The Franklinton Demons are one of the best teams in Class 4A.
Thursday night, they proved they are the best team in District 8-4A.
Highlighted by Marcus Conerly’s 98-yard interception return for a touchdown and three touchdown passes from Tahj Magee, the Demons beat Lakeshore 41-7 to take control of the district race.
Stopping the Titans on their first two possessions, Franklinton (6-2, 3-0) got on the scoreboard on their second possession when Magee found Ryche Jenkins for an 18-yard touchdown catch to cap a five-play, 44-yard drive and give the Demons a 7-0 lead.
“Our defense was outstanding tonight,” Demons coach Shane Smith said. “They came away with some big plays for us tonight. They created turnovers or got them (Lakeshore) in third-and-longs all night long. Our defense played great (Thursday night).
“We control our destiny now. That is all you want as a team. It is all you can ask for. Our kids have worked extremely hard, and they are seeing that hard work pay off with wins.”
Lakeshore (6-2, 1-1) had their share of chances in the first half offensively. Nathan Faciane was stopped on a fourth down inside the Franklinton 25-yard line midway through the second quarter.
The Demons responded with seven-play, 80-yard drive capped off with another Magee to Jenkins touchdown pass, this time from 6 yards, to make it 14-0.
The Titans also missed a 29-yard field goal.
Lakeshore had a third drive inside Franklinton territory, but the drive was thwarted when Marcus Conerly picked off a Faciane pass and returned it 98 yards to make it 21-0 Demons.
“Too many missed opportunities,” Lakeshore coach Craig Jones said. “(The Demons) were better tonight. We just have to learn how to finish games and drives. We will come back on Friday and break down the good and the ugly. We will get ready for next week.”
Lakeshore scored on its first possession of the second half on a Faciane 32-yard run to cut the Franklinton lead to 21-7.
Faciane finished with 100 yards on 23 carries. Randy Raymond led Lakeshore with 118 yards on 20 carries.
Holding Franklinton to a punt after the Faciane touchdown, Lakeshore wasted another chance when they fumbled the ensuing punt to give the ball back to the Demons. Franklinton immediately answered when Tahj Magee found Azende Magee for a 46-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 Demons.
Azende Magee added a 44-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 34-7.
The senior tailback finished with 129 yards on 10 carries and a pair of touchdowns.
In control of the 8-4A race at 3-0, the Demons host Jesuit on Oct. 30. Lakeshore returns home to take on 8-4A rival Pearl River on the same day.
The game was played Thursday because the Washington Parish fair.