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After a first quarter where the Fike High varsity football team struggled to get any consistency going on offense, the Golden Demons began to find traction with their ground game in the second period and pulled away for a 44-13 win over new 3-A Big East Conference opponent Franklinton.
Fike improved to 5-3 overall and evened its Big East record at 1-1, while Franklinton dropped its fifth straight game following a 3-0 start. The Red Rams stand 0-2 in their inaugural Big East season.
Junior running back Cody Cooper-Speight enjoyed the best game of his Fike varsity career, eclipsing the 100-yard mark and adding a pair of rushing TDs. After a 7-7 standoff to end the first quarter, the Golden Demons marched to a 24-13 lead at the half and a 38-13 edge after three quarters. Senior kicker John Gliarmis booted a field goal in the second quarter as part of the Fike deluge.
“We got out of our own way,” Fike head coach Tom Nelson said. “We established our running game and ran with consistency, and it let us throw when we wanted.”
At quarterback, junior Josh Avery played the first two series before giving way to senior Jaelynn Melton. Melton, who was injured late in the first half of last week’s 48-10 loss to Southern Nash, returned to the lineup and threw a pair of TD passes, one to senior Jaylen Huggins and another to junior Kavaris Evans. Senior running back Justin Daniels tacked on a long scoring run to supplement the Demons’ ground game.
Defensively, Fike feasted on Red Rams giveaways, snaring three interceptions and recovering a fumble. Senior William Kent recovered a fumble and grabbed an interception as senior Brandon Atkinson and junior Garrett Browder also thieved Franklinton passes.
The Demons will entertain ancient rival Rocky Mount for homecoming next week inside Buddy Bedgood Stadium.