Rebels fight to finish, end season at Station Camp
Josh Malone scored three touchdowns and had more than 200 yards receiving for Station Camp Friday night, as the Bison scored a 24-17 victory over Franklin in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, ending the Rebels’ season.
The game was tied at 14 late in the third quarter, when Station Camp (9-2) scored 10 points in just over a minute to swing the momentum in its favor.
A Rebel fumble on the kickoff following Bryson Shaw’s 23-yard field goal to make it 17-14, turned into Malone’s third TD catch and the winning points for the Bison.
“My hat’s off to them, they’ve got a good team and one really, really good football player for sure,” Franklin coach Donnie Webb said. “He made some big plays for them.”
Station Camp advances to play Hendersonville in the second round, after the Commandos beat Arlington 49-31 Friday night.
The loss for Franklin (8-3) means the departure of 24 seniors, so there were plenty of emotions following the game. This team rebounded after a 4-6 finish in 2012 to finish third in District 11-AAA, losing two games during the regular season by a combined two points.
“You hurt for these seniors, because they don’t get another opportunity, but I think (this season) shows how far we’ve come,” Webb said. “We definitely want to be back here next year in the playoffs.”
Turnovers and missed opportunities were the Rebels’ ultimate downfall against the Bison. Franklin turned it over twice in the second half, and Rebel receivers just missed on two catches in the end zone, and a third pass was intercepted in the end zone to spoil scoring opportunities.
“We had a bunch of opportunities, but we just didn’t take advantage of them,” said Rebel QB Joe Critchlow, who was 18-of-34 passing for 266 yards, two TDs and an interception.
After a scoreless first quarter, Franklin got on the board first with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Critchlow to Carson Young, where Station Camp defensive back Phillip Frazier fell down, allowing Young to run wide open in the secondary.
Young led the Franklin receivers with 77 yards on three catches, while Parker Pinnell had five catches for 74 yards and Luke Hill finished with three grabs for 51 yards.
The Rebels were able to control the passing attack of the Bison and quarterback Kyle Anderton, but they could not contain the 6-2 Malone forever. After a Franklin punt put Station Camp at its own 20, Anderton threw long for Malone, who went up over two defenders and hauled it in at the Franklin 40, then outran the defense for an 80-yard touchdown and a 7-7 tie at the 2:05 mark of the second quarter.
The Bison got the ball back just over a minute later, and Malone struck again, this time taking a short slant pass and turning it into a 54-yard touchdown with :22 left before halftime. Malone finished with 224 yards on 11 catches.
“We let them have too many big plays,” Webb said. “We thought we could get pressure on them, and they did a good job of trying to adjust to our blitzes.”
Franklin tied it at 14 in the third quarter after converting a fake punt on fourth-and-11 from their own 49. Austin Winstead took the punt snap and threw to Parker Pinnell for 26 yards and a Rebel first down.
Critchlow found Malik Grimes for a 7-yard TD pass three plays later, and Franklin was back in business with 5:04 left in the third.
Shaw converted on his 23-yard field goal after the Bison drove 75 yards on the ensuing possession, then the Franklin turnover resulted in a 14-yard TD catch for Malone to make it 24-14 with 11:17 left.
Joe Defatta added a 29-yard field goal for the Rebels to cap off the scoring.
Posted on: 11/9/2013