Franklin pulled out all the stops in the second half, turning a 14-12 halftime lead into a 37-12 triumph.
“I really liked the way we played in the second half,” Ina said. “We didn’t do bad in the first half, but we made mental mistakes. Overall, I like how they came out in the second half and finished the game. We made mistakes that we shouldn’t have made with the penalties we had, coming from guys playing hard, not letting up at the end. At the half, I told them we were winning and we must go out and do what we are expected to do.”
Franklin sophomore runningback Brian Robertson hit the century mark in rushing while scoring four touchdowns to lead an explosive offensive unit which piled up 321 total yards, including 220 on the ground. Robertson scored on touchdown runs of 3, 30, 1 and 25 yards while gashing the Opelousas defensive unit for 112 yards on 21 carries.
Franklin’s defensive unit pitched a shut out in the second half after turning in a bend-but-don’t-break performance in the first half.
From the opening series, Franklin’s defensive unit stymied the Tigers, securing possession at the 7-yard line when Damien Bowie recovered a high snap, putting the Hornets in business deep in the Tigers’ terriotory.
Bowie made his presence felt later in the first quarter, pilfering a pass at the Hornets’ 12 and returning it to the Opelousas 20. Franklin’s opportunistic defense forced five turnovers, including a safety, three fumble recoveries and one interception.
“I’m proud of the guys. I’m proud of the overall effort,” Ina stated. “We have a talented team and its not a lack of talent that’s been getting in our way, but we have to make less mistakes. Tonight, we made fewer mistakes and we played to our ability level and a lot of good things happened…I’m proud of this win, but by no means are we satisfied, we’re going to look at it and make corrections and we are going to move on to the next as we must stay focused.”
Franklin dominated from early on, scoring the game’s first touchdown with the clock showing 10:50 in the initial quarter. Robertson scored on the first of his four TDs from 3 yards out. Brandon McFarland booted the extra-point through the uprights, giving FSHS an early 7-0 advantage.
Bowie, who later scored on a 7-yard run in the third quarter, came up with an interception to turn the Tigers back from a golden scoring opportunity early in the first period.
After a drive deep in Tigers’ territory went awry at the one, Franklin wasted little time in grabbing a 14-0 lead with 48.6 ticks remaining in the first quarter. On a one-play drive, Robertson scored his second TD on the night from 30 yards out, giving FSHS a 13-0 lead. McFarlane tacked on the extra point, sending FSHS ahead by a comfortable 14-0 advantage.
In the second quarter, Ronald Brown and Brandon Owens brought the Tigers back with touchdowns runs of 4 and 24 yards respectively as OHS trailed FSHS by a 14-12 margin at the half.
In the second half, the Hornets dominated like never before on the way to their first win of the season.
FSHS took the second half kickoff and marched 60 yards in 11 plays while consuming 4:55 for a score. The Brothers Robertson _ Brian and Raheem - took turns churning up huge chunks of real estate on the drive before starting quarterback Micheal Poledore flicked a fourth-down pass to Brennan Robinson, who scored only to have a penalty nullify the touchdown. After the penalty, Franklin needed only three plays before Damien Bowie hit paydirt from seven yards away, lifting the FSHS Hornets outfront by a 20-12 advantage.
Early in the fourth period, Robertson scored on a one-yard run before Shon Johnson scored on the two-point conversion, sending FSHS ahead by a 28-12 margin.
With 7:38 remaining in the contest, Franklin’s defensive unit smothered Opelousas quarterback Mandell Sam in the endzone, giving FSHS a 30-12 advantage.
Robertson, who finished as the Hornets’ leading rusher with 21 carries for 112 yards, scored on a 25-yard run up the middle, highstepping into the zone, capping an outstanding performance on the night. McFarlane booted the extra point as the FSHS Hornets defeated the Opelousas Tigers by a score of 37-12.
“He did a great job as he is one of the most talented runners I’ve seen in a long time,” Ina said. “A lot of people might be impressed by what he did but the kid does that all the time. We just have to put it together around him and make the right blocks and not miss blocks because he is a tough runner who is a 10th grader on a team that’s trying to get better. The best is yet to come from that young man.”
Franklin (1-2) will play host to the Abbeville Wildcats next Friday for Homecoming and the opening of the district season.
First Downs 14 17
Yards Rushing 223 220
Yards Passing 0 101
Total Offense 223 321
Att.-Comp.-Int. 5-0-1 10-8-0
Punts-Avg. 1-32 1-24
Fumbles-Lost 6-3 4-2
Penalties-Yards 6-43 9-99
Score By Quarters
Opelousas 0 12 0 0 — 12
Franklin 14 0 7 16 — 37
FSH — Brian Robertson 3 run. Brandon McFarlane kick.
FSH — Robertson 30 run. McFarlane kick.
OHS — Ronald Brown 4 run. Kick failed.
OHS — Brandon Owens 24 run. Run failed.
FSH — Damien Bowie 7 run. Kick failed.
FSH — Robertson 1 run. Shon Johnson run.
FSH — Safety, Mandell Sam recovers fumble in endzone.
FSH — Robertson 25 run. McFarlane kick.
Opelousas — Ronald Brown 23-122, 1 TD; Mandell Sam 14-91; Brandon Owens 1-24; Rashun Pitre 5-5
Franklin — Brian Robertson 21-112, 4 TDs; Rahem Robertson 8-37; Zachery Stewart 5-32; Shon Johnson 7-28; Damien Bowie 2-9, 1 Td
Opelousas — Mandell Sam 2 atts, 0 comps, 1 int; Rashun Pitre 3 atts, 0 comps
Franklin — Michael Poledore 10 atts, 8 comps, 101 yards
Franklin — Brian Robertson 2-20; Derrick Kelly 2-21; Brennen Robinson 1-24; Shon Johnson 1—15; Rahem Robertson 1-15; Damien Bowie 1-7