White happy to do his part as rotating quarterback for Franklin

Franklin quarterback Braden White is one of two rotating quarterbacks for the unbeaten Wildcats this season. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Franklin quarterback Braden White is one of two rotating quarterbacks for the unbeaten Wildcats this season. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Things have worked out so well on the football field for Franklin High School’s Braden White that it might seem like it was all by design.

But it most certainly was not.

The junior’s made the most of a difficult situation and is a rotating quarterback for the Wildcats, who are 6-0 and ranked fifth in the Associated Press Division III state poll.

“I believe as a human that everything happens for a reason,” Franklin coach Brad Childers said. “So here we are.”

White was a backup quarterback at Edgewood last season, completing the only varsity pass he threw for a touchdown against Badin.

Just over a month later, on Oct. 20, White’s home was destroyed by fire. That led to his family’s decision to move to Franklin and White becoming an FHS student this year.

“It’s what was needed,” said White, whose father Brian is a former Wildcat quarterback. “I had nowhere else to go, so this is where I ended up. And I’m sure glad I came here.”

He’s grown into a unique quarterback situation at Franklin. White is a classic dropback passer with a big-time arm. Fellow junior Ryan Montgomery is a shifty speedster who can make things happen anywhere on the field.

Most coaches don’t like to use two quarterbacks extensively, but Childers isn’t among them.

“The versatility it brings our offense is a blessing,” he said. “It’s a decision that I’ve made, and I feel like we’re on the right path with it. As a former defensive coordinator, I know how tough it is to prepare for two guys with different strengths.

“I attribute it first to those guys being great teammates. Second, Coach (Steve) Woods has been coaching the quarterbacks for us and has many, many years of experience. He’s a football guru. He takes what we’re trying to do and basically puts the quarterback in a situation where he has one or two reads and kind of centralizes the game. I feel like that’s probably what’s leading to their success.”

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Montgomery is 29 of 39 for 379 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions — he’s also got 774 yards and 16 TDs on 72 carries. The 6-3, 205-pound White is 43 of 59 for 681 yards and eight touchdowns with no picks.

“I’ve got to thank my linemen for that,” White said. “They all block good for me and my receivers go get the ball for me, so that’s why my stats are the way they are.”

He admitted he didn’t know how everything was going to shake out in the preseason.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Franklin High School junior quarterback Braden White talks about the 2016 season this week at the school.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

“I had no clue,” White said. “I was working hard trying to get me a position on the team. Me and Ryan make it work pretty well. He teaches me some things and I teach him some things. It’s like having two different quarterbacks on the field, two different perspectives on the defense to break ’em down.”

Montgomery is generally a tailback or in the slot when White is at quarterback. When Montgomery is the QB, White watches from the sideline.

There are certainly other weapons in the arsenal, especially senior running back Bailee Moore (59 carries, 354 yards, three TDs) and senior wideout Noah Kremer (15 receptions, 428 yards, seven TDs).

“We’re good with both of them on the field, no doubt about it,” Childers said of his two quarterbacks. “But I like Ryan being back there sometimes by himself and letting him read the defense. Braden can run too. He’d definitely rather chuck it down the field, but he’s a punishing runner.”

White said joining a new program has been a smooth transition for him.

“All the guys invited me in like family,” he said. “The seniors on the team, the leadership here, they give me the confidence knowing I can be as good as I can be.”

The Wildcats will continue their surge toward the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division title and a Division III, Region 12 playoff berth Friday night at Bellbrook.

Friday’s game

What: Franklin (6-0, 2-0 SWBL Southwestern) at Bellbrook (4-2, 1-2 SWBL Southwestern), 7 p.m.

Where: David Holmes Field at Miami Valley South Stadium, 3737 Upper Bellbrook Road, Bellbrook

Last meeting: Franklin won 28-20 in 2015