Franklin turns back Abbeville in District 9-3A opener
Franklin used its complete arsenal, including big plays, a blocked field goal, and finally a defensive stand to pull out an emotionally-charged 40-38 victory over the Abbeville Wildcats for homecoming and the District 9-3A opener Friday at J. C. Dry Stadium.
In a game with both teams combining for 78 points and nearly 1,000 total yards, Franklin rallied three times from early deficits to stage a comeback victory much to the delight of the homecoming crowd.
“We won but I don’t feel all that great,” FSHS Head Coach J Ina said. “My hat is off to that No. 6 (Patrick Landry). It wasn’t them that hurt us, but we hurt ourselves. The big thing was this was a character game and we came from behind and held on and didn’t just lay down, but we kept fighting and we kept a positive attitude.”
Franklin overcame many self-inflicted mistakes before Brothers Robertson - Raheem and Brian - along with Micheal Poledore, LaShown Johnson and an inspired defense led the FSHS Hornets back from a 24-14 deficit with touchdowns in the third quarter. Franklin rallied for the victory to improve to 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in district. FSHS (2-1, 1-0) will take to the road next Friday to play North Vermilion.
Landry enjoyed a sensational night, rushing 15 times for 280 yards and three TDs. Franklin’s Raheem Robertson rushed seven times for a team-high 178 yards and one touchdown while his brother Brian Robertson rushed 21 times for 157 yards and two scores.
Landry, who proved to be a thorn in the Hornets’ side all night, scored the game’s second touchdown on a 72-yard touchdown pass while racing 61 yards, setting up Abbeville’s Justin Lewis’ two-yard touchdown which lifted AHS to a 21-6 lead with 9:42 showing on the clock in the second quarter.
Landry scored the game’s first touchdown at the 10:58 mark with a 70-yard burst up the middle. Landry had his number called again on the two-point conversion as the Wildcats drew first blood at 8-0 even before the homecoming crowd could settle into their seats.
Landry, who scored four touchdowns on the night, lifted the Wildcats to a 14-0 lead when he plucked a tipped ball out of thin air before racing 72 yards for his second touchdown at the 7:16 mark of the first stanza. Ross Duhon, the Wildcats’ starting quarterback and kicker, booted the extra point, giving Abbeville a 14-6 cushion.
Franklin’s LaShon Johnson capped an 8-play, 62-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run helping Franklin trim Abbeville’s lead to 14-6 with 2:23 showing on the clock. Brian Robertson, who finished with 21 carries for 157 yards, ran for 23 yards on a first-and-10, setting up Johnson’s score.
With Abbeville ahead by a 21-6 margin, Brian Robertson hit paydirt from 41 yards away before Johnson tacked on the two-point conversion enabling FSHS to close within seven points at 21-14.
Abbeville’s Duhon booted a 26-yard field goal to stretch the Wildcats lead to 24-14 before intermission.
As has been the case the past three weeks, the Hornets made the necessary adjustments at halftime. This led to a sustained drive which culminated in Brian Robertson’s 2-yard TD to cut the defict to 24-20 early in the third quarter.
A short time later, Landry ran up the middle for an 81-yard touchdown as Abbeville widened its lead to 30-20 with 8:58 left to play in the third quarter.
Over the final 6:14 of the third quarter, Franklin’s Micheal Poledore and Raheem Robertson ran for scores, sending FSHS outfront by a narrow 32-30 advantage.
Poledore scored on an 11- yard run before Raheem Robertson broke free on a 63-yard score at the 2:44 mark of the third quarter.
In the opening minutes of the final period, Franklin’s Brandon McFarlane blocked Duhon’s second attempt at a fi-eld goal with 9:47 left to play. Earlier in the quarter, Damien Bowie led the Hornets’ defense with a sack of Duhon and a tackle behind the line of Landry.
After McFarlane’s block of the field goal, Franklin regained momentum and proceeded to march down the field for the game-winning touchdown. One play after Abbeville’s defense was off sides, Franklin’s Raheem Robertson raced down the left sideline on a 65-yard sprint down to the Wildcats’ 5. Two plays later, Poledore got the call and scored before the Hornets were flagged for helping push him into the endzone, moving the ball back to the six. Another penalty cost the Hornets five more yards, setting up a fourth-and-goal from the 8 with the Hornets nursing a 32-30 lead. On the play, Poledore fired a bullet to Brian Robertson, who weaved his way through several would be tacklers for the eight-yard score. McFarlane made good on the two-point conversion, giving FSHS a comfortable 40-32 lead with 6:24 left to play.
Landry made his presence felt one last time when he sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Wildcats within four points of the Hornets at 40-36. Duhon ran in the two-point conversion as the Wildcats trailed the Hornets by a 40-38 margin with 5:55 left to play.
Franklin’s defense stiffened over the final four minutes of the game to preserve the victory. The biggest defensive play came with 23.2 seconds showing on the clock when Franklin defensive end Cedric Paul drew a holding penalty when he was in hot pursuit of Duhon, setting the ball back 10 yards. During the final 14.6 seconds, Abbeville failed to get a play off and the Hornets rallied for the comeback victory in the District 9-3A opener.
First Downs 11 17
Yards Rushing 425 406
Yards Passing 89 37
Total Offense 514 443
Att.-Comp.-Int. 3-8-0-0 4-7-0-1
Punts-Avg. 3-45.3 3-41.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards 10-72 11-75
Score By Quarters
Abbeville 14 10 6 8 — 38
Franklin 6 8 18 8 — 40
AHS — Patrick Landry 70 run. P. Landry rush 2 pt.
AHS — Patrick Landry 72-yard pass from Ross Duhon. Kick failed.
FSHS — Lashon Johnson 3 run. Kick failed.
AHS — Justin Lewis 2 run. Ross Duhon kick.
FSHS — Brian Robertson 41 run. Lashon Johnson run.
AHS — Ross Duhon 26-yard Field Goal.
FSH — Brian Robertson 2 run. Kick failed.
AHS — Patrick Landry 81-yard run. Kick failed.
FSHS — Micheal Poledore 11-yard run. Two-point conversion failed.
FSHS — Rahem Robertson 63 yard run. Two-point conversion failed.
FSH — Brian Roberston 8-yard pass from Micheal Poledore. Brandon McFarlane run
AHS — Patrick Landry 69 yard run. Ross Duhon run.
Abbeville — Patrick Landry 15-280, 3 TDs
Franklin — Raheem Robertson 7-178 1 TD; Brian Robertson 21-157, 2 TDs; Micheal Poledore 8-67, 1 TD; LaShon Johnson 3-4, 1 TD.
Abbeville — Ross Duhon 8 atts, 3 comps, 0 int
Franklin — Michael Poledore 7 atts, 4 comps, 1 TD, 101 yards
Franklin — Brian Robertson 1-8, 1 TD; Derrick Kelly 2-27; Rahem Robertson 1-2