Broncos buck Indians

Published 10:00 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

FRANKLIN—It wasn’t Franklin’s best effort, but the Broncos brought a win home against their arch rivals. Franklin knocked off Southampton 28-13 in its home opener Friday night.

Franklin outgained the Indians 244 to 104 offensively, but Franklin head coach Darren Parker was not happy with the Broncos’ level of play in the contest.

“We have a certain level of play we want to play at. Tonight we won the game, but we didn’t play at our level,” he said. “As coaches, we are looking at December. You prepare people physically, but you have to prepare them mentally and the way we played tonight, we won’t be playing in December. I’m proud of the win, and the kids gave it all they had, but we’ve got to give a little bit more.”

Franklin used 10 different ball carries in an offense that had just four pass plays. The Indians had a hard time stopping Melquan Mitchell, who has emerged as the top carrier. Mitchell rushed for 112 yards on 18 carries.

Southampton opened the game with the early lead. The Indians (0-2) moved the ball 52 yards on eight plays and were aided by two Franklin offsides penalties. With the ball on the Franklin 23, quarterback Billy Nixon hit Brandon Evans with a 15-yard pass down to the 8. Saiquan Mason rushed seven yards on the next play and Andre Rawls finished off the drive with a 1-yard run with 7:59 to play in the first quarter. Luis Lino missed the extra point and the lead held at 6-0.

The Broncos countered with a long drive of their own. Franklin moved the ball 61 yards on 15 plays, all on the ground, and burned more than five minutes off the clock, despite using a hurry-up offense. The Broncos (2-0) finally hit paydirt when Martinez Hill ran for a 2-yard touchdown on a sweep. Derek Boone ran the two-point conversion to give Franklin an 8-6 lead with 2:12 to play in the first quarter.

On the kickoff, Franklin’s Lacurt Boone squibbed the ball and the Broncos recovered on the Southampton 37. The Indians helped Franklin move the ball down to the 26 on an illegal substitution penalty. On a third down play, Justin Grant broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds left in the first quarter. Melquan Mitchell’s 2-point run failed, and the Broncos held on to a 14-6 lead.

The Indians had trouble moving the ball on its next two possessions, but got a break on a defensive play. Franklin had just partially blocked a punt and had the ball on the Southampton 26, but Mitchell put the ball on the ground and Southampton’s Mason picked it up and ran 70 yards for a touchdown. Lino kicked the extra point and the Indians trailed 14-13 with 5:24 left in the half.

Franklin got some breathing room on the first play of the second half. Grant took the opening kickoff and raced 77 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point run by Martinez Hill gave Franklin a 22-13 lead and deflated the Southampton balloon.

Neither team played well offensively for most of the second half. Franklin, though, was able to put together a 16-play, 91-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter which burned over eight minutes off the clock. Mitchell ran for an 8-yard touchdown at the 1:22 mark to give the Broncos a 28-13 lead.

The Broncos held Andre Rawls to just 43 yards on 12 carries on the ground. Rawls rushed for over 100 yards in last week’s contest against Bruton.

Littleton Parker said his team had too many mistakes on the evening but improved over last week’s effort.

“We’ve got to eliminate mistakes. Mistakes hurt us,” he said. “We improved over last week both offensively and defensively.”

Darren Parker said the Broncos will go back to the drawing board for next week’s home game against Mathews.

“We are not perfect. We strive to be perfect, but we can’t put the ball on the ground and make the mental mistakes like we did tonight,” he said.

Southampton hosts Windsor on Friday.