The Page Patriots (9-1) won a hard fought 35-21 contest over the Franklin County Rebels (4-6) Friady at home.
The win helped them repeat as Region 5-5A champions.
Franklin Co. started with the ball and they came to get the upset. They used power football to pick up a couple of first downs.
Aided by a personal foul from the Patriots to extend the drive they drove the ball moderately picking up chunks of four to five yards a carry.
The Patriots adjusted and held Franklin County to a turnover on downs when Cody Burns broke up a fourth down pass from Rebels quarterback Isiah Sisk stopping the drive. Now Page was fired up and ready to play.
But the Rebels stood strong and forced a three and out. It was obvious that they came to fight, and Page wouldn't get an easy victory tonight.
With 2:47 left in the 1st quarter Franklin County had dominated the pace of the game.
But just like all season Cade Walker took over running for gains of 17 and finally 38 yards as he ran in a touchdown electrifying the crowd. And, with 52 seconds in the quarter, Page jumped ahead 7-0. Walker would end up with 75 yards rushing on the evening.
However, Franklin Co. was not shaken. With a mix of screens and power runs they quickly drove to the Page red zone. And The Rebels scored from one yard out as Tahj Taylor crossed the goal line at 7:48 left in the half. And after an 11 play, 77-yard drive it was game on at 7-7.
Franklin County continued to bring the fight on defense. They were able to get to force a fourth down as their defensive front was able to pressure Walker.
It seemed as though the momentum was remaining with Franklin County but on 4th and 10 Walker hit Blanne Burrow on a 38-yard touchdown with 2:07 in the half, making it 14-7 Page.
And on the very next play Dakota Waggoner intercepted Sisk at the Rebel 30. And Page capitalized in one play as Walker hit Simon Simmonds on a touchdown pass extending the lead to 21-7 Patriots just before halftime. And they took that lead into the half.
With 7:16 remaining in the third quarter, though, Page and their fans realized they weren't going to get past this opponent as easy as past teams. This would continue to be a fight into the fourth quarter.
And That is exactly what happened. The Rebels drove down to the Page 27-yard line then Sisk hit Dylan Grimes on a touchdown pass while scrambling from multiple Page defenders cutting the lead to 21-14 with just over three minutes remaining in the 3rd. It should be noted that Sisk fought valiantly all night as he avoided several sack attempts and threw for 165 yards along with the score.
Then Page fed Bubba Johnson the ball and on the next drive he ran for 30 yards to the Rebel 31. But once again Franklin County held rough once Page got into their territory and forced a 44-yard field goal attempt by Chase Tidmore, which was short. And heading into the fourth it was still anybody's game.
But eventually in the fourth quarter Page came through as they have all season as Walker hit Bonn on a 59-yard touchdown bomb to open the game up 28-14 with 10:35 to go.
It was Bonn's ninth touchdown of the season. And Walker showed why he is so outstanding as he stood in the pocket under extreme pressure to deliver that strike. Always showing his athleticism, Walker added 252 passing yards and three touchdowns along with his rushing performance.
As the game wound down Page kept giving the ball to Johnson the ball as he ran over defenders and bled the clock. And he ran the final touchdown in from 1 yard out to make it 35-14 with just over three minutes left. Johnson finished with 69 yard rushing and a score on the night.
And even though the game was won the Rebels didn't stop fighting as Tahj Taylir ripped the ball from Page's Jordan Rutledge as Page was attempting to run the clock out and ran it back 48 yards for the touchdown making it 35-21 (the final).
Page Coach Charles Rathbone commented on his team's performance.
"We were really, really sloppy," he said. "Maybe we pulled the ones just a little too early. But our young guys got to learn to hold onto the ball and do things the right way.
''Ultimately we just have to play better. We got playoffs coming up, and we want to get all these seniors in because we have a lot of them. But we can't do stupid stuff like run our mouth and get those penalties and get baited into those calls. I'm a little frustrated by that, but we'll get those fixed by Monday I promise."
Page starts postseason play next week as they host a first round playoff game against Hunters Lane.