Franklin’s Champ Howard (17) makes a catch and turns upfield against Monroe’s Collin Deaton (10) during Friday night’s game at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. The host Wildcats won 24-3. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY OLIVER SANDERS

Prep football: Franklin secures first victory, keeps Hornets winless

Franklin High School’s football squad topped Monroe 24-3 in a rivalry matchup of winless units. It was also the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division opener for both teams.

“They scored two big plays on offense against us in the first half,” Hornets coach Brett Stubbs said. “They scored 21 of their 24 points on big plays. Defensively, I thought we played well. We just couldn’t find a way to score on offense.”

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On Franklin’s second possession of the game, junior Gage Johnson broke free on the first play and rambled 88 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

Monroe (0-4) responded by driving to the FHS 9-yard line in the second period and settled by a 26-yard field goal by Braden Singleton.

The Hornets then kicked off to the Wildcats’ Matt Centers, who scooped up the ball on the left side of the pitch, veered right, broke several tackles and went 73 yards for a touchdown. It was 14-3 at halftime.

The third quarter saw a bit more energy from Monroe’s defense, but the Hornets couldn’t stop Dylan Dirks from catching a 39-yard touchdown pass from Braden Woods to make it 21-3.

Franklin’s Gage Johnson breaks free for an 88-yard touchdown during Friday night’s 24-3 victory over visiting Monroe at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY OLIVER SANDERS

Penalties hurt Monroe throughout the contest. Cooper Daniels provided the final margin for Franklin (1-3) with a 35-yard field goal, and the Wildcats’ Zach Johnson picked off three Nick Osterman throws to help seal the victory.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Wildcats coach Brad Childers said. “We just kept balling and making plays here and there. The defense got the job done for us and made plays at the end of the night.”

Both teams will be back in action on the road next Friday. Franklin will meet Bellbrook, while Monroe faces Valley View.

Monroe 0-3-0-0—3

Franklin 7-7-10-0—24

F: Gage Johnson 88 run (Cooper Daniels kick)

M: Braden Singleton 26 field goal

F: Matt Centers 73 kickoff return (Daniels kick)

F: Dylan Dirks 39 pass from Braden Woods (Daniels kick)

F: Daniels 35 field goal

Franklin’s Champ Howard (17) is about to make a spin move on a Monroe defender during a 24-3 win for the home team Friday night at Atrium Stadium in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY OLIVER SANDERS

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