Now, a deflated Franklin team is looking for a spark, after being bombarded by West St. Mary, 34-0, in the annual Fire on the Bayou game last week.
“We just need some kind of success to get these kids to buy into what we are trying to do here,” Franklin defensive coordinator Carlon Butler said.
The young Hornets (0-1) won just one game last season, so confidence is an issue.
“It’s tough for the kids right now,” Butler explained. “We’ve had two bad performances in a row so the community is really down on us, so we just asked the kids to trust us (the coaches).”
Franklin also lost 34-0 to Patterson in the Morgan City Jamboree two weeks ago.
FHS is in the second season of head coach J. Ina’s rebuilding program.
“We simplified a few things this week so the kids can just line up and play ball,” Butler said.
St. Martinville (0-1) is also in rebuilding mode. The Tigers were also (1-9) last season with their only win coming against Franklin.
STM dropped its season opener, 24-6, to New Iberia last week.
New Iberia used two second-half touchdowns to break open what had been a close game. NIHS led 10-7 at halftime after a 22-yard field goal with 35 seconds to go in the half.
“We played real hard in the first half,” first-year St. Martinville head coach Gary Adkins said. “But they made some big plays on us in the second half.”
The key to the game for the two-upstart programs may be ball security. Franklin fumbled nine times last week, losing five.
“We can’t have the turnovers,” Butler said. “We can’t keep putting our defense on a short field.”
Franklin had success running the football against St. Martinville last season. Running back Brian Robertson, then a freshman, had his first 100-yard rushing game (120).
“Brian had a real good game against them last year so we hope to get him going Friday,” Butler said. Robinson had five carries for 25 yards last week. Zach Stewart led the Hornets’ backs with 50 yards on 11 carries. FHS had just 69 yards rushing in the game.
St. Martinville will also look to run the ball. The Tigers run the triple option.
“They have good athletes at quarterback and at the wing back positions,” Butler said. “We are going to have to tackle well to win, we just need a couple things to go our way and I think this team will take a huge step forward.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Franklin.