Franklin (0-2) spotted the Tigers a 12-0 lead before rallying with a pair of second half scores to close the gap within the 28-13 margin.
“We played an excellent second half,” Franklin Coach J. Ina said. “We got nervous early in the game as we spotted them a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. We have to execute better, taking what we learned from the practice field to the game field.”
St. Martinville’s Diantre Gardner took the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown, lifting the Tigers to a 6-0 lead with only 14 second ticking off the clock.
A short time later, the Tigers’ Jude St. Julien scored on a 2-yard run, sending SMHS to a 12-0 lead at the 7:30 mark of the first period. Asa Marshall set up the Tigers’ second score with a 23-yard return of an interception, giving St. Martinville a first-and-10 at the 12-yard line. St. Julien capped the scoring drive with runs of 2, 8 and the final two yards for the score at the 7:30 mark of the first stanza.
Midway through the third quarter, the St. Martinville Tigers scored on another big play as quarterback Clifton Chaisson hooked up with wide receiver Lorenzo Chaisson on a 47-yard touchdown with 7:46 scoring on the clock. Chaisson tacked on the two-point conversion, sending the Tigers outfront by a 20-0 margin.
The Franklin Hornets refused to fold their tents despite being in the middle of a huge hole. FSHS caught fire during the third quarter, fighting back vialiantly on the heels of a emotionally-charged march which resulted in an explosive 67-yard TD drive. Franklin, by using a bit of trickery, scored its first touchdown of the season on a nifty four-play, 67-yard scoring drive which culminated in a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Micheal Polidore to Rahem Robertson. On the play, Polidore handed the ball off before hauling in a lateral and perfect spiral to a wide-open Rahem, who made the catch and scurried untouched into the endzone completing a 47-yard touchdown. Brandon McFarlane booted the extra point as Franklin trailed St. Martinville by a margin of 20-7 with 5:24 remaining in the third quarter.
Chaisson took matters into his own hands in the latter moments of the third quarter, scoring on a 43-yard run. He weaved his way through on the 43-yard TD as the Tigers forged ahead by a 26-7 margin. Chaisson tossed a pass to Kendall Wiltz for the two-point conversion with 1:54 remaining in the quarter.
Later in the fourth quarter, the FSHS Hornets scored their second touchdown, closing the gap to 28-13. Poledore, who scored the Hornets’ second TD, called his own number on clutch runs, putting the Hornets in position for the score on the drive. On a third-and-seven from the 39, Poledore kept the ball for a nine-yard gain, giving the Hornets new life at the 30. Poledore picked up five more yards before handing the ball to Damien Bowie for a huge 18 -yard pickup to the Tigers’ 6. One play later, Zachary Stewart ran off tackle for five yards before Poledore hit paydirt on a one-yard plunge for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed as Franklin trimmed St. Martinville’s lead to 287-14 with 3:56 remaining in the game.
Franklin successfully completed the onside kick but turned the ball over on possession after a fourth-down pass went awry.
Franklin will play host to the Opelousas Tigers on Thursday at 7 p.m. at J. C. Dry Stadium.