The Franklin Admirals started the 2020 season with a 1-2 record after its first three games against Siegel, Riverdale and region foe Ravenwood. Then came the Summit game.
The Spartans came into the game undefeated at 3-0 with a very efficient offense. Franklin went on the road and got a late win against the 5A state contenders.
Since then, Franklin keeps finding ways to win as the Admirals are now a few games away from a state championship with a 7-5 record compared to last year’s record of 5-6.
“We have had an up and down season,” said Franklin head coach Donnie Webb. “I do feel like that as the year has gone on, we beat the teams that we were supposed to beat, and we felt like we were in every contest. Some of them got away from us late, and because of that I felt like it kept our energy level up to continue on to get better.”
One of the constants for Franklin this season has been the play of senior quarterback Connor Beavon. Not only has Beavon broken the record for most passing yards in a season for the Admirals, but he has really come into his own in just his first year under center.
Beavon has thrown for 2713 yards passing with 21 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He also averaging 226 yards passing per game as well.
“Connor has really matured,” said Webb. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. He’s always had it in him. Connor has a 34 ACT and he’s very intelligent and smart-wise. He’s able to understand concepts really quickly, but where it’s helped him in the field is his confidence level and how it has kinda slowed the game down for him.”
While Beavon has had a breakthrough year, the talent around him is just as impressive. Carson Repass, Taylor Spierto, Carson Garner, and Mitch Lanik have come into their own during their senior seasons. The big four for the Admirals have combined for 2,441 receiving yards through twelve games and continue to be key factors in the Admirals’ offense.
“Carson Repass is the number one target and then Carson Garner is the other one,” said Webb. “They’re big targets. Both of them are standing there 6’2-6’3, good frame bodies. They can get themselves into a good position to fight for the ball. That helps with Connor’s confidence knowing they’re gonna catch it.
"With Taylor Spierto and Mitch Lanik, the biggest thing with me for those guys is they don’t drop many balls. Hopefully being able to thrown the ball the past two games will open up the run game for us this Friday.”
Beavon has found Spieto for two game-winning touchdowns recently, one time against Page, the other time during last week's thrilling second-round win at Ravenwood.
The playoff race isn’t getting any easier for the Admirals. They went into both Smyrna and Ravenwood and came away with wins and now they face Brentwoood, a classic rival for the team.
The Bruins handled the Admirals in a 42-20 win during the regular season. As many in Williamson County saw last week, it can be very difficult to beat the same team twice in one season.
“I think it’s been the last 19 or 20 times that we’ve played in the playoffs that the games have been decided by seven points or less,” said Webb.
“We’re gonna have to play well. We can’t have the turnovers, we’re gonna have to win the turnover battle, and give ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter. They are well coached and probably be the best defense that we will face in the next couple of weeks.”