Franklin dom­i­nates, 30-7

No. 5 In­di­ans shut down No. 14 Glenelg’s run game as they roll to vic­tory

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY FOOTBALL - By Jeff Sei­del

Glenelg came to Franklin for Fri­day’s Class 3A state semi­fi­nal with a ground game that had gained over 3,500 yards so far this sea­son.

How­ever, stop­ping the run had been one of the In­di­ans’ strong points this sea­son, and Franklin did it again against the Gla­di­a­tors.

The No. 5 In­di­ans shut down Glenelg’s vaunted at­tack, while Josh Turner ran for two touch­downs, Michael Gib­son added one, and Larry Smith threw for one more as Franklin rolled to a 30-7 vic­tory over the No. 14 Gla­di­a­tors.

The In­di­ans (11-1) ad­vanced to the Class 3A state ti­tle game on Thurs­day or Dec. 8 against Da­m­as­cus at Navy at 7 p.m.

That date will be de­ter­mined af­ter the Mid­ship­men play to­day. If they host the Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game next week­end, the state ti­tle game would be moved back one week.

This will be the third time in four years Franklin has made it to the state fi­nal. It won the Class 3A state ti­tle in 2013 and 2014 be­fore los­ing to Dun­dalk in last year’s re­gion fi­nal.

The In­di­ans al­lowed only two rush­ing touch­downs this sea­son un­til Seth Tay­lor scored on a 1-yard run with 20.6 sec­onds left. Franklin held Glenelg (10-3) to 109 rush­ing yards — 71 of which came on the fi­nal drive.

“That’s been one of our strong points this year,” In­di­ans coach Anthony Bur­gos said. “We felt like if we could stop the run­ning game and force them to throw, we would be in good shape.”

Franklin stopped Gla­di­a­tors run­ning back Wande Owens, who ran for 2,449 yards in the team’s first 12 games. Owens av­er­aged 7.4 yards per carry with 28 touch­downs this sea­son but gained only 43 yards on 20 car­ries.

The de­fense re­peat­edly swarmed Owens when he tried to run. He sim­ply had nowhere to go as the In­di­ans put in a fifth line­backer and of­ten had eight play­ers in the box, so Owens drew plenty of at­ten­tion.

“They [took] away what we do best,” Glenelg coach Butch Schaf­fer said. “They were a tremen­dous foot­ball team.”

Franklin also got plenty of help on of­fense. Gib­son ran for 85 yards on just three car­ries and caught six passes for 92 yards.

Turner rushed for 74 yards on nine car­ries with his two scores, and Smith — who al­ter­nates with Turner at quar­ter­back — com­pleted six of 14 for 86 yards and the touch­down.

The Gla­di­a­tors punted well early, pin­ning the In­di­ans in­side their 5-yard line on the first two pos­ses­sions. But Franklin drove for touch­downs on each and a quick 14-0 lead.

The In­di­ans went 94 yards the first time, capped by Gib­son’s 40-yard run, in which he found traf­fic af­ter get­ting the hand­off, bounced out­side and raced down the right side­line for a touch­down and a 7-0 lead with 5:02 left in the first quar­ter.

They made it 14-0 on the fol­low­ing drive, in which Smith threw an 18-yard touch­down pass to As­santi Kear­ney with 7:55 re­main­ing in the first half. That wrapped up a 97-yard drive that took up nearly five min­utes.

“We came out and ran the foot­ball well,” Turner said. “We started out fast. We wanted to set a tone early.”

KARL MER­TON FERRON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Franklin line­backer Eli­jah Solomon com­bines with de­fen­sive line­man Kenny Gar­rett (40) to tackle Glenelg quar­ter­back Hunter Forsyth (8) 5 yards short of the first down. The In­di­ans ad­vanced to the state ti­tle game on Fri­day or Dec. 8 against Da­m­as­cus.

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