After losing to Towson last week, Franklin coach Anthony Burgos told his disheartened players that good teams find a way to rebound, and they needed to focus on their next game, against Baltimore County rival Kenwood.
The Indians responded by using a dominating performance on offense, a stifling defense and big plays on special teams to put away the host Bluebirds, 36-15, last night. With the score tied 7-7 at halftime, Franklin broke the game open with 29 second-half points.
All-Metro running back Scott Noble carried 24 times for 103 yards and quarterback Josh Gibson completed eight of 18 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns to lead Franklin. Noble started slowly with only 13 yards on five carries before the half, but he eventually wore down Kenwood's defensive line in the third and fourth quarters.
"I am not going to come out every play and bust some yards. That is just the game of football," Noble said. "If I have to choose between having 30 yards and a win or 300 yards and a loss, I'll take the win."
Kenwood took the lead on a 12-yard run by Brandon Byrd. Franklin responded with six minutes left in the half when Gibson completed a pass about 10 yards downfield to Rashard Blackwell, who then pitched the ball to Noble for an 86-yard score.
The play set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Indians scored 36 straight points and their defense never allowed Kenwood to get into any type of rhythm on offense.
"After the Towson game, we just wanted to sit down, watch the tape and figure out our mistakes," Burgos said. "We took positives from the loss and moved onto this week. We just wanted to rebound, get ourselves together and get back to work."
Franklin (6-1, 5-1) lost Gibson to a hand injury (his thumb hit another player's helmet) early in the second half, but still managed to take a 14-7 lead on a 14-yard pass from Jeromie Miller to Blackwell. Miller also had a big game as a receiver with 114 yards on five catches and a touchdown. Gibson later returned to the game.
After that score, Franklin's special teams took over with a fumble recovery on a kickoff and later a blocked punt that led to 14 points. Kenwood (5-2, 4-2) cut the score to 36-13 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Kevin Fisher with 5:30 left in the game. The Bluebirds added a two-point conversion, but never threatened again.
The win keeps Franklin atop the 3A-4A Baltimore County Division, but their goals are much loftier than just a county title.
"Winning a county championship is great, but we are talking about winning every game week by week," Burgos said.