TYLER — Progress staff reports
A handful of Cherokee County and southern Smith County high school standouts made their last high school football game one that they will treasure for a long, long time to come as Saturday's third-annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl pitted about 90 East Texas high school seniors against one another, with the Red team waxing the Blue team, 40-10, at Trinity Mother Francis Rose Stadium.
Former Jacksonville Indian wideout Dadrian “DD” Franklin, playing on the Red unit, led all players with four catches for 63 yards.
Ex-Rusk Eagle Chaston Bennett scored a 1-yard touchdown late in the first half that extended the Red's margin to 26-0 at the time.
Bennett carried four times and tallied 12 yards.
Paying big dividends for the Blue team were a trio of recent Bullard High graduates, Colton Mebane, Haden Bryant and Zack Holladay.
Mebane was the starting signal caller for the Blue. He ended the night 8-12-1 for 86 yards, with the highlight of Mebane's evening coming when he hit Lin Gillham of Tyler Grace with a 26-yard touchdown pass with 8:22 to play in the contest.
The Blue’s other score came as time expired in the first half. That’s when Lumi Kaba drilled a 60-yard field goal that made the score 26-3 in favor of the Red at intermission.
Bryant caught three balls totaling 15 yards.
Holladay was the Blue team's defense workhouse, racking up right at 20 tackles.
The Blue outgained the Red 289 to 223 in total yards.
Tim Russell of Harmony coached the Blue team, with Bullard's Shannon Wilson serving as one of his assistant coaches.
Russell is a graduate of Jacksonville High School.
Van's Jared Moffatt was the bench boss for the winning Red outfit.
Area players listed on the Red roster included Michael Taylor and Tanner Jones from Alto.
Shaquille Rollins of Troup was a member of the Blue squad.