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Franklin renews rivalry with Dickson Co. tonight

For years, the road to a regional championship for Franklin led directly through the Cougars of Dickson County.  Even after lines were redrawn multiple times, the two schools kept up an annual meeting until 2009 when the current classification system was put in place.

Advance the clock four years and turn it back.

Franklin (1-0, 0-0) travels to Dickson County (0-2, 0-0) tonight as part of My TV30’s Thursday Night Lights to renew the rivalry and again it counts.  With the redistricting by the TSSAA last year, Dickson County is the only school in District 11-AAA that does not fall into the confines of Williamson County.

“None of our kids have ever been to Dickson County for a varsity game,” said head coach Donnie Webb.  “They don’t know what a great place, a great atmosphere that is to play in.”

The Rebels will be riding a high of success in recent history.  Franklin won six out of the eight times the schools met from 2000-2008, including the last contest 42-7.  But much has changed in four years.

Both teams are described as being in “rebuilding” years.  But Dickson County is coming off a 10-2 season, capping a 26-8 three year run, while the Rebels finished 4-6 last year that, with a couple of breaks, could just as easily been a 7-3 year.

On paper, Franklin looks like a solid favorite, even with the travel.  Junior quarterback Joe Critchlow opened the season hitting 18-of-26 for 225 yards and a touchdown in 28-20 win over Clarksville Northeast on the road last week.  Ben Hagaman caught five for 47 yards, but seven other Rebels also hauled in passes.

“Joe is getting better every week.  He’s learning the position, learning to take what the defense gives him.  All of our plays have options for either the run or throw and Joe distributed the ball to twelve different players last week.”

Webb’s three-headed monster running game added 172 yards on the ground.  Tailbacks Colton Black, Nic Hardeman and Malik Grimes carried 27 times between them, notching 169 of those yards.

“Colton (10 carries, 45 yards) is getting better,” said Webb.  “He’s not where he wants to be but he’s getting better physically.  Nic (7 carries, 36 yards) reads the holes really well and Malik (10 carries, 88 yards), brings some extra speed and we saw that on his 57-yard run.”

The three rotate, with either one or two in the backfield on each play.  Hardeman and Grimes both start at cornerback, so having three runners makes it easier to keep fresh legs on the field.

Dickson County will rely on their senior tailback Otis Gerron who has rushed for 247 yards on 33 carries in just two games.
Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., but will be delayed slightly for TV.

Posted on: 9/5/2013


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