Who: Madison (3-2, 2-0 SWBL Buckeye) at Franklin (4-1, 2-0 SWBL Southwestern), 7:30 p.m.
Where: Atrium Stadium, 301 E. Sixth St., Franklin
Last meeting: Franklin won 34-6 in 2012
The celebration didn’t last long, because Madison High School’s football team had to get back to work.
The Mohawks knocked off Milton-Union for just the second time in school history last weekend, but now must hit the road to face a bigger challenge against Franklin tonight.
“They’re a good football team. Everybody knows that,” Madison coach Chris Wells said. “We don’t have anything but respect for those guys.”
The Mohawks (3-2) and Wildcats (4-1) are 2-0 in their respective divisions of the Southwestern Buckeye League. This crossover contest doesn’t count in the standings.
It’s homecoming for Franklin, and FHS coach Rodney Roberts knows that’s generally a week-long distraction for the players.
“We need to be focused on a good Madison team that’s going to give us everything they’ve got,” he said. “You turn the film on and you see what you expect to see from a Chris Wells-coached team. Their kids play with passion. They play together. They get after you.”
Luke Kennard has thrown for 1,046 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Wildcats, though Roberts wants to improve Franklin’s ground attack. Dustin Williams (36 carries, 177 yards) and Devin Richards (46 carries, 155 yards) are the top runners.
“It’s not that we haven’t run it. We just have higher expectations,” Roberts said. “If you’re going to be that championship team, you’ve got to run it when you want to and stop it when you have to. And I really like where our defense is going.”
Nose guard Michael Crockett has been a standout for the Wildcats, who have been battling some injuries. Roberts said wide receiver Austin Doliboa is back this week, and he’s hopeful that defensive tackle Alex Nori will be able to play as well.
For Madison, free safety KC Lindon was involved in two dozen tackles in the 40-31 win over Milton-Union. Tre Owens ran 13 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns.
“We were real blessed to get that victory,” Wells said. “We fought real hard and never lost faith.”
Wells has friends on the Franklin staff and has known Roberts for years. Roberts’ father was a coach on the first team Wells ever played on.
“I was about 9 years old, and it was my first year of football down at Smith Park,” Wells said. “It’s important to have a good experience when you’re that little, and Rodney’s dad was a guy that made it fun. That got me started and took me all the way through college.”