PREP FOOTBALL: Carlisle, Franklin open season with big test

Carlisle’s Ridge Reed (22) gets a block by lineman Nick Moore (65) as he carries the ball during the first half of their game against Franklin on Aug. 28, 2015, at Carlisle’s Laughlin Field. The visiting Wildcats won 31-21. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Carlisle’s Ridge Reed (22) gets a block by lineman Nick Moore (65) as he carries the ball during the first half of their game against Franklin on Aug. 28, 2015, at Carlisle’s Laughlin Field. The visiting Wildcats won 31-21. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF


Friday’s game

What: Carlisle (0-0) at Franklin (0-0), 7 p.m.

Where: Veterans Memorial Field at Atrium Stadium, 301 E. Sixth St., Franklin

Last meeting: Franklin won 31-21 in 2015

Franklin High School football coach Brad Childers believes the key to his team’s success centers around their ability to win the line of scrimmage.

The Wildcats’ first test happens to be a big one with Carlisle bringing Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division Offensive Player of the Year Ridge Reed to Franklin Community Park for the season opener Friday night.

Reed is hard for anyone to stop, but Childers said if his defense can get off the field on third down, his offense is capable of outperforming the Indians’ offense.

“If we can establish line of scrimmage and block up front, we have a chance of being successful,” Childers said. “We have five or six kids that can make things happen if they get the ball in space, so if our offensive line is doing what it’s capable of, the sky is the limit.”

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That worked well for Franklin last year as running back Bailee Moore rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns. His only game over 100 yards helped push the Wildcats to a 31-21 win as Reed finished with 139 yards and two scores.

Reed, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior fullback, went on to lead the entire SWBL in rushing with 1,825 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has been limited some this preseason as a precaution after coming back from an ankle injury suffered during track season, but Carlisle coach Mike Brown said he is a full participant in practices this week and will be ready to go Friday.

“We’re planning for him,” Childers said. “But we have to be prepared to make stops regardless of who has the ball in their hands because they have other great players as well.”

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Slot receiver D.J. Chambers is another explosive player Franklin will have to contain, but it will be up to Indians quarterback Jake Moore, a backup last year, to get him the ball.

The Wildcats are banking on their experience up front to make their offense go. They likely will use both Ryan Montgomery, who led the team in rushing and passing last year, and transfer Braden White at quarterback.

Brown said his team will have to come well prepared, but the players need no help getting excited about the game — one both communities look forward to each year.

“From what we’ve seen on film and knowing what kind of football players they have, it’s going to be a battle,” Brown said.“They are going to hit hard and play tough, and we have to match their intensity. We have to control the football and minimize big plays, and we’ve got to win the turnover battle.”

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