to have to play well as a team and be focused.”

Ashlynn O’Quinn said she wants to spend her senior season passing along to her teammates things she has learned about the game.

“I really enjoy the bond we all share out here,” O’Quinn added. “Our goal every for us is to be better than we were in the previous season, and I think we can go as far as we want to.”

Ethan Touchstone said his goal for the current season is for he and his teammates to remain positive when it comes to being successful on the field.

“As a group, we’re all pretty close and we share a goal to make a run at state,” Touchstone went on to say. “We want to win and are willing to put in the work to make it happen.”

Colton Shaw said he believes success for Franklin County will come when everyone relies upon each other to do what they are capable of doing.

“If we do that, the good things will come for us,” Shaw noted. “Soccer is something we all enjoy and we play together to hopefully reach for and achieve our goals.”

Nathan Griffin, as a senior, sees this season as a chance to help the program grow and prosper.

“I think we always want to look at how we can be part of the process to make our team better,” Griffin said. “I want to contribute and set a good example because soccer teaches you to work hard to reach your goals.”

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FC goes on the road Thursday, Nov. 4 to face Richland with junior varsity girls play starting at 4 p.m., with varsity to follow.

The varsity Soccer Dawgs are slated to take part in the Loyd Star Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 6, and will travel to Hattiesburg on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

JV and varsity teams will be in action at home Thursday, Nov. 11 against Lawrence County beginning at 4 p.m.