Lions overpower Buffalo, look towards the Cubs
The Franklin Lions hosted the undefeated Buffalo Bison Friday night in a game to decide the District 13-3A championship.
The No. 7 Lions overpowered Buffalo 69-38 to capture their tenth district crown in the past 14 years. Franklin rushed for an eye-popping 669 yards to extend their win streak to six games.
The win also marked the first district championship for Mark Fannin after taking over the head coaching duties this season.
“One of our goals going into every season is to win a district championship,” said Fannin. “We faced some challenges earlier this season, and I am proud of the way everyone rallied together and battled through them.”
He added, “Our kids and the entire coaching staff have done a great job from day one to get us to this point. Now we have to focus on our last district game. Clifton is fighting for a playoff spot, so we know we will get their best shot.”
Buffalo entered the game Friday with a perfect 7-0 record, but the Lions scored on 10 of their 12 offensive possessions to pull away for the 31-point win.
The Bison opened the scoring with a touchdown pass on their first possession. Franklin answered when senior fullback Seth Spiller scored on a 3-yard run.
After Malcolm Murphy added a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 14-13 advantage, Buffalo returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to retake a 20-14 lead.
It would be the Bison’s final lead of the night as Franklin ran off the next 28 points to take control of the game.
Bryson Washington scored on runs of 3 and 65yards before Spiller broke loose for an 81-yard touchdown sprint to give the Lions a 35-20 halftime lead.
Bryson Washington added another Franklin touchdown on a 44-yard run to open the third quarter. The sophomore halfback finished 262 yards rushing on just 11 carries. That’s 23.82 yards per carry for everyone not wanting to break out their calculator.
Devyn Hidrogo got into the scoring frenzy with a 36-yard touchdown run before Bryson Washington found the endzone again from 44-yards out.
Murphy rounded out the Lions scoring with a 3-yard run and a 20-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Marcus Wade.
Junior fullback Bobby Washington finished with 80 yards on eight carries while Spiller carried eight times for 163 yards to give him a team-leading 908 yards on the season.
Haze Tomascik continued to anchor the Franklin defense with 16 tackles, including a pair a tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack. That gives the junior linebacker a 107 total stops on the season.
Bryson Washington added 12 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception while Spiller and Seth Shamblin finished with 9 tackles apiece. Shamblin also had a big night kicking, connecting on 9-of-10 extra points.
Nick Hrncir and Brayden Youree had 7 tackles each while Murphy added an interception for the Lion defense.
Franklin will finish up the regular season Friday night at 7:30 when they travel to Clifton to face the Cubs at Cub Stadium.