Lawrence County defeated Franklin in overtime Friday night 21-14, giving the Rebels their second overtime loss in as many weeks.
For Franklin, this was an ugly game featuring far too many penalties - 13 for 106 yards. One of said penalties wiped out a blocked punt for a safety, effectively taking Rebel points off the board.
Franklin's head coach, Donnie Webb, put his team's loss squarely on his shoulders.
"Obviously, I didn't do a good job coaching this football team and making them understand that penalties will get you beat," he said.
A quick start to the game looked as if Franklin would run away with the contest easily, opening up with 14 points in the first quarter. Colton Morrison scored the first Franklin touchdown on a 1-yard rush. The next Rebel strike was on a bubble screen that Max Taylor took 68-yards for the touchdown.
The rest of the game would be uneventful for the Rebels as they remained scoreless for the next three quarters.
At halftime, Franklin had held Lawrence County to just 11 yards total offense while the Rebels amassed 186 yards offense. The Rebels defense played so well they only allowed four first downs, three of which came on Franklin penalties and the other off a fake Wildcat punt. Things took a turn for the worse in the second half for Franklin as the Wildcats came out running the ball more effectively and held blocks much better than in the first two quarters.
A bright spot for Franklin was quarterback Joe Critchlow. Despite the interception that led to the Wildcats first touchdown, the sophomore looked poised and threw the ball well, going 6-for-15 for 158 yards.
"They (Lawrence County) made a little adjustment and my hat is off to them and we had a little trouble adjusting to it, but it didn't come down to that,” Webb said.“It came down to the penalties. It starts with me and I didn't do a good job with it."
Three turnovers - the aforementioned interception and two fumbles - put Franklin in a bad spot. Add in the penalties and that's all she wrote.
Late in the game Franklin muffed a punt that, with a good drive, could have put the Rebels in position to get points and end the game. Franklin's defense did well to prevent a Lawrence County score and send the game to overtime. In the extra time, Lawrence County lost the toss and Franklin chose to play defense first. It took just two plays for the Wildcats to punch the ball in the end zone.
Franklin would rush Morrison three times and then throw an incomplete pass to end the game.
The Rebels will have to work hard to put these past two weeks and losses behind them as they host Independence next Friday.