Monday, October 31, 2011

11-0 Panther Season Recap

Week 11 - Panthers slosh to wet 35-14 win to claim WNCAC outright

Any time you play a game on a wet field where the footing is suspect you have concern about injuries especially when the playoffs are right around the corner. Friday night in Waynesville, Coach Josh Brooks left Hazelwood with all of the players unscathed with only minor bumps and bruises reported. Franklin would cruise out to a 35-0 lead before the heavy rains slowed down play on both sides of the ball causing play to become sloppy at times. Coach Brooks was content to let the clock roll and leave with the win, a win that gave his team the first undefeated regular season in the history of Franklin High School as well as the WNCAC 3A conference championship outright. Looking at the final stat sheet it is evident that the weather played a problem as the Panther attack was limited to just 186 yards rushing and 55 yards passing, far below the season averages. Jeb Brewer was the standout offensively as the Panther wideout would score two touchdowns, the first coming on a 22-yard reverse in the first quarter, and the second came on a 7-yard pass reception late in the third quarter from Austin Gibson. Nathan Raby scored a 6-yard TD late in the first quarter. Parrish Young scored on a 11-yard run in the second quarter. Sophomore Marquell Manning would add a 3-yard plunge in the third quarter. Tuscola scored on two bombs late in the game but they were incidental the final outcome. #1 Franklin moves on to play #16 Hunter Huss from Gastonia NC in the Panther Pit in the first round of the NC 3A playoffs, while #15Tuscola will play #2 seed Burns High school.

First Quarter
F- Jeb Brewer 22 YD RUN (PAT GOOD) 1:30
F- Nathan Raby 6 YD RUN (PAT GOOD) 0:16

Second Quarter
F- Parrish Young 11 YD RUN (PAT GOOD) 3:24

Third Quarter
F- Marquel Manning 3 YD RUN (PAT GOOD) 10:23
F- Jeb Brewer 7 pass from Austin Gibson (PAT GOOD) 5:41

Fourth Quarter

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Franklin HS (11 - 0 - 0) 14 7 14 0 35
Tuscola High School (4 - 7 - 0) 0 0 0 14 14

FRANKLIN (10-0, 6-0) at TUSCOLA (4-6, 4-2)
Last week: Franklin beat West Henderson, 56-0; Tuscola lost to East Henderson, 55-13.
Last year: Tuscola beat Franklin, 27-21.
Notes: What took so long? Franklin and the Young brothers finally entered The Associated Press 3-A poll (at No. 10) earlier this week. A team off to the best start in school history now has the chance for another big first – no Panthers player has ever beaten Tuscola at any level. Of course, freshman and leading tackler Jeremiah Young (51) has never gotten the opportunity until tonight. His older brother, senior Jacob Young (711 yards, 11 touchdowns), assumed the team lead in rushing last Friday, but Nathan Raby (691 yards, eight touchdowns) should be back tonight after serving a one-game suspension for “flagrant contact” against East Henderson on Oct. 14. Young, Raby and Austin Gibson (859 yards and eight touchdowns with two interceptions) will look to prey on a Tuscola defense that gave up 696 yards a week ago at East Henderson.
Pick: Franklin by 10.

Week 11 - Time for the outright Conference title as Panthers travel to Tuscola

Even thought the season is ten weeks old, the Franklin coaches are still taking it one game at a time. Its a fact that Franklin has not beaten Tuscola since Donnie Kiefer has been their coach. In fact no kid on the Panther team has ever beaten Tuscola in a varsity football game.

Franklin vs. Tuscola (the Kiefer years)

2007 Franklin 23 Tuscola 34
2008 Franklin 18 Tuscola 45
2009 Franklin 14 Tuscola 35
2010 Franklin 21 Tuscola 27

Tuscola Coach Kiefer has always played Franklin tough even back in 1995 when he was the coach at Andrews High, he beat Franklin 20-6. It does not matter that Tuscola does not have the best record in the conference, they will still be well prepared and give us a good game. Franklin has to take care of business and beat Tuscola to eliminate the possibility of a shared conference championship. East Henderson and Tuscola both have one conference loss and Franklin needs to beat Tuscola so we will become the outright conference champion. A win Friday night will guarantee a top seed in the 3A playoffs (either a #1 or #2). As it looks right now assuming both Franklin and Asheville win out, they should be the top two seeds in the West pod and the seeds will be decided by coin flip. The projected teams in the West pod are as of right now looking like it is going to be the toughest bracket since there will be 4 conference champions in the west. Below is a probable listing of who is going to be in the Midwest and West Pods and this is solely a guess since the ADM numbers have not came out yet. What this means is that some teams could go up to 3AA and some could go East

Week 10 - Panthers clinch a share of Conference and tie more records and move to 10-0

When you look back at the record book after the 2011 season you are going to see lots of references to the 2011 Panthers. Friday night they once again added to the record book as a team matching the all time consecutive wins mark with 10. 10 wins is also shared with 1976 and 2001. Head ball coach Josh Brooks has 50 wins as the all time Winingest coach in school history. Senior defensive back Parrish Young also tied a school record with his brother Jeremiah with 2 interceptions in a game. Jeremiah Young did that vs. Smoky Mtn. this season and I'm currently looking back to see if it has ever been previously done. Kicker Eric Olvera also tied a record for most PAT kicks made in a game with 8, a record he already shares with Brandon Stiwinter, Kyle Garner, Chase Henry. With the 56-0 trouncing of West Henderson the Panthers moved up on the all time team lists for Offense and Defense.

All time Offensive Points per game

Offense AVG Pts Gms
1 2002 42.38 551 13
2 2005 38.31 498 13
3 2011 37.30 373 10
4 1994 34.20 342 10
5 2001 31.08 373 12

Franklin came out sluggish and looked like they were going to play down to the level of the Falcons as they failed to convert two fourth down conversions to stop the first two offensive drives. Franklin finally got things going as Jeb Brewer got loose for a 30-yard TD run. If there was a bright spot for West Henderson Friday night it came when they had the ball in the red zone for one possession in the first quarter with a first-and-goal at the 9. However, West could not connect on a Field Goal attempt, but Franklin was called for roughing the holder (Not the kicker) and West was given a new set of downs. It did not matter much as the Franklin defense held and then went work to put up three quick scores en route to a 56-0 blowout. Parrish Young opened up the second quarter with a 1-yard plunge after Marquell Manning had ripped off a huge run. Manning was actually in the end zone, but the official ruled him down at the 1. Parrish Young had another huge touchdown as the West defenders let up when they had him by the shoestrings, but Young busted free and scampered 38-yards for the TD. Jacob Young was next to get in the scoring act as he finished a trap play for a big 54-yard touchdown. Marquell Manning would get his touchdown just before half time as the speedy Sophomore would bust a 37-yard run for his first touchdown since coming back from an injury. With the Panthers up comfortably 35-0 at halftime, Coach Brooks let the starters rest and the second teamers took right over as Freshman Jeremiah Young scored on a 38-yard run to open up the 3rd quarter. Senior Nick Ledford who had been hampered with an injury for the middle of the season came in and scored on a 48-yard run. Franklin would finish out the scoring in the 4th quarter as Jackson Roper would score from 18-yards. Eric Olvera was perfect on all 8 PAT kicks.

Game Summary
First Quarter
F - Jeb Brewer 30 run (Eric Olvera kick) 6:17.

Second Quarter
F - Parrish Young 1 run (Olvera kick) 8:23.
F - Jacob Young 38 run (Olvera kick) 6:00.
F - Parrish Young 55 run (Olvera kick) 4:56.
F - Marquel Manning 37 run (Olvera kick) 00:56.
Third Quarter
F - Jeremiah Young 38 run (Olvera kick) 9:48
F - Nick Ledford 48 run (Olvera kick) 7:54.
Fourth Quarter
F - Jackson Roper 18 run (Olvera kick) 11:03.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
West Henderson High School (2 - 8 - 0) 0 0 0 0 0
Franklin HS (10 - 0 - 0) 7 28 14 7 56

Week 9- Senior Night 2011 vs. West Henderson

WEST HENDERSON (2-7, 1-4) at FRANKLIN (9-0, 5-0)
Last week: West Henderson lost to Tuscola, 49-14; Franklin beat East Henderson, 28-21.
Last year: Franklin beat West Henderson, 24-21.
Notes: Revenge is a dish best enjoyed as a home-cooked meal? For the second straight week, Franklin and the Young brothers (Jacob, Jeremiah and Parrish) face a Henderson County team that beat them in 2010. But this one will be in the Panther Pit. Freshman Jeremiah Young continues to power the Panthers defense with a team-high 49 tackles, while senior twins Jacob and Parrish combined for four touchdowns last Friday at East Henderson. For the season, Austin Gibson (740 yards and seven touchdowns with two interceptions) and Nathan Raby (691 yards, eight touchdowns) have produced the most yards on offense. Raby may have to sit out as many as two games after an ejection last Friday, but Franklin has filed a protest, arguing that he should only be suspended for flagrant contact (one game) and not fighting. A win tonight would give Franklin its best start in school history.
Pick: Franklin by 14.

Week 9 - Panthers move to 9-0 with 28-21 win over East.

If you read the final score of this game you may be inclined to think that this was a close game. The last minute, and :50 seconds, yes it was close, but for 99% of the game it was a total domination by the Franklin Offensive and Defensive fronts. Franklin got on the board first when Jacob Young hit a Fullback trap play and dashed 53 yards for the TD. East would answer as they recovered a Franklin Fumble and convert on a 27-yard Field Goal. Franklin would answer with a 5 minute drive that ended when Austin Gibson would connect with Parrish Young for a 9-yard TD pass play. Neither team scored in the second quarter and East got on the board in the third quarter as they would hit another Field Goal, this one from 33-yards. Franklin took the ensuing kickoff and drove for another score as Parrish Young scored from 3-yards to Put Franklin up 21-6. After a Franklin stop of a fake punt, Franklin would quickly answer when Jacob Young scored on a 39-yard run that seemed to put the game out of reach. With the 4th quarter winding down, East got a big break as an East player locked up in a block attempt with Franklin defensive back Nathan Raby and as Raby was attempting to push the East player away the Refs called Raby for punching the East player three times. Raby was ejected and Franklin got penalized. With Raby gone from the Defensive backfield, East was able to complete some big pass plays. With 31 seconds left to go, East scored on a 18-yard pass play. East then attempted and recovered an onside kick. With 10 seconds left to go East scored on a 50-yard bomb. East attempted another onside kick that sailed out of bounds. Franklin took over and ran out the clock to seal the win.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Franklin HS (9 - 0 - 0) 14 0 14 0 28
East Henderson High School (5 - 3 - 0) 3 0 3 15 21

Week 9 - Panthers travel to East Flatrock for Conference Title showdown

When you hear the term rivalry you most often think of two neighboring schools that have played each other 25 or more years in nip and tuck games with unpredictable outcomes. However, if there is such a thing as establishing a rivalry in a short time, then Franklin vs. East Henderson is quickly becoming one. In fact the two teams have only played each other a total of seven times (Franklin is 5-2 overall) and have only been a conference opponents since the realignment in 2009. Franklin and East were both MAC members from 2001--2004 and AAC the last two seasons, but with the exception of the last game played these have been close games with lots of emotion. East Henderson has had a grasp on the WNCAC (Previously AAC) conference crown for at least the past 3 seasons, owning it outright two times and sharing it with Pisgah once. Last year Franklin upset East in an unforgettable game at the Panther Pit 28-29, only to have East knock Franklin out of the 3A playoffs a few weeks later with a 32-3 pasting that left a sour taste in the Franklin players mouths. In the 32-3 pasting, Franklin was decimated with injuries to key players and the team was a mere shadow to the team that stopped super running back Shaq Davis and East three weeks prior. No one from Franklin has forgotten that East jumped out to a decisive lead only to leave their starters in all game and continue to throw deep passes late into the 4th quarter after the game was well decided. No one has forgotten the crowd of East students who ran in front of the Franklin crowd taunting and waving the E flag well after the game was decided. Even with the added incentive of that embarrassing loss, Franklin will still have to play near perfect Football to win on the Eagles home field as anyone that has been there knows that is a hostile place to play.

FRANKLIN (8-0, 4-0) at EAST HENDERSON (5-2, 4-0)
Last week: Franklin beat North Henderson, 64-27; East Henderson beat Smoky Mountain, 37-7.
Last year: Franklin beat East Henderson, 29-28 and East Henderson beat Franklin, 32-3 (NCHSAA 3-A playoffs).
Notes: Being the kryptonite to Franklin requires more than just wearing green. Good news for East Henderson, since the green-clad Eagles and standout linebacker Thomas Waddell are the last team to beat the Panthers (32-3 in last year’s NCHSAA 3-A playoffs). Since then, Franklin has flattened everything in its path, outscoring opponents by an average of 24.4 points a game. Big contributions have come on both sides of the ball from twins Jacob and Parrish Young, as well as their younger brother Jeremiah, who has made a team-high 44 tackles. A win tonight would allow Franklin and leading rusher Nathan Raby (626 yards, six touchdowns) to match their best start in school history.
Pick: Franklin by 7.

Week 8 - Panthers blow up Knights in Record setting win.

Josh Brooks was not the only Panther to set a record in a 64-27 blow out win over North Henderson, several of his players also broke records. Brooks became the all-time winningest coach in Franklin football history Friday night, as the unbeaten Panthers knocked out North Henderson in a key WNCAC game in the Panther Pit. Jacob Young got things started in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run, and he added an 85-yard touchdown run minutes later to make it 14-0. Things then quickly went downhill for from there for the Knights. Parrish Young stopped a North drive when he sacked the Knight quarterback Zack Gahagan at the 6 yard line, causing the Knights to punt. The punt was a huge dud and ended up going only 10 yards. Franklin's capatialized on the bad punt when Parrish Young scored from the 2, putting Franklin up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Panthers would score again quickly to open up the the second quarter, as Parrish Young and Thomas Evans would join in to Sack Gagagan for a safety in the End Zone. On the ensuing kickoff, Nathan Raby returned the Kickoff 75 Yards for his first of two KO returns on the night. on the next series, Jacob Martin would recover a North fumble and return it to the Panther 25 where Jacob Young scored a TD on a 26-yard run on the next play. Franklin's defense would hold again and Nathan Raby would finish yet another drive with a 16-yard run. Parrish Young later capped off a Panther drive from six yards out to put Franklin up 50-0 at the half. In the second half, Raby had yet another kickoff return for a touchdown, this time he set a new school record from 99 yards out. North would add a kickoff return of their own only to be outshined seconds later as Jeb Brewer had a kickoff return for a touchdown. North scored several time on the Panther backups to make the final 64-27 as Franklin moves on to next weeks match up with East Henderson in what could be considered the determining game for the WNCAC Conference championship.

School records set Friday night (Confirmed By Richie Sund)

48 – All-time FHS coaching victories – Josh Brooks

64 – Single game points scored – 3rd highest all-time

· School record 68 in 2005 vs. RS Central

· 66 in 1978 vs. Edneyville

3 – Most kickoff return TDs in a single-game by team

2 – Kickoff returns in a single-game (Nathan Raby) never been done at FHS

· 98-yard KO Return - longest in FHS history - bettering Teddy Clark’s 1960 96-yard return against Sylva-Webster.

· Jeb’s 94-yarder listed as the fifth longest in FHS history.

· 2 - KOR TDs in a season Nathan Raby - tied with Shawn Bryson for most in a season. Shawn did it twice in 1993 and 1994 and holds the record with 4 in a career (Nathan has 3 counting the one he returned last year).

8 – Most PATs in a single-game (Eric Olvera) – Ties him with Chase Henry vs. R.S. Central (2005), Brandon Stiwinter vs. Rabun Co. Ga. (1994), Kyle Garner vs. Rabun Co Ga. (2001) & East Henderson (2002)

Week 8 - North Henderson comes to the Pit as Brooks goes for record

NORTH HENDERSON (3-3, 2-1) at FRANKLIN (7-0, 3-0)
Last week: North Henderson beat Tuscola, 16-14; Franklin beat Smoky Mountain, 42-6.
Last year: Franklin beat North Henderson, 10-0.
Notes: Franklin’s fight to earn respect in state polls is the only one the Panthers and leading tackler Jeremiah Young (42) have lost this season. Franklin remains unranked in all but one NCHSAA 3-A poll (MaxPreps) despite its best start since 2006. Together, the Panthers and North Henderson came into this season with 50 combined seniors. Franklin back Nathan Raby (587 yards, seven touchdowns) has rushed for 319 yards the past two weeks, while fellow senior Austin Gibson (618 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions) has done an admirable job running the offense in general. Sixth year coach Josh Brooks would set a Franklin school record for career wins (48) with a victory tonight. North Henderson senior Kaleb Barner made two interceptions and caught sophomore Zack Gahagan’s only touchdown pass (for 64 yards) last week at Tuscola.
Pick: Franklin by 7.

Week 7 - Brooks ties Goldsmith in Carr Hooper as Panthers harness Mustangs 42-6.

There once was a time in the Franklin Football history when a Panther victory in Carr Hooper Stadium was almost unheard of. In fact Franklin had a 23 year losing streak that stretched from 1970 to 1993 in Carr Hooper. Franklin has since won 2 in a row and 8 out of the last ten games played in Sylva, so its safe to say the tide has turned in the Panthers favor. Franklin left a near capacity Smoky Mtn. crowd disappointed as the Panthers rolled up a 42-6 win in a WNCAC conference game Friday night.

Franklin scored on its first series as Austin Gibson would find #7 Cody Lindley in the back of the end zone for a 5 yard TD. The second quarter was all Franklin as Nathan Raby would score two touchdowns 18, 26 yards. Super Freshman Jeremiah Young would add another score in the second quarter from 1 yard out to put Franklin up 28-0 at halftime. The third quarter also belonged to Franklin as Jeb Brewer would catch a 14 yard pass from Gibson and Nathan Raby would add a 11 yard run at the end of the third quarter. With the Panthers up comfortably 42-0, Coach Brooks let the starters rest and let the reserves play the whole 4th quarter. Smoky Mtn. would finally get on the score board midway through the 4th quarter to ruin the Panther shutout.

Team leaders for Franklin were Passing Austin Gibson 9/13 68 yards 2TD, Receiving, Jeb Brewer 4/32 1 TD. Nathan Raby hit the 100 yard mark again as he rushed 16 times for 115 yards and 3 TD. Parrish Young had 5 att for 39 yards and Jacob Young had 5 carries for 18 yards. The Panther Defense held the Mustang offense to just 89 yards for the night and 58 came against the Panther reserves.

Week 7 - Brooks goes for #47 at his alma mater Smoky Mtn. in another WNCAC matchup.

The "Battle for Cowee Mtn." has gotten a little lopsided in the favor of the Panthers the past several years. In fact Franklin has not lost a game to the Smoky Mtn. Mustangs since the miraculous comeback that gave the Mustangs their last win in in 2007 24-20. Franklin has reeled off the last three in a row and 15 of the last 18 games played between the teams.

A Panther win will give Head coach Josh Brooks a tie for the all time lead in coaching victories (47 games) a mark that he will share with former coach Fred Goldsmith. The Citizen-Times comment section and the NC Preps message boards are full of comments about the record only being 47 games. Well the main reason for such a low mark is that in the past years we have not had a winning coach to stick around very long. If you look at the all time list no coach has been here more than 7 seasons. Dick Stott (1956-1962) and Joe Hall (1981-1987) both share that record for longevity. Coach Josh Brooks has assembled a very good coaching staff that works well together and they get every ounce of effort and talent from the kids each year. If Coach Brooks and his staff stay together, they will shatter all records relating to coaching in the FHS record books.

FRANKLIN (6-0, 2-0) at SMOKY MOUNTAIN (2-4, 1-1)
Last week: Franklin beat Pisgah, 48-21; Smoky Mountain beat West Henderson, 19-14.
Last year: Franklin beat Smoky Mountain, 42-0.
Notes: Franklin has turned The Battle of Cowee Mountain into little more than a mild skirmish with 10 wins in the last 11 years over Smoky Mountain. The WNCAC landscape does not look much worse this season for the Panthers and four-year starter Nathan Raby, who rushed for a season-high 204 yards last Friday. The Mustangs have won two or more games for the first time since 2008 behind the rushing of Blake Smith (670 yards, five touchdowns).
Pick: Franklin by 14.

Week 6 - Panthers paste preseason favorites 48-21 in the Panther Pit as Brooks notches #46

The 48-21 final score tells you all you need to know about how accurate that the preseason Coaches poll predictions are. Pisgah was overwhelmingly the preseason favorite to repeat as WNCAC Conference champions, but that idea is fading quickly as the undefeated Franklin Panthers (6-0,1-0) kept Pisgah (0-5,0-2) winless. Yes, over the years, Pisgah has dominated the series, but on Friday night, it was the Panthers who dominated things. The final score does nothing to accurately describe exactly what happened. Franklin rolled up to a comfortable 35-0 lead and proceeded to pull the starters in the third quarter. However, Pisgah kept their starters in and put up three scores on the Franklin reserves. An onside kick attempt by Pisgah brought the Panther starters back in and they promptly put the game away. One thing was for certain was the Panther Lines once again dominated things up front on both sides of the ball. The linemen opened up huge holes for the running backs offensively and defensively Pisgah had nowhere to go all night. The Franklin Offensive line allowed the Panther backs to rush 46 times for 376 yards and 6 touchdowns. Senior Nathan Raby led the rushing attack as he put up career high numbers of 18 carries for 204 yards and 3 Touchdowns. The Young brothers also had another impressive night offensively as for the second week in a row all three brothers scored touchdowns in the same game. Parrish Young 7 /75 yards and a TD, twin brother Jacob 6 /51 yards and 1 TD, and younger brother Jeremiah 6/37 yards and 1 TD. QB Austin Gibson would have another good night passing as the Senior connected on all 6 attempts for 83 yards and 1 TD. Jeb Brewer was Gibson's main target as he caught 4 passes for 63 yards and a TD. John Marr, Ben Maslin, Jordan Talley, Jacob Young all caught 1 pass each from Gibson. Defensively it was Cody Lindley who led the way with 7 tackles and 1 sack. Parrish Young and John Marr each had 6 tackles while Jeremiah Young, Jackson Roper and Tyler Rodgers had 5 tackles each.

Week 6 - Record Watch

Coaching Victories

Coach Years Won Lost Tied %
1 Fred Goldsmith 2001-2004 47 15 75.8%
2 Josh Brooks 2006- 45 23 0 66.2%
3 Joe Hall 1981-1987 37 55 1 39.8%
4 Dick Stott 1956-1962 28 33 3 43.8%
5 Bill Dyer 1974-1978 27 26 1 50.0%
Pat Pattillo 1966-1971 27 32 1 45.0%

Team Offense points scored per game

Offense AVG Pts Gms
1 2002 42.38 551 13
2 2005 38.31 498 13
3 1994 34.20 342 10
4 2001 31.08 373 12
5 1976 30.07 421 14
6 2006 28.92 376 13
7 2011 27.00 135 5
8 2004 26.73 294 11
9 1951 26.10 261 10
10 1978 25.50 255 10

Team Defense points allowed per game

Defense AVG Pts Gms
1 1929 2.00 18 9
2 1947 4.50 45 10
3 1939 4.75 38 8
4 1952 5.22 47 9
5 1950 6.44 58 9
6 2011 8.20 41 5
7 1955 8.90 89 10
8 1955 8.90 89 10
9 1963 9.20 92 10
10 1963 9.20 92 10

Sophomore Rushing record

Name Games Yards Year
Keith Brooks 12 1000 1976
Blaine Clark 7 673 2007
Aaron Wallace 12 413 2008
Marquell Manning 3 241 2011
Jacob Young 13 183 2009
Parrish Young 13 143 2009
Shawn Bryson 10 137 1992
Nathan Raby 13 102 2009

Consecutive games scoring streak

Its been 33 games since the last time Franklin has been shutout - Last shutout was 10/15/2008 vs. North Buncombe 0-33

Week 6 -Preseason conference favorite Pisgah comes to the Panther pit in Conference home opener.

Common opponents tell that this game is not going to be close, as Franklin and Pisgah both have played TC Roberson this year. TC beat Pisgah 45-7 in week 1 and Franklin beat TC 21-0 in week 3. If you go by that logic, then it will by all means be a blowout win by the Panthers. However, upsets do happen and that is why you line up and play the game on Friday nights. Pisgah unanimously was picked by the WNCAC coaches to be the preseason champion and Franklin was picked to come in third behind East Henderson. Franklin and Pisgah have played a total of 14 times and Pisgah has pretty much dominated the series with a 10-4 advantage. Most of those wins came while both teams were part of the old WAC conference in the 1990's. Coach Josh Brooks has broke even at 1-1 against Pisgah. Two years ago, Pisgah came to Franklin sporting a #10 ranking in the State 2A poll only to have the Panthers take the win 29-20. Last year in Canton Franklin had a 21-14 halftime lead and the wheels came off the wagon in the third quarter as every thing that possibly could went Pisgah's way and the Bears cruised to a 43-21 win. Pisgah will be without their staring QB Josh Noland who was not cleared to play by Doctors this week, and Franklin will be without Tailback Marquell Manning who is still sidelined with a knee injury.

Week 5 -The Panthers roll over Brevard 35-7 in Conference opener.

Coach Josh Brooks got one game closer to the all time coaching lead with a 35-7 win over the Brevard Blue Devils. The first quarter was a defensive struggle with both teams trading punts several times before someone was able to get on the scoreboard. Franklin struck first when John Marr returned an interception 35-yards for a touch down. Brevard would answer quickly as #1 Jariya Robinson would make an incredible 80-yard zig zag run through Franklins defense to tie the game @ 7 each. Franklin mounted a drive that consumed most of the second quarter and set the tone for the rest of the game. The momentum shifted when Brevard Defensive Back Robinson hit Parrish Young in a brutal collision on the sidelines. Brevard danced and taunted the Panther sidelines after the hit, but Young and the Panther O line drove the ball down the field in a very physical manner and the drive was capped when Jacob Young would score from 21-yards out to put the Panthers ahead 14-0. Franklin came out after halftime and blew Brevard off the ball as Nathan Raby had a huge run, but fumbled the ball trying to get extra yards. Franklin's Defense would hold Brevard and the Offense would take over and grind out another TD when Parrish Young scored from 7 - yards to put Franklin up 21-0. Franklin would score again in the third quarter as Austin Gibson found Jacob Young for another Panther score to make it 28-0. The fourth quarter was more domination by the Panther lines and Coach Brooks went to his backups. Freshman Jeremiah Young would get the majority of the carries and he took the team right down the field and capped off the drive by plowing over a Brevard Defensive back on his way to a touchdown. Kicker Eric Olvera was good on all five of his PAT attempts. For the stats, Jacob Yong led the way with 91 yards on 14 carries, Parrish Young had 89 yards on 13 carries, Nathan Raby had 68 yards on 9 attempts and Jeremiah Young had 63 yards on 7 attempts. Austin Gibson was 9/15 for 80 yards and Jeb Brewer caught 4 passes for 42 yards. Defensively the team leader was once again Freshman Jeremiah Young had 7 tackles while Cody Lindley and Jackson Roper had 5 each.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Franklin HS (5 - 0 - 0) 7 7 14 7 35
Brevard High School (1 - 3 - 0) 7 0 0 0 7

Week 5 -The WNCAC Conference season starts in Brevard Friday night

FRANKLIN (4-0) at BREVARD (1-2)
Last week: Franklin beat Swain County, 14-6; Brevard lost to Mitchell, 14-12.
Last year: Franklin beat Brevard, 20-6.
Notes: Finally, a breather for Franklin? Brothers Jeremiah Young (28 tackles), Parrish Young (23) and Jacob Young (20) would like to think so after their defense held Roberson and Swain County to a total of six points the past two weeks. But Brevard and Chris Minugh (166 passing yards) played undefeated Mitchell tough a week ago. Franklin is the only undefeated team in the WNCAC. Take the Panthers out of the mix, and the conference has a combined record of 5-19.
Pick: Franklin by 14.

Week 4 -The Panther Pit claims another ranked opponent with 14-7 win over #1 in 1A Swain

When you put the numbers on the table its hard to deny that the Panther Pit is a tough place for State ranked teams to play. Last Friday night, the Swain Co. Maroon Devils joined the ranks of State ranked team losing in the Panther Pit. Last year #18 3A ranked East Henderson fell 29-28. In 2009 Pisgah was the #10 ranked 2A team and fell 29-20, and in 2007 #8 Asheville was knocked off 21-20.

The Franklin Swain matchup had the feel of the old Smoky Mtn. Conference games with the teams battling it out in the trenches and shaking hands after it was over. Franklin's Defense held the Swain veer offense to just 24 yards on 27 attempts and 115 total yards overall. Swain's lone TD came on a 31 yard Hyatt to Maennle play. Franklin used a no frills attack with Jacob Young (15/52 2TD), and twin brother Parrish Young (14/ 64 yards) and Nathan Raby (13/44 yards) pounding the ball at the Swain line all night. QB Austin Gibson was 5/8 33 yards and Jeb Brewer caught 3 passed for 14 yards while Jacob Young caught 2 for 19 yards. Defensively, it was Thomas Evans (6 tackes 2 sacks), Jakob Sayer (3 tackles, 2 sacks), Jacob Young (6 tackles), and Freshman Jeremiah Young (8 tackles, 2 sacks) leading the way. Kicker Eric Olvera was 2/2 on PAT attempts.

Last week: Swain County beat Gatlinburg Pittman, Tenn., 35-0; Franklin beat Roberson, 20-0.
Last year: Franklin beat Swain County, 29-3.
Notes: For a Franklin team with 27 seniors, being Young is not a bad thing. Freshman Jeremiah Young (20 tackles) and his older brothers, senior twins Parrish Young (19) and Jacob Young (14), help lead a defense that shut out Roberson. Jacob (189 yards) also ranks second in rushing for an offense run by Austin Gibson (354 passing yards and two touchdowns with one interception). Swain is 3-0 for the first time since its last state-championship season (2004) thanks in part to Josue Otero’s 205-yard, three-touchdown performance last Friday.
Pick: Franklin by 1.

Week 4 - #1 Ranked Swain Maroon Devils Coming to the Panther Pit for an old SMC Matchup

Franklin's brutal preseason continues as the top ranked 1A team in the state is the next opponent. Franklin and Swain will be playing for the 64th time. Swain holds a decisive 42-20 advantage in the overall series, but Franklin has won 6 of the last 7 including the last 5 in a row. Depending on which NC poll you look at, Swain is ranked at the top or near the top of most of the current State 1A polls. Swain rolled to a 35 - 0 win last Friday over Gatlinburg Pittman High school. The maroon machine has also recorded wins over Smoky Mountain 38-7 and WNCAC preseason favorite East Henderson 21-14.

Last 5 games between Franklin - Swain

2006 Franklin 50 Swain Co. 12
2007 Franklin 24 Swain Co. 6
2008 Franklin 14 Swain Co. 7
2009 Franklin 10 Swain Co. 6
2010 Franklin 29 Swain Co. 3

Latest Max preps 1A poll

# School Record
1 Swain County (Bryson City, NC) 3-0
2 Mitchell (Bakersville, NC) 3-0
3 Wallace-Rose Hill (Teachey, NC) 2-1
4 Hendersonville (NC) 2-1
5 Mount Airy (NC) 2-1
6 Manteo (NC) 2-0
7 Plymouth (NC) 2-0
8 Monroe (NC) 1-2
9 Southwest Onslow (Jacksonville, NC) 2-1
10 Albemarle (NC) 2-1

Week 3 - Team Stat Leaders


Name Attempts Yards Touchdowns
Marquell Manning 33 241 4
Jacob Young 33 189 1
Nathan Raby 25 154 1
Parrish Young 20 119 2


Austin Gibson 36 21 1 354 2


Name Catches Yards TD
Jeb Brewer 10 151 0
Parrish Young 5 124 2
Jacob Young 3 51 0

Week 3 - Panthers turn heads with resounding win over 4A Roberson.

Franklin has had three wins over quality teams and that is impressive, but when you totally dominate a much larger, faster and deeper team it really starts to get attention. Friday night in Roberson, Franklin took control of the game early and wore down the Rams with a relentless punishing attack that is becoming a trademark of this team. From the stands it sometimes looked like a rugby match with a big mass of bodies in a pile, but if you paid closer attention you could see the pile moving the way the red and white dictated. Roberson was playing with much emotion in front of a packed house, but Franklin put a hush on the TC crowd with a first quarter drive that included two fourth down conversions. A fake punt to Jeremiah Young and then a nice reception to Jeb Brewer kept the Panthers moving down field. Parrish Young would get the first TD of he night as the crushed a Roberson defensive back on his way to the endzone on a nice 4-yard run. Franklin would add another score about midway through the second quarter when Austin Gibson would find Parrish Young out of the backfield for a nice 68-yard score. In the third quarter Franklin would mount a signature drive that covered 84 yards and chewed close to 11:00 off the clock. The drive ended with a 1-yard plunge by QB Austin Gibson. Roberson was able to get close late in the game as they recovered a Franklin fumble deep in Panther territory, but the Panther D preserved the shutout. Offensive leaders were Jacob Young 9 carries for 59 yards and Austin Gibson completed 4 of 10 for 97 yards (1 Int.) and a touchdown. Defensively Jacob young led the way with 9 tackles while Jeremiah Young and Jakob Sayer each had 8 tackles. Eric Olvera was 3-2 kicking PAT's.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
T.C. Roberson (2 - 1 - 0) 0 0 0 0 0
Franklin HS (3 - 0 - 0) 7 7 0 6 20

Week 3 - Live Blog From Citizen-Times Andrew Pearson Franklin @ Roberson
Franklin 20

Roberson 0 Final

9:36: Heading down to get interviews. Franklin going to take a knee from here on out.

9:34: Roberson turns ball over on downs again. There is 1:26 to go.

9:30: Barring a miracle, that should do it.

9:29: Roberson turns the ball over on downs at the Franklin 31. There is 4:09 to go.

9:26: Roberson now down to the Franklin 29 with 6:00 to go.

9:22: Roberson now at midfield again after a long keeper by Noah Suber. There is 8:15 left in the game.

9:19: Roberson starting at its 30. There is 8:39 to go.

9:16: TOUCHDOWN FRANKLIN. Austin Gibson scores on a 1-yard keeper s with 8:50 left to play. Extra point is no good.

9:13: Franklin knocking on the door, at the Roberson 1 with 9:32 to go in the game.

9:11: Just don’t know if Roberson has the quick-strike capability to get back in this one.

9:09: End of the third quarter.

9:08: Franklin now inside the Roberson 20-yard line for the third time tonight (at the 18) with 39 seconds to go in the third quarter.

9:05: Franklin looks like it’s starting to wear Roberson down. Now at the Rams’ 34 with 2:43 to play in the third quarter.

9:02: Couple first downs for Franklin which could really make it difficult with another touchdown here.

9:00: Franklin takes over on its 16.

8:58: Rams about the punt again. There is 7:48 to go in the third quarter.

8:56: Roberson finally has something going, down to the Franklin 37 with 7:53 to go in the third.

8:52: Great punt by Franklin’s Nick Ledford. Roberson takes over on its 12.

8:50: Franklin goes three and out. Punt team coming on with 10:54 to go in the third quarter.

8:47: Franklin starting out at its 22.

8:42: Reminder that Franklin will have the ball first to start the second half.

8:27: End of the 2nd quarter.

8:25: Franklin sacks Noah Suber at its 44. Rams have to punt or go for it on 4th and 17.

8:20: Roberson now at the Franklin 37 with 32.6 seconds to go in the second quarter.

8:17: FRANKLIN FUMBLE. Roberson recovers at the Franklin 49 with 1:27 left until halftime. Fumble recovered by Jamal Valentine.

8:16: Franklin now out near midfield with 2:00 to go until halftime.

8:14: Roberson forced to punt again. Really impressed with the Franklin defense so far. There is 3:20 left in the first half.

8:11: Roberson takes over at its 31 with 5:18 to go in the second quarter.

8:08: TOUCHDOWN FRANKLIN. Austin Gibson throws a 68-yard touchdown pass to Parrish Young with 5:25 to go in the second quarter. Olvera adds the extra point.

8:07: Franklin takes over at its 32 with 6:20 to go until halftime.

8:06: Huge stop by Franklin. Roberson coming on to punt from midfield.

8:04: Rod Brown’s 25-yard reception extends the drive and puts the ball on the Franklin 39. There is 7:40 to go in the second quarter.

8:01: Rams now out to their own 33, again with no real effort to throw the ball so far.

7:58: INTERCEPTION ROBERSON. Jaylyn Miller makes an interception for Roberson which takes over at its 20. There is 10:56 to go in the first half.

7:57: After a very short punt, Franklin will take over on its 43.

7:55: Roberson’s drive now stalled at midfield, facing 4th and 20.

7:54: End of the first quarter.

7:53: Roberson showing no ability so far to throw downfield on the Panthers.

7:51: Good quarterback keeper by Noah Suber, Rams now at the Franklin 39 with 1:57 to go in the first quarter.

7:49: Roberson near midfield again with its 2nd possession, but facing a long third down. There is 2:30 to go in the first quarter.

7:42: TOUCHDOWN FRANKLIN. Parrish Young scores on a 4-yard run with 5:04 to go in the first quarter. Extra point is good by Eric Olvera.

7:41: Another fourth down conversion. Jebb Brewer makes a 22-yard reception down to the Roberson 6-yard line.

7:38: Timeout on the field. Roberson facing 4th and 12 from the Roberson 28. There is 6:24 to go in the first quarter.

7:37: Fake punt. Jeremiah Young keeps the Franklin drive going with a 10-yard run. There is 7:47 to go in the first quarter.

7:35: Quick three and out for Franklin.

7:34: ROBERSON FUMBLE. Franklin’s Jacob Martin recovers on the Roberson 39. There is 9:30 to go in the first quarter.

7:31: Roberson running a no huddle offense and nearly at midfield after a couple first downs. There is 10:45 to go in the first quarter.

7:25: Roberson will receive the opening kickoff. Rams will start at their own 20.

7:22: As has been the case all season, Roberson senior Rod Brown is carrying out an old jersey that belonged to Donnie Crotty. Crotty is the junior who died in July as the result of an accident at the Rams’ football camp earlier that month.

7:21: Roberson in gold pants and navy tops.

7:20: Franklin in red pants and white tops with white helmets. Very N.C. State-ish look.

7:18: First final score of the day. Christ School 35, Forsyth Country Day 13.

6:24: As expected, a lot of white in the crowd so far for a “whiteout” for Donnie Crotty. Shirts in his honor have his number (57) and name on the back of them.

Week 3 Franklin @ Roberson Preview

SKYLAND — Tonight’s football game in Skyland will not be for the faint of linemen.

Franklin (2-0) and Roberson (2-0) have some of the biggest and best blockers in Western North Carolina.

Panthers senior Thomas Evans is a preseason all-state selection and one of the few active WNC players with a scholarship offer (Lenoir-Rhyne). He weighs in at 290 pounds, about the same size as Rams senior Dwan Hanshaw and junior Jeff DeLeon, who were both All-Mountain Athletic Conference selections in 2010.

They will be among the brawn battling at the line of scrimmage tonight in a nonconference game between unbeaten WNC teams.

“Franklin has always been big and physical upfront,” Roberson coach Jim Beatty said.

“We have been, too. Both teams have plenty of size up front this year. That’s where their strengths are. Being an offensive line coach, I’m excited about it. I think it will be a good matchup on both sides of the ball.”

The Rams could use a good matchup.

They’ve been arguably as impressive as any WNC team thus far by outscoring Pisgah and West Henderson by a combined score of 87-14.

Malik Griffin rushed for 111 yards and five touchdowns last Friday in Mills River, while fellow junior Noah Suber has accounted for four touchdowns in the two games at quarterback. Suber (299 passing yards, 137 rushing yards) has yet to throw an interception in 26 attempts.

Franklin has won seven of the last 10 games in this series, including a 10-9 victory in 2010 (also at Roberson’s Ensley Stadium). But that is little consolation to Panthers coach Josh Brooks, whose team has beaten Charlotte Christian (28-7) and defending Smoky Mountain Conference champion Murphy (38-21) this season.

“This will be the biggest challenge we’ve had so far and the best team we’ve played,” Brooks said.

“We haven’t made a lot of mistakes or penalties. Our senior experience has been good and that’s a big reason why we’ve been able to do so well. I know (Roberson) has a lot of kids back as well. We’ll have to play very well (tonight) and hopefully we can build off what we’ve already done.”

The Panthers are averaging 345 rushing yards a game with Marquel Manning (237 yards, four touchdowns) as their individual leader.

Parrish Young (15) and Jeremiah Young (12) are Franklin’s top tacklers. Tyler Jones and Mahogany Suber are both averaging a team-high eight tackles a game for Roberson.

“Every year we’ve played in my 11 years here, it’s been a heck of a ballgame,” Beatty said.

“It always seems like the last team to get the ball has a chance to score and win it.”
Citizen-Times Pick - Roberson by 3

Week 3 - Panthers head to Roberson to play the much improved Rams in a battle of WNC unbeatens.

Two of the best teams in WNC will meet up Friday night as Franklin and Roberson meet in a battle of unbeatens. What do we know about Roberson? Roberson has already put up big wins over WNCAC opponents Pisgah (45-7) and West Henderson (42-7). Roberson has implemented a new offensive scheme that resembles a mix of the Oregon Ducks spread and something out of the arena football league. The team lines up and then two or three guys shift into a new set and then you get lots of misdirection after that. So far, no one has had an answer for the Rams. Roberson is led by RB Malik Griffin and QB Noah Suber. Franklin is 7-3 against Roberson in the last 10 games played

2001 Franklin 31 T.C. Roberson 27
2002 Franklin 27 T.C. Roberson 0
2003 Franklin 14 T.C. Roberson 7
2004 Franklin 7 T.C. Roberson 47
2005 Franklin 33 T.C. Roberson 31
2006 Franklin 20 T.C. Roberson 17
2007 Franklin 17 T.C. Roberson 24
2008 Franklin 13 T.C. Roberson 37
2009 Franklin 20 T.C. Roberson 6
2010 Franklin 10 T.C. Roberson 9

Week 2 - Citizen-Times game summary

Franklin 38, Murphy 21
FRANKLIN – Franklin scored 28 second-quarter points, propelling it to a 2-0 record this year.

Marquell Manning rushed for touchdowns of 26 and 15 yards for the Panthers.

Seth Curtis rushed for touchdowns of 71 and 93 yards for Murphy (0-2).

Week 2 - Panthers roll over dogs 38-21

Murphy head coach David Gentry may have lots of wins under his belt, but one thing is for certain, he has had trouble with Franklin the past few years. Since the resurgence of Franklin Football in the year 2000, Franklin has gone 8-4 including the last three in a row against Murphy. Over that span, Franklin has outscored the Dogs by an 315 to 185 margin. Friday night, Franklin was able to pull away after Murphy had gone up 7-0. Murphy QB Seth Curtis scored on two runs of 71 yards and 93 yards. Curtis was the team leader in offense as the senior tallied 194 yards on 12 carries. Curtis also was 6/15 for 34 yards passing. Franklin had another very productive night rolling up 455 yards of Total offense. The Offensive front did a great job against Murphy's D line as the Panther backs were able to find holes and eventually dominate the rushing game. Sophomore Marquell Manning led the way with 92 yards on 8 carries and 2 Touchdowns. The Young brothers were all over the field both defensively and offensively. Offensively, Parrish Young had 50 yards on 8 carries (1 td reception), and his twin brother Jacob Young had 43 yards on 11 carries, while younger brother Jeremiah had 12 yards on 4 carries. Nathan Raby added 32 yards on 5 carries and a touchdown. Nick Ledford had 28 yards on 5 carries. QB Austin Gibson had a good night as the Senior completed 12/17 for 183 yards and a touchdown. Jeb Brewer was Gibson's main target as he caught 8 passes for 122 yards.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Murphy High School (0 - 2 - 0) 7 7 7 0 21
Franklin HS (2 - 0 - 0) 0 28 7 3 38

Week 2 -Citizen-Times game preview

MURPHY (0-1) at FRANKLIN (1-0)
Last week: Murphy lost to Fannin County (Ga.), 34-28; Franklin beat Charlotte Christian, 29-7.
Last year: Franklin beat Murphy, 14-12.
Notes: Spread this. Rather than prescribe to the wide-open, pass-happy offenses that are so en vogue, Franklin rolled up over 400 rushing yards last Friday with Marquel Manning (144 yards) and Nathan Raby (111) each putting up over 100 individually. Murphy did not lose its opener on an account of a lack of offense – Kenton Braswell ran for 140 yards and Seth Curtis passed for 139.
Pick: Franklin by 7.

Week 1 is over - Get ready for the Dogs of Murphy

Franklin got revenge for last years loss to Charlotte Christian in the Panther Pit. For the few hundred fans who made the almost 4 hour trip to South Charlotte, they were pleasantly impressed with the 2011 season opener from the Panthers. For the majority who listened on the radio, I would bet that the radio announcers could not exactly accurately describe the dominance of the line of scrimmage by the Panther O line. The Panthers wore the Knights down by an un relentless rushing attack that rolled up 441 yards on 52 carries (8.5 avg per carry) and four touchdowns. And just for the record, Charlotte Christian was a very solid team. Stats for the Panther backs were, Marquel Manning rushed 17 times for 144 yards, Nathan Raby had 10 carries for 111 yards, Jacob Young had 10 carries for 85 yards, Parrish Young had 10 carries for 72 yards and Nick Ledford had 2 carries for 25 yards. QB Austin Gibson who looked very impressive in the 2011 debut, was 5/8 for 72 yards, he also was credited for 3 carries for 4 yards. For the Panther defenseive unit, they did a great job taking away the long pass and containing the CC QB who was very fast and elusive.

Box Score 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Franklin HS (1 - 0) 6 15 7 0 28
Charlotte Christian School (0 - 1 ) 7 0 0 0 7

Record Watch

Coach Years Won Lost Tied %
Fred Goldsmith 2001-2005 47 15 75.8%
Josh Brooks 2006- 41 23 0 64.1%
Joe Hall 1981-1987 37 55 1 39.8%

Coach Josh Brooks is also just 6 wins away from tying Coach Fred Goldsmith for the all time winningest coach at FHS.
Franklin is only 6 wins away from hitting the .500 mark for all time records. Our current record is 349 wins and 356 losses.

Week 1 Citizen-Times game preview

Last year: Charlotte Christian beat Franklin, 31-20.

Notes: Why is Thomas Evans such a big deal? The Franklin senior has the build (6-foot-4, 279 pounds) and ability to be a lineman at the next level as evidenced by an early scholarship offer from Lenoir-Rhyne. Jacob and Parrish Young made a combined 129 tackles a year ago for the Panthers. Charlotte Christian won the NCISAA 3-A championship two years ago but was barely a .500 team (6-5) in 2010. Junior cornerback Dez Lawrence holds a scholarship offer from South Carolina.

Pick: Franklin by 1.

Week 1 Aug. 19th @ Charlotte Christian -

This is the second time the Panthers will face the Charlotte Christian Knights. Last year's defeat in the PIT was really a great game that was competitive from start to finish. In the end, Christian escaped with a 33-21 victory. Christian was following up on a state title from the 2009 season. Their 2010 record of 6-5 was a little disappointing for Head Coach Jason Estep. For more on this year's squad check out this article-

The Franklin High School Football Program has certainly seen its ups and downs over the years. Franklin is only 7 wins away from hitting the .500 mark for all time records. Our current record is 348 wins and 356 losses.

Week 0 Scrimmage @ Hayesville

Franklin finished up the preseason scrimmages at Hayesville and looked very impressive on both sides of the ball. Unofficially with the first teams scrimmaging, Franklin won 5-0. Hayesville's second team scored on the Panther second team Defense.


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