By: David Wells
Franklin head coach Donnie Webb has had a philosophy each week of the Rebels’ undefeated season.
Go 1-0 each week.
But while that was the record Webb was aiming for Thursday night, the Rebels moved one step closer to a 10-0 season with a dominant 49-12 win over Summit.
“I can’t say enough about the resilience of this team,” Webb said. “They’ve worked since way back in the winter. While everybody else was in the playoffs, they were having to work, and they deserve this.”
The win sets the stage for an important home matchup with Ravenwood on Oct. 18. The Raptors are 6-1 after a 45-3 victory over Dickson Co. Thursday night, and they will likely be Franklin’s biggest test for the remainder of the season.
Franklin quarterback Joe Critchlow went 9-for-12 with 211 yards and four touchdowns against the Spartans, most of which came in a lopsided first half where he threw for more yards than Summit had in total offense for the entire game.
Meanwhile, Summit quarterback Dee Hunter rushed 27 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, but neither he nor backup J.C. Dryden managed to complete a pass attempt all night. Running Chris Jenkins added 47 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
Early on, Franklin (7-0, 3-0 District 11-AAA) looked like it might have been in danger, as Summit (1-7, 0-4) converted two fourth downs and drove down the field 70 yards. Dee Hunter’s 1-yard run made it 6-0 Summit with about five minutes left in the quarter.
Summit stopped Franklin on its first drive, but after the Spartans went three-and-out, Critchlow threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Ben Hagaman to take a 7-6 lead as the first quarter ended.
Franklin forced another Summit three-and-out, giving the Rebels a short field that they didn’t waste. Critchlow threw another touchdown pass to Hagaman, a 6-yard that widened Franklin’s lead to 13.
The Spartans failed to convert on fourth down on their next drive, and Critchlow’s 35-yard toss to Luke Hill made it 21-6 with 1:51 left in the half.
Critchlow got the Rebels as close as the Summit 32 as the seconds wound down, but kicker Corey Fatony missed his 49-yard field goal attempt.
After halftime, it was more of the same. Franklin scored three touchdowns in less than six minutes–a 1-yard Malik Grimes run, a 25-yard Nick Hutchins interception return and a 61-yard Critchlow pass to Parker Pinnell.
Summit managed to score again in the fourth quarter; Jenkins ran in a 2-yard touchdown after the Spartans drove 80 yards to make it 42-12 Franklin.
But by then, it was too late.