Ethan Cunningham Page football.jpg

The Page High School Patriots moved to 2-0 on the season after a hard-fought 28-17 win over Franklin High School Friday night.

Page senior quarterback Colin Hurd led the way with 241 total yards and three total touchdowns including a tough 11-yard run in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach, which allowed the Patriots to capture their second straight win over county-rival Franklin. They defeated the Admirals, 28-0, last season.

“I think he showed everybody his arsenal and what he can do,” Page head coach Charles Rathbone said. “The way he can throw the ball, get the ball in people’s hands and the way he can execute plays. He did a really good job. He’s growing. I’ve told everybody, he can play football. He’s a football player, he can play quarterback, he can play linebacker at the next level.

Hurd finished the game 10-19 for 139 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and he added 102 yards on the ground in the victory.

Both teams went back and forth for much of the first quarter, but the Admirals struck first. Running back Cooper Jordan reeled off a 54-yard touchdown run to give Franklin the lead late in the opening frame.

Page answered back a few minutes later, when Hurd found Henry Cason for a 45-yard strike to even the score at 7-7 with 11:07 left to play in the second quarter.

Franklin would drive the ball deep into the Patriots’ territory before being stuffed on fourth and goal by a host of defenders led by Hurd.

On the ensuing drive, Caden Walker gashed the Franklin defense for 84 yards, which set up the eventual Ethan Cunningham one-yard touchdown to make the score 14-7 Patriots with 5:32 left to play in the first half.

Cunningham finished the game with 109 yards on 15 carries and the lone score.

Franklin sophomore quarterback Brewer Wilson found Mena Mannan on a 46-yard catch-and-run to even the score at 14-14 at 3:52 in the second quarter. On the next drive, the Admiral defense held the Patriots out of the end zone to end the first half.

Page came out and imposed their will on Franklin with the opening drive of the second half, which lasted only four plays, and ended with a 26-yard connection from Hurd to Boyce Smith on a run-pass option.

The Patriot’s proficiency at running the ball really pleased their coach Friday night.

“We just put [Nathan] Hoath in there at kind of tight end, or H-back, and we decided that we were going to come off the ball, see if we could knock them off the ball and run the ball right at them—and we did,” Rathbone said.

“We haven’t been able to do that in a lot of years, and we had some really good offenses, but we haven’t been able to run the ball the way we want to run the ball in a lot of years.”

As a team, the Patriots rushed for 360 yards on just 36 rushes, or 10.0 yards per carry in the contest Friday night.

Franklin would answer back with a field goal late in the third quarter, but Hurd’s run early in the fourth quarter proved to be too much to overcome.

Franklin will open Region 7-6A play when they host Ravenwood High School (1-1) next Friday. Page will open region play at Spring Hill High School on Thursday.

“Those are games that you have to win,” Rathbone said. “I would rather be 1-2, and win that region game, than be 2-1 and lose that region