Broncos come up short

Published 9:27 am Saturday, November 21, 2009

WEST POINT—Trailing 27-24, Franklin High had a couple of possessions in the last seven minutes against unbeaten West Point here Friday in the first round of the Region A, Group A, Division 1 playoffs.

The Broncos came up empty on each, ending their quest for a second straight state championship. FHS finished the season with an 8-3 record. West Point, 10-1, advances to next week’s regional final.

Lavon Evans kept Franklin in contention throughout Friday’s game, rushing for 213 yards and three touchdowns.

With seven minutes remaining, the Bronco defense dug in and stopped the Pointers on the Bronco 20-yard line. But Evans fumbled on the ensuing play, giving possession back to West Point.

The defense again stopped the Pointers and took over on downs at the West Point 36 with 2:42 remaining. Evans was stopped on a run, and FHS quarterback Trey Kigler was unable to connect with Justin Grant on a pass attempt. On fourth down, Kigler was intercepted, ending the Broncos’ chances.

“Tonight wasn’t our night,” said Franklin head coach Darren Parker. “We lost. We don’t make excuses. We just go back to the drawing board and get ready for next year.”

FHS looked good early in the game, taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field, capped by Evans’ 21-yard touchdown run. Evans added the two-point conversion to give the visitors an 8-0 lead with 8:26 left in the first quarter.

The Pointers responded with a 31-yard scoring run and two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 after one quarter.

Another Evans touchdown — a 7-yard run — and two-point conversion put FHS back on top 16-8 in the second quarter.

West Point scored late in the first half on a 6-yard run but failed to convert the two-point conversion and trailed 16-14 at halftime.

In the second half, the Pointers cranked up their wing-T offense and scored twice in the third quarter to take the lead for good.

Franklin pulled within 27-24 on Evans’ 2-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion with 7:16 left in the game, but the Pointer defense stiffened to preserve the win.