Franklin now 2-0 after 16-14 squeaker at Dickson County
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
“We’re 2-0. Yep, we’re 2-0.”
Those were the excited words of Franklin coach Donnie Webb after his Rebels eeked out a 16-14 road win against Dickson County to move to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in District 11-AAA.
The Rebels needed a big defensive stand late to pull off the win. Franklin was marching when Colton Black’s second-effort attempt for extra yardage was stopped, but no whistle sounded. Three seconds later, officials blew the play dead and signaled Dickson County had recovered a fumble, giving the Cougars the football at the Rebel 40-yard line with 8:57 remaining in the game.
Three plays later, Jackson Michie picked up his second sack of the game and the Rebels followed with another sack to leave Dickson County facing fourth and 26 from the Franklin 45. A roughing the kicker call on the ensuing punt gave the Cougars the ball back at the Franklin 29 before Tyler Beasley drilled Otis Gerron (22 carries, 150 yards) short of the first down, forcing a 40-yard field goal attempt to give Dickson County the lead with 3:30 left in the game.
The Cougars called a time out, one that was extended by TV, stretching the delay to over three minutes. When Dickson County got the play off, the kick came out as a low line-drive, both short and left of the uprights.
Hard running by Colton Black (14 carries, 53 yards) and Malik Grimes (14 carries, 61 yards) allowed Franklin to run the clock out.
“I can’t say enough about this defense,” said Webb. “We gave up the ball because a kid was giving that extra effort for that extra yard to end this ballgame and then seniors came up with big defensive plays to make the difference.”
Dickson County entered the game 0-2 on the season and looked like they were ready to notch their first win. Taking advantage of a fumbled punt at the Rebel 18, the Cougars needed only two plays to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Franklin answered with 16 points in the second quarter. Joe Critchlow (9-16-1, 163 yards, 2 interceptions) hit Luke Hill across the middle with a 15 yard connection that Hill turned into a 61-yard touchdown to tie the game. Late in the quarter, Zach Orange blocked a Dickson County punt straight into the hands of Carson Young who strolled in from 8-yards out to give Franklin a 16-7 lead when the extra point attempt failed.
The touchdowns sandwiched a 47-yard field goal by Corey Fatony that had room to spare. It was the first of three kicks that played critical roles in the win.
“He’s really good and he’s a great weapon for us,” said Webb. “He’s going to be kicking on Saturdays. We’re glad he’s kicking for Franklin right now.”
Fatony had a pair of punts in the second half that left Dickson County pinned as deep as possible. The first, a booming 63-yarder, was spotted at the three-inch line; the second at the half-yard line of the Cougars.
In typical kicker style, Fatony was low key about all three kicks after the game.
“The field goal was nerve wracking, but we executed. On the punts, it was all my teammates,” he explained, especially on the one placed at the three-inch line. “The kick went over the returner’s head and Austin Winstead got there and stopped it. It was a good ball.”
Franklin moves out of district next week to host McGavock, the Rebels first home game of the year.
Posted on: 9/6/2013