Relying on the ground game to power their way to victory, the Franklin Admirals football team (1-5, 0-2) won 28-12 over the McGavock Raiders (3-3, 1-1) Friday night at home.
“All wins are good wins,” said Franklin head coach Alex Melton. “It has been good for these guys to keep coming back, fighting and getting that taste in their mouth. Hopefully, we can build on this one.”
“It definitely gets a weight off of our shoulders,” said Franklin senior running back Bryce Sparks.
“This means a lot for the hope factor,” said Franklin senior offensive lineman and Stanford commit Fisher Anderson. “A friend of mine said recently that you can’t be disappointed or discouraged.”
With five minutes remaining in the first quarter, Franklin executed their attack with run and pass plays to work their way to the goal line. Senior running back Ashton Orton muscled his way into the end zone from one yard out to give the Admirals the lead 7-0.
Franklin worked the ground game in the second quarter, sustaining a long drive set up by a special teams turnover. The possession ended with senior running back Bryce Sparks bursting through the offensive line and speeding his way into the end zone from 27 yards out to stretch the Admiral lead 14-0.
With 43 seconds remaining until halftime, the Raiders got on the board with a two-yard rushing touchdown by Travis Dillard. A blocked extra point helped Franklin hold the advantage at halftime 14-6.
The Admirals kept churning long drives on the ground in the third quarter capping it off in the red zone with Orton’s second touchdown of the game, diving into the end zone from the one yard line to lengthen the Admirals lead 21-6.
“We take pride in running the football,” said Coach Melton. “It starts up front. Bryce and Ashton do a good job of seeing holes and hitting them.”
“Our ground game is our identity, but we can still pass it down as well,” said Sparks. “Ashton and I have been friends since seventh grade and have been running backs together. To see it all come together senior year is something magical.”
In the fourth quarter, the offensive lineman continued to have a dream game. Widening holes for running back Sparks helped him collect his second rushing touchdown in the game from three yards out. The Admirals stretched their lead to 28-6.
“We really stuck with the plays that worked,” said Anderson. “Before the game even started last week, we said that once runs started working, we were just going to stick with them. This o-line is only getting better. We are going to be one of the best offensive lines in the county in the next game or two.”
In the final seconds of the game, McGavock junior quarterback Josh Martin delivered a missile to junior wide receiver Demitrius Bell from 45 yards out to cut into the Franklin lead 28-12, due to a failed two point conversion.
Franklin ran out the clock to seal the victory 28-12 on Homecoming night.
The Admirals defense stood tall, allowing only 12 points in the game.
“They definitely stepped up,” said Anderson. “They are just getting better.”
“Our defense came out and got a stop for us early,” said Sparks. “They have come a long way from the beginning of the year. To see them starting to play together makes me really excited. I am proud of those guys.”
McGavock will face Overton next Friday.
Franklin will renew the “Battle of Franklin” by traveling to Centennial next week.
“I hope we respond well,” said Coach Melton. “Centennial is a great football team. It is a big rivalry. We are both still alive in the playoffs, so it is going to be a battle.”