Starting the season a week later than expected, Franklin County’s football team opened with a win over county rival Western Hills Friday night.
The Flyers held the Wolverines to 163 offensive yards in a 42-6 victory at WHHS.
“The defense did pretty well,” FCHS head coach Chris Tracy said. “We held them down pretty well.”
Franklin County was scheduled to play an away game against North Bullitt Aug. 22, but it was canceled because of weather. And in their first game, it looked like the Flyers would fall behind early.
The Wolverines were forced to punt on their first drive of the game, but got the ball right back after Justin Jenkins recovered a fumble on the punt at the FCHS 17-yard line.
After picking up a first down, the Wolverines fumbled the ball on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line and Flyer Jacob Graves recovered the ball at the 2-yard line.
The Flyers took advantage of the mistake, with Sam Anderson breaking away for a 77-yard run to begin the drive and on the seventh play of the drive, Barrett Sanderson found Jhanny Rodriguez 16 yards out for the touchdown. That score was the only one by either team in the opening quarter.
“I thought we played really well in the first quarter,” WHHS head coach Don Miller said. “It was pivotal when we were down at the 1-yard line and fumbled. It was really a 14-point swing right there and that was pretty huge. I thought if we would have gotten the score it would have changed the momentum.”
Late in the second quarter, FCHS exploded for three touchdowns in a span of five minutes. Landon Hurst scored the first two off passes from Barrett Sanderson.
On third down and 15 yards to go, Sanderson and Hurst connected on an 86-yard pass play and three minutes later finished a four-play drive with a 19-yard throw and catch for a touchdown.
Hurst finished the game with five receptions for 185 yards and the two scores.
The FCHS then forced a three and out and scored on a drive that took less than a minute thanks to Denzel Vance. Vance had a rush of 16 yards and then a 51-yard dash to the end zone in the four-play drive.
Vance finished the game with six carries for 137 yards, also including a 66-yard touchdown run for the only score in the fourth quarter.
The FCHS rushing attack finished with 332 yards. Sanderson and Anderson had 92 and 89 yards, respectively.
“(Barrett) ran the ball great tonight and we will need him to continue to do that,” Tracy said. “I thought our running game was really good also with our two running backs, Denzel and Sammy.”
Sanderson finished the game with 262 passing yards and four touchdowns, connecting with Demarcus Kennedy from eight yards out for the last one in the third quarter.
“We started off a little slow, but we definitely picked it up,” Sanderson said. “You’ve got to trust your receivers no matter what.”
Western Hills scored its only touchdown in the third quarter. Jenkins blocked and recovered a punt to set the Wolverines up at the FCHS 24-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, Nick Young scored from 15 yards on a quarterback keeper. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
FCHS had 590 total offensive yards and WHHS finished with 163 yards.
“The biggest thing was we’ve just got to make plays in space,” Miller said. “It just comes down to us making a play and they made more plays than we did. I thought our guys were in position to make the plays, we just didn’t do it.”
FCHS had 13 penalties for 103 yards and three turnovers.
“We cannot continue having these mistakes and be where we want to be at the end of the season but our kids overcame some adversity,” said Tracy.
Franklin County’s next game is at home against Oldham County Friday. Western Hills will have this week off and will play host to West Jessamine Sept. 12.
To see more photos from this game, click here.