The Daily Review
FRANKLIN — After suffering a 6-0 loss earlier this year in the annual St. Mary Parish Jamboree, Morgan City High School coaches were familiar with what Franklin Senior High School would do Friday night.
What the coaches probably did not expect was a dominating defensive performance from the Hornets, which caused five turnovers — two interceptions and three fumbles — and limited the previously unbeaten Tigers to less than 150 yards total offense in a 26-14 homecoming loss to Franklin.
The loss drops Morgan City to 4-1 on the year, while Franklin improves to 3-3.
Both schools struggled offensively in the first half, but Franklin managed to put together a nice scoring drive in the first quarter. Junior running back Brandon McFarlane scored on a four-yard run with 2:59 remaining in the quarter. Franklin’s two-point conversion try was no good, but the Hornets still led, 6-0.
Morgan City managed a good drive in the second quarter, and Eric Walker scored on a three yard run.
Sergize Flores’ extra point attempt gave the Tigers the 7-6 lead with 1:24 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers would take the lead into halftime.
At halftime Franklin coach J. Ina told his players they were a play away or penalty away from being in the lead at halftime.
“We made some adjustments at halftime, and our defense played lights out tonight,” he said after the game. “Right now we have some players playing on both sides of the ball. Early on in the season, I was trying to play a lot of younger guys to develop some depth. It was hot, and it’s tough to play both ways.”
In the third quarter the Hornets defense took charge of the game as the Tigers turned the ball over, giving the Franklin offense short field positions to score on.
The Hornets’ offense took advantage as Hornets’ signal caller Jarion Brown connected with D’Marcus Bowie for a seven yard pass with 6:40 remaining in the third quarter, and Brian Robertson scored on a one-yard touchdown for a 19-7 advantage with 1:56 remaining in the third stanza. Franklin’s two-point conversion attempt was no good on the Bowie touchdowns, but McFarlane’s extra point attempt was successful on the Robertson run.
Later in the fourth quarter, McFarlene, sealed the win as he returned a Hoang Nguyen interception 10 yards for a touchdown.
In the win, Franklin limited Morgan City to 147 yards of total offense (61 rushing and 86 passing).
“This was a real big win for us tonight,” Ina said. “I thought we played outstanding on defense. That’s two weeks in a row. We were extremely physical on defense. They were bigger than us, but we played very physical.”
Despite the loss, the Tigers didn’t perform bad defensively as they surrendered just 213 total yards (43 rushing yards and 170 passing).
Morgan City coach Brandon Nowlin told his team after the game they cannot turn the ball over that many times and expect to win.
“We are going to be OK,” he said. “Next week we gotta have a good week of practice and come out ready to play.”
Morgan City opens up district play on the road against Ellender Thursday at 7 p.m., while Franklin continues District 9-3A action against Kaplan.
While the MCHS coach staff thought the Tigers’ game against Ellender was a Friday night matchup and the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s website said the same, the Tigers discovered approximately two weeks ago that the game actually had been scheduled for Thursday evening at South Terrebonne High all along, according to Ellender High School’s schedule on the Terrebonne Parish School Board’s website.
South Terrebonne, who shares its stadium with Ellender, is scheduled to play at home Friday against Assumption High.
Daily Review Sports Editor Geoff Stoute contributed to this report