Franklin, Sussex set for rematch

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The football postseason has begun, and Franklin is the only area team left standing.

The Broncos will have a rematch against Sussex Central at 7 p.m. Friday at Armory Stadium in the first round of the regional playoffs.

Despite losing 32-6 to Sussex Central two weeks ago in a showdown for the Tri-Rivers District championship, Franklin (8-2) placed second in the Group A Region A Division 1 standings. Sussex Central (7-3), with one more loss than Franklin, ended up third in the standings.

The Tigers were able to jump to third with wins over Franklin and Surry County and two straight losses by West Point.

West Point has the tough task of playing at top-seeded Colonial Beach in the other regional semifinal. The teams are playing for the second straight week as the Drifters beat the Pointers 38-7 last Friday.

In the first meeting, Sussex rolled up 315 yards of total offense and held Franklin to 144 yards.

The Sussex defense was the key to the victory, holding Franklin to its lowest point total of the season. The Broncos had scored no fewer than 24 points in every game up to that point.

In the first matchup, it was obvious the Sussex defensive line played a big part in the win.

Quarterback Donzell Shearin was rushed all night as the Tigers flushed him out of the pocket on almost every pass attempt. Shearin was just 1-for-12 for 36 yards in that game.

It looks like Franklin may have righted the ship against Windsor last Friday.

Franklin looked better in the passing game as Shearin was an efficient 7-for-9 for 164 yards.

The Broncos made some special teams mistakes against Sussex in the first meeting. Franklin also looked better in that department against Windsor.

Other notes from the area sports scene:

* Talk about getting the shaft; Windsor football just got it big.

If you ask me, the Group A Region A District 2 playoffs are a joke. The way it stands now, the fourth-place slot is held for the Eastern Shore District champion.

The ESD champion is Northampton at 4-5. Windsor, which would have finished fourth, pounded Northampton 42-13.

The third-place team in the region is King William. Windsor and King William have identical records of 6-4, and the Dukes beat King William during the season 21-13.

All logic says Windsor should be at least fourth, and probably third.

Seriously, if Windsor was in the Eastern Shore District, which is mostly made up of Division 2 teams, it would have wiped the floor with those schools.

I understand the playoff system is going to change. Let’s hope this ridiculous anomaly is fixed.

* How about this stat: Charles City was outscored 173-6 by Tri-Rivers District opponents this season. The Panthers were in danger of going scoreless in the TRD, but Surry allowed them six points two weeks ago.

* Last spring Jenni Sing, a graduate of Franklin High School, went to the state championships in tennis. Jenni entered Virginia Military Institute this fall but is not playing tennis.

The school does not have a women’s tennis program. Instead she has been recruited by the track team to compete in the pole vault.

She began training in the event in September but was recently scooped up by the VMI women’s cross country team when two of its runners went down to season-ending injuries.

VMI recently placed fourth of nine teams in the Big South Conference women’s cross country championships. Sing was the fifth runner on the team. Coastal Carolina won the Big South championship.

* Chowan University has been accepted as a full member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Hawks will join the CIAA full time on July 1. Chowan has been competing as a football-only member this fall.

Chowan will compete in the Western Division of the CIAA. Chowan has been playing as an independent since gaining NCAA Division II status in 2005.

By joining the CIAA, the Hawks will eliminate scheduling problems created by playing as an independent.

According to Dennis Helsel, athletic director, Chowan is the first non-historically black school to be accepted into a historically black conference.

Of interest, Chowan will have to add three new sports to compete in the CIAA: women’s bowling and men’s and women’s cross country.