Franklin Road Academy has worked its way to the top to get a buy-in for the Division II-A playoffs and even kick-off at home. The Panthers will take on Tipton-Rosemark Academy on Friday night at 7 p.m. for the first round of the TSSAA play-off games. This will be the first time that these two schools meet.
Last season, the Panthers took a fall to St. George’s in the first round of the playoffs. However, this is FRA’s second season with head coach Bill Whittemore and they have been improving each year. 2012 ended the Panthers with a 6-5 record, and 2011 only allowed the Panthers four wins in the regular season.
Rosemark hails from the West Region in Division II-A football, while FRA calls the East and Middle Region home. The Rebels are stomping all the way from Millington, TN. For those of you who are unsure where that is, it’s about 30 minutes north-east of Memphis.
The Rebels are currently 4-6 overall and 2-4 within the region. Rosemark is coming off a win in the regular season from Rossville Christian (3-6), but has yet to take a win from a team that has more than 3-wins on its season record.
On average, Rosemark scores about 22-points per game, while FRA scores about 26. Sure, those are pretty close. However, FRA is more consistent with wins and scoring overall. Rosemark took a 4-game losing streak in the middle of the season, and FRA has only allowed a 2-game losing streak within its schedule.
In two of FRA’s five-wins in the season, the Panthers took an over 40-point lead in the final score. The most Rosemark has beaten its opponent is by 28-points.
Rosemark stands in the same region as the undefeated Evangelical Christian School (ECS) and 9-1 First Assembly Christian School. If FRA can pull a win out of this one, the Panthers will be seeing ECS next week in Cordova, TN.
The Panthers Joe Irby is a big factor into FRA’s success on the field. The offensive guard committed to Bobby Petrino’s Western Kentucky University in early October, after several offers from schools like Memphis and MTSU.
247Sports.com has Irby ranked 23rd in the state and gives him 3-stars as a recruit.
FRA is coming off a tough 7-42 loss to rival BGA (7-3), who will take a bye this week in the playoffs. This will be an exciting game for the Panthers, but no walk in the park.
However, the odds seem to be in their favor.
The Williamson Source will keep you updated on FRA throughout the 2013 play-offs this season and more from the Panthers to come.
Don’t forget, on Friday nights we have our Football Central Homepage with our live scoreboard, and you can follow @WilliamsonSrc for all of your latest football updates!