The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats' football team lost to the Glasgow Scotties 28-21 in both teams' final game of the regular season. The Wildcats, from Class 4-A, falls to an even overall record of 5-5 while the Scotties, from Class 3-A, improve to 9-1.
"I saw a lot of good things from this game and we were playing one of the best teams in Class 3-A," Wildcats head coach Doug Preston said. "The difference of the game was that they made more big plays at the time they needed to than we did.
"It was a playoff like atmosphere here tonight and that is how we approached it," Scotties head coach Jeff Garmon said. "Glad to see our seniors go out the way they should. These boys have been doubted all season long and to put up a 9-1 season and just 10 seconds away from having a perfect season, all the credit goes to the boys. They played hard, they put the work in and they deserve it."
The finale featured two teams that are looking to make a big run in their upcoming respective class football playoffs.
The game was scoreless in the 1st Quarter but business quickly picked up in the 2nd Quarter. Glasgow scored the first touchdown of the game with a drive that started in the first and carried over into the second with a 10-play, 57-yard drive with Kynarious Flynt scoring on a 1-yard run. The extra point was missed as the Scotties led 6-0.
Franklin-Simpson responded quickly on the next drive. Two plays after sophomore Luke Richardson's 38-yard pass to junior Andrew Ogles, senior Leandre Stutzman ran for a 4-yard touchdown. Junior Cole Hollingsworth provided the extra point as they took the lead 7-6.
Later in the quarter, the Scotties drove down the field quickly as senior Tanner Abernathy completed all three of his passes on the drive including a 34-yard touchdown pass to sophomore JaMarion Long. They converted the 2-point conversion with Abernathy's 2-yard pass to sophomore Hunter Scott for a 14-7 lead.
The Wildcats responded right back as they took advantage of good field position, Richardson completed a 17-yard pass to Ogles and a 22-yard touchdown pass to Stutzman. Hollingsworth kicked the extra point as the game was tied 14-14 at halftime.
In the 3rd Quarter, Franklin-Simpson took their opening drive 89 yards in three plays to take the lead. Two plays following senior Tedric Partinger's 60-yard run, senior Chase Gooch ran for a 20-yard touchdown run. With Hollingsworth's extra point, they led 21-14.
Glasgow tied the game on their ensuing possession as Abernathy made plays via the air and the ground. He had 34 yards rushing and completed a 35-yard pass to junior Jamari Mack to convert a 2nd down and 25 yards to go situation. That play helped set up a 7-yard touchdown run by senior Nick Mitchell. The extra point by senior Alex Elizarde forced the second tie of the game at 21-21.
"It's one of those plays where they had to make it with their backs against the wall," Preston said. "We knew the play that was going to be thrown down the middle and we had a coverage issue as the ball was snapped but it was a 50-50 ball and he just jumped up and got it."
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Late in the 4th Quarter starting from their own 16-yard line, Scott quickly flipped the field position for the Scotties as he ran for 58 yards on an end around play that set up Mitchell's 1-yard touchdown run. Elizarde's extra point gave them a 28-21 lead.
"We run that play once or twice a game and we haven't ran that play all night. That play we ran really hasn't been successful for us this season," Garmon said. "Hunter has good speed and we need him to make plays for us as he was able to run on the edge and cut back across the field."
The Wildcats had one final chance to tie or win the game. They got a 1st Down with Richardson's 13-yard pass to junior Gavin Finch but could not convert on 4th Down from Glasgow's 39-yard line as their 5-game winning streak was snapped at the hands of Glasgow, 28-21.
"On the drive before our last one, we were hoping to run some clock and play for the long field goal and pull out the win. Somehow, we got behind the chains, too far out for the field goal attempt and so we punted to pin them back deep," Preston said. "Then they had the drive with the reverse and took the lead. On our final drive, we had a great opportunity on 4th down for the catch for the first down but they made a great play to control the catch."
"We didn't panic and that is something we haven't done all season long. It's a credit to our good senior leadership," Garmon said. "We made plays when we had to make plays and that's the difference in a ball game like this. Two good teams playing each other and it always comes down to who makes the most plays at the end of the night and we made a few more than they did."
The Scotties out gained the Wildcats 345-272. Franklin-Simpson rushed for 179 yards with Tedric Partinger rushing for 73 yards on four carries with Leandre Stutzman having seven carries for 45 yards for a touchdown and Chase Gooch ran five times for 36 yards also for touchdown.
Luke Richardson completed five of his 13 passes for 93 yards for a touchdown with an interception. Andrew ogles had two receptions for 55 yards and Stutzman also had two receptions for 25 yards for a touchdown.
Tanner Abernathy completed 14 of his 19 passes for 173 for a touchdown. Jamari Mack had two receptions for 44 yards with JaMarion Long having two receptions for 40 yards for a touchdown and Kynarious Flynt had five receptions for 37 yards.
Nick Mitchell had 18 carries for 71 yards for two touchdowns and Abernathy had 13 carries for 35 yards.
F-S 0 14 7 0 21
G 0 14 7 7 28
G Kynarious Flynt 1-yard run (kick failed) 6-0
F-S Leandre Stutzman 4-yard run (Cole Hollingsworth kick) 7-6
G Tanner Abernathy 34-yard pass to Jamarion Long (Abernathy pass to Hunter Scott) 14-7
F-S Richardson 22-yard pass to Stutzman (Hollingsworth kick) 14-14
F-S Chase Gooch 20-yard run (Hollingsworth kick) 21-14
G Mick Mitchell 7-yard run (Alex Elizarde kick) 21-21
G Mitchell 1-yard run (Elizarde kick) 28-21