FSHS Hornets hold off Opelousas Tigers in OT

OPELOUSAS _ Cedric Paul brought the wood while Brandon McFarlane and Jarion Brown ignited the fire as the Franklin Senior High School Hornets earned a heart-pounding 42-40 overtime victory over the Opelousas High School Tigers Thursday at Donald Gardner Stadium.

Paul’s bone-jarring tackle on Collin Roberts on the potential game-tying two-point conversion left the Opelousas Tigers on the short end of the 42-40 loss to the Hornets.

“This was a great win,” Franklin Coach J. Ina said.” We really needed the win. It was a hard-fought win and in previous years, we may not have won it. We had to comeback time and time again. This is a great win for our program as we scratched and clawed our way back to win it. This win was a total team effort.”

With the game knotted at 34-34 at the end of regulation, Franklin’s Brandon McFarlane raced into the endzone from two-yards out. Jarion Brown tacked on the two-point conversion on a nifty run, putting the Hornets ahead by a 42-34 margin.

Opelousas soon took advantage of winning the overtime flip by scoring when Marcel Gabriel hauled in a pass in the endzone as the Tigers trimmed Franklin’s lead to 42-40 prior to the all-important two-point conversion.

During the play, Opelousas runningback Collins Roberts ran straight into a brick wall by the name of Cedric Paul, who flattened Roberts while preserving the Hornets’ 42-40 overtime victory.

“Cedric Paul made the play on the goal line,” Ina said. “Cedric is emerging as the player I know he is capable of being.”

Paul’s hard tackle of Roberts proved to be the perfect ending to see-saw affair which wasn’t decided until the extra session. Roberts proved to be a thorn in the Hornets side all night.

Opelousas took a 12-6 lead in the second quarter when Collins Roberts sprinted 86 yards for a touchdown. Opelousas opened the scoring in the slugfest when Aswan Savoy caught a 27-yard touchdown pass. The Tigers raced to a 6-0 lead with 8:54 showing on the clock in the first quarter.

Franklin retaliated when Branndon McFarlane scored on a 46-yard punt return in the second quarter, tying the game at 6-6.

Roberts’ TD at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter gave the Tigers a short-lived 12-6 advantage.

Franklin quickly built up a 20-12 lead when Jarion Brown tossed an 11-yard pass to Brennan Robinson to tie the game at 12-12 with 2:34 left before halftime. Brown called his own number for 6-yard TD at the 1:51 mark of the second period, lifting Franklin outfront by a 20-12 margin.

Early in the third quarter Jermaine Sonnier scored on a 16-yard TD as Opelousas tied the game a 20-20 at the 11:01 mark of the period.

Franklin rushed back ahead by a 26-20 margin when leading rusher Brian Robertson scored on a one-yard plunge.

Sonnier answered with a one yard plunge of his own as the two combatant played to a 26-26 knot in the fourth quarter.

A short time later the Tigers scored eight points when Arnold Starkey returned a fumble recovery for 41 yard and James Hubbard added the two-point conversion, giving OHS a 34-26 lead 7:54 remaining in regulation.

Franklin’s Derrick Kelly hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Brown before McFarlane made good on the two-point conversion, sending the game into overtime tied at 34-34.

McFarlane scored the touchdown on a fourth-down jaunt around right end prior to Brown keeping the ball and sliding into the corner of the endzone on the two-point conversion, giving FSHS the huge 42-40 victory over Opelousas.

Brown completed 9 of 20 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Robertson, who went to the sidelines with an ankle injury, led the Hornets in scoring with 16 attempts for 76 yards and one TD. Brown finished with 15 carries for 44 yards and one TD while Brandon McFarlane carried 12 times for 29 yards and one TD. Stephon Poledore rushed two times for eight yards while Charles Webb had three totes for one yard and Derrick Kelly carried one time for two yards.

Brennan Robinson made two catches for 43 yards and one TD while Derrick Kelly caught two passes for 19 yards and one TD. Allen Randle had two catches for 58 yards while Stephon Poledore had one catch for six yards.

Franklin (2-1) will travel to face the Abbeville Wildcats next Friday in the District 9-3A opener.

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