Proud of the Broncos

Published 9:59 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Postseason success is becoming a habit for Franklin High School’s football team — and a source of pride for the entire city.

The Broncos continue their march toward a second state championship in five years with a Group A semifinal game Saturday against William Campbell High School. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at Armory Field, and the Broncos need a full house of loud supporters to beat the visiting Generals.

Franklin’s season to date has been inspirational — a lesson in overcoming diversity.

The deaths of former teammate Josh Willis and assistant coach Charles Green earlier this year dealt emotional blows to the team, which has dedicated its season in their memory.

The Broncos showed resiliency in the wake of their only two losses this fall.

Two weeks after getting pounded by Sussex Central in the regular season, the Broncos returned the favor in the first round of the regional playoffs, dominating the Tigers in every phase.

During a regular-season game in October, Colonial Beach beat the Broncos on the game’s final play from scrimmage.

Franklin turned around a month later and faced an eerily similar fate in the Group A Region A championship game. This time, though, the Broncos stopped the Drifters inside the 5-yard line as the clock expired, preserving a 16-14 victory and a berth in the state semifinals.

Franklin has the talent required to win a state championship. A veteran quarterback in Donzell Shearin, a stable of quality running backs and a stingy defense are ingredients for success.

But championships aren’t won on talent alone. At this stage of the playoffs, every team is talented.

Motivation and fortitude often make the difference, and the Broncos seem to have those qualities in spades.