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Losing the Homecoming pizza spurs Franklin to 41-13 win

Offensive line blocking like these from Franklin's Josh Butler (70) and Francios Moolman (60) opened big holes for Rebel running backs, leading to a 41-13 Homecoming win over Shelbyville last night.  Photos by Becky Williams

Franklin's Colton Black (23) rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the Rebels' 41-13 win over Shelbyville last night.  Blocking by Ben Hagaman (88) helped Black to move the ball forward.

Franklin's Zack Orange (25) spent most of his Homecoming night in the middle of piles chasing a tackle.  The senior defensive back had five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery as the Rebels beat Shelbyville 41-13.

It was a long night for Shelbyville quarterback Mason Cunningham (7), thanks in part to Franklin's Jackson Michie among others.

Rain did not deter the Franklin Band or students from celebrating a 41-13 Homecoming win over Shelbyville last night.
Most high school football coaches quietly hate Homecoming Week because of the distractions it can cause a team.  Franklin coach Donnie Webb must have been worried about those distractions after watching Shelbyville march 80 yards in 12 plays to take a 6-0 first quarter lead.

“Once we got the Homecoming pizza out of us, I guess we decided to play,” he grinned after the game.  “We came out slow, but I’m just so happy for these kids.  They’ve worked so hard.”

The Rebels (4-0, 1-0) kept their record spotless, scoring 27 unanswered points and notching a 41-13 win over District 8-AAA member Shelbyville (2-2, 0-1).

Franklin matched the Golden Eagles’ opening drive, taking the ball 73-yards in 13 plays, capped by a three-yard run by Colton Black for the first of his two rushing scores, to take a 7-6 lead.

Seven plays later, Zack Orange picked up a Shelbyville fumble at the Lions’ 43.  It took junior quarterback Joe Critchlow only a four plays to find Garrison Matthews in the end zone from seven yards out for another score.  That play was set up by a 37-yard Ben Hagaman snag.

Franklin increased the lead to 21-7 just before half time when Critchlow found a streaking Tony Flemister for 45 yards.  Despite several drops, Critchlow finished the game 9-of-17 for 164 yards and three touchdowns.

His third touchdown was just before the rains truly began.  With 7:29 left in the third quarter, the lanky passer fired a streak that junior Matthews grabbed with an acrobatic ease, getting both feet down in bounds before falling hard to increase the Rebel lead to 28-6.

But the points may have been expensive.  Matthews landed with a audible “pop” and came up clutching the area near his collarbone.  While the extent of the injury is not known, he did not return to the game.  If the injury turns out to be a break, he could be out for several weeks.

Black added another touchdown late in the third as rain made the ground game the deciding factor in the last 15 minutes.  It was just one carry in his 20 rush, 135-yard night.

The Rebels final score came on a 50-yard run by Malik Grimes who ran through a huge hole in the middle of the line untouched, sprinting the final 48 yards.  It was his first touchdown of the year.

“I’ve never seen a hole that big before,” said Grimes, “Not in high school ball anyways.

“I really wanted to get to the end zone.  I’ve been pushing for a touchdown all year.  But that’s not the most important thing.  Our team is 4-0 and we won the game.  That’s the most important thing.” 

“This was just a total team effort,“ said Webb.  “I haven’t seen the stats, but I know we didn’t have the silly penalties we’ve had in the past,” he said, recalling his mantra of “cleaning up our game,” he has preached after every game this year.

It not only worked on penalties, but also on turnovers.  Franklin did not turn the ball over the entire game, while taking a pair of fumbles and an interception.

Franklin faces one more test before diving into the thick of the district schedule, a 90-mile road trip to face Lincoln County in “The Pit” next Friday night.

Posted on: 9/21/2013


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