In­di­ans cruise past Owls

No. 8 Franklin scores twice in first 10 min­utes for 39-0 win over No. 11 Dun­dalk

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Kather­ine Dunn kather­ine.dunn@balt­sun,com twit­ter.com/ kdunnsun

Franklin’s quick-start of­fense and high-pres­sure de­fense made sure re­cent foot­ball history did not re­peat it­self last night.

A year ago, Franklin won big in the reg­u­lar sea­son, but Dun­dalk came back to win the re­match two weeks later in the play­offs. That ended the In­di­ans’ twoyear reign as Class 3A state cham­pi­ons.

Last week, the No. 8 In­di­ans de­feated the No. 11 Owls in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale. This time, they made sure Dun­dalk did not re­verse the out­come. Franklin scored twice in the first 10 min­utes and rolled to a 39-0 vic­tory in the 3A North re­gion semi­fi­nal.

“Our key this week was re­ally to strike fast,” Franklin coach An­thony Bur­gos said. “Af­ter scor­ing 33 points last week, we felt if we could get up quickly, then they’ll un­der­stand that last week wasn’t a fluke, but we felt like if we let them hang around for a while, then there could be an is­sue.”

Se­nior quar­ter­back Josh Turner scored four touch­downs, two pass­ing and one rush­ing. His first touch­down, a 26-yard pass to Michael Gib­son, came on the In­di­ans’ sec­ond drive of the game with 5:45 left in the first quar­ter. Dun­dalk helped that drive when the snap soared over the punter’s head and Franklin took over on the Owls’ 28-yard line.

The In­di­ans (9-1) used two quar­ter­backs through­out the game and ju­nior Larry Smith hit An­dreus Price for the sec­ond touch­down less than three min­utes later on a 25-yard pass.

Turner, also a cor­ner and re­ceiver, doesn’t mind shar­ing du­ties with Smith. The se­nior was 8-for-13 pass­ing for 183 yards, while Smith was 7-for-15 for 102 yards.

“He’s a great player and when you’ve got great play­ers you’ve got to plug them in,” Turner said. “We work on the sys­tem. Coach Bur­gos, coach [Ryan] Hain, they Franklin wide re­ceiver Michael Gib­son out­runs Dun­dalk cor­ner­back Dar­rius Sam­ple for a touch­down. Gib­son’s 4-yard touch­down run gave the In­di­ans a 39-0 lead. have a great sys­tem. Plug any one of us in and we can get it done.”

Tuner threw an­other touch­down, a 52-yard pass to Aaron Dut­ton, in the sec­ond quar­ter and Smith threw a 20-yard pass to A’ssanti Kear­ney in the third quar­ter. Turner and Gib­son also ran for short touch­downs.

Gib­son’s 4-yard touch­down run with 6:30 left in the third quar­ter gave the In­di­ans a 39-0 lead and started the run­ning clock.

The In­di­ans de­fense kept the Owls (8-3) with­out a first down un­til the sec­ond quar­ter. They al­lowed Dun­dalk’s sec­ond-team All-Metro quar­ter­back Dar­rius Sam­ple, who has scored 25 touch­downs this fall, just one touch­down in two games against him this sea­son, and that didn’t come un­til the fi­nal minute of the reg­u­lar-sea­son game.

“He’s been the cor­ner­stone of our pro­gram,” Dun­dalk coach Sean San­dora said. “We run a spread op­tion of­fense and there’s a lot of pres­sure on the quar­ter­back to make plays, and he’s made spec­tac­u­lar plays through­out his ca­reer. Tonight, they just rushed seven and got pres­sure on him, and he was never able to get into a rhythm.”

The In­di­ans (9-1) ad­vance to play the win­ner of Satur­day’s other semi­fi­nal, be­tween No. 9 Mil­ford Mill and North Har­ford, for the re­gion cham­pi­onship next week. If the top-seeded Millers win, they would host the game Satur­day. If North Har­ford wins, the sec­ond-seeded In­di­ans would host the game Fri­day at 7 p.m.

Both teams were re­build­ing this sea­son — Dun­dalk af­ter the best sea­son in school history last fall when they reached the state ti­tle game. The In­di­ans didn’t re­turn a starter on of­fense.

“It starts with the ‘O’ line the ‘O’ line played big,” Turner said. “We’ve got great ath­letes out there and they’re just com­ing out, and [we] get the ball in their hands and let them do what they can do.”

The In­di­ans are aim­ing for their third state ti­tle and their fourth ap­pear­ance in the ti­tle game since 2010.

KARL MER­TON FER­RON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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