The Road to State Starts Here
The Region 6AAA Championship saw the Franklin Rebels (10-4-2) paired against the Bears of Antioch (13-2-2). The two teams hadn’t met since last season’s Semi-Final Round in the Regional’s, a contest won by Franklin with a score of 2-1.
The match started off with each team feeling the other one out and laying back from an all out attack. A strategy any coach would employ with so much at stake. For the majority of the first half, Antioch controlled possession, putting Franklin defenders on their heels. Just when it appeared Franklin would get to the second half unscathed and be able to regroup, Antioch strikes with a fire cracker of a goal. With that goal, the Bears would take a one, nil lead to intermission.
Rebels 2nd Half Resurgence
Whatever speech coach Mike Burgoyne gave at the half worked, because the Rebels came out a different side.
Wasting little time, Franklin junior, Grayson Sherrel, knocked in his team’s first goal in the 33rd minute after brilliant passing deep in Antioch’s territory. The goal that would set Franklin in front wouldn’t come until 19 minutes in later in the 14th when Captain and junior, Chris Miller-Hill, capitalized on a penalty kick. The shot was taken with confidence and buried in the bottom left corner of the keeper’s net. To seal the deal, junior, Sam Case, dazzled fans and defenders alike with his foot work on Franklin’s final goal. Case would shake the keeper in the box to put the Rebels up three to one in the 5th minute.
After capturing the 6AAA Region Championship, Franklin now turns their attention towards a TSSAA State Title. With the victory, Franklin will now get the opportunity to host their sectional opponent, Clarksville on Saturday, May 20th.
After the game, we caught up with head coach, Mike Burgoyne to get his reaction on his team’s victory.
Q. “Coach, to get a win like that after trailing initially to a tough Antioch side, what does that say about your team’s mentality?”
A. “It was one of the things we talked about at the beginning of the year, when we had gone down in a couple of games and we hadn’t come back. But towards the end of the season, we showed character and resiliency in games where we’d get down and then come back to win. Tonight was just the icing on the cake, I told the guys the sky is the limit. You show you can do that against such a great team in an awesome environment, Antioch had a great group of fans tonight. Our student section was great tonight, so it was such a special environment to play in. What I was so proud of is, the first half we go down by a goal, we still played alright, their crowd was in it, but my message was just ‘relax.’ You know you can do it! We knew we had the team that could beat them and we came out second half and when we got that third goal it was just… no words for it.”
Q.”How does it feel to be able to call yourself and your team Region Champions?”
A. “Great! They set themselves up for this. We were disappointed with our game last Thursday when we lost the district final to Ravenwood. We didn’t know how things would shake out and now we’ve put ourselves back where we can host a game on a Saturday and now all we have to do is win and keep moving towards state.”