Franklin High School football coach Brad Childers knows the cliché is old.
But if the “next man up” cliché ever applied, it does for his Wildcats after losing senior quarterback Braden White to a season-ending left knee injury early in their Week 3 win at Piqua.
“It’s unfortunate, but we prepare them to play,” Childers said. “I know it’s an old cliché, but Braden (Woods) got his opportunity. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it happens. Everything happens for a reason. I believe that.”
Woods looked like a seasoned vet after coming in for White at Piqua, completing all 12 pass attempts for 170 yards and a score in a 21-7 win.
The sophomore will get his first start Friday when the 3-0 Wildcats host 2-1 Eaton at Atrium Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff that opens Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division play for both teams.
Eaton coach Brad Davis admitted the Eagles had been preparing for whichever quarterback breaks the huddle, but has no doubt Woods can do the job for the Wildcats.
“We are covering our bases there,” Davis said. “We have limited film on him (Woods), but knowing his background, he is definitely a viable quarterback. He would be a nice quarterback on several teams.”
Besides, Davis knows whoever the quarterback is has a lot of help around him.
Ryan Montgomery is averaging over 100 yards a game at running back while four different receivers have caught touchdown passes.
“Montgomery is a pretty dynamic player,” Davis said. “Anytime he touches the ball, he has a chance to make a big play. That is one of the things we are going to have to do is limit their big plays.”
Eaton has presented more of a balanced attack with quarterback Ryan Venable throwing for 343 yards and Caleb Puckett accounting for 362 of the 424 yards on the ground for the Eagles.
“They are definitely better and more physical than they have been in the last few years,” Childers said. “They have good skilled kids like they typically do. We have to go down the hill and strap it up. We got to take care of us by doing what we need to do and trusting each other.
“The line of scrimmage, that’s where it’s won. Our offensive line and defensive line created a new line of scrimmage last week in the best trench play I’ve seen here in awhile.”
Said Davis, “We have to control the things that we can control. We have to play physical, disciplined football. We are focusing more on us and play a clean game.”
The 3-0 start for Franklin, Childers admits, won’t mean much if the Wildcats are 0-1 in league play after Friday night.
“Everything else is irrelevant,” Childers said. “This starts league play and we want to be 1-0, and we know that to do that have to do things the right way.”
What: Eaton (2-1) at Franklin (3-0), 7 p.m.
Where: Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium, 301 E. Sixth St., Franklin
Last year: Franklin won 49-8