By Maurice Patton
After going to the wire in their first two outings, the Franklin Rebels decided things relatively early Friday to open Region 3-6A play with a 28-6 win at Overton.
Quarterbacks Carter Hendry and Wes Patterson combined to account for all four touchdowns as the visi tors broke on top, led 14-0 at halftime and rolled up 502 offensive yards while holding the ball for three-quarters of the game.
“If we think we’re a team that can compete for our region, we needed to play well in that first (game) and play from the lead instead of playing from behind,” coach Donnie Webb said after his team forced three interceptions – two by Jared Howell – to win the turnover battle and avenge a 41-20 homefield loss to the Bobcats from a year ago.
Putting an opponent away was a point of emphasis for the Rebel coaching staff after dropping a 28-24 decision to Centennial in the opener and nearly suffering the same fate in last week’s 27-20 win over host Riverdale.
“As we started looking at film and at what was causing (the late-game issues), it was really Franklin problems – turnovers, penalties, not something that was forced upon us,” Webb said. “We stressed that we needed to clean up the part of football that Franklin plays.”
Two offensive twists contributed to Friday’s result, as Overton made moves to limit running back Mitch Rossi’s touches while the visitors tried to take advantage of Overton’s numbers on defense.
Hendry (92 rushing yards) and Patterson combined for 156 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Rossi came up just short of his third 100-yard performance, finishing with 95 on 22 attempts, but caught two passes, both for scores.
“They were trying to take him away,” Webb said of Rossi. “That’s just part of the option.
“What was very unlike us was, we went no-huddle. We normally want to slow the game down, but they had so many (playing) both ways that we felt that was better for us as long as we could be successful with it.”
Defensively, Franklin avoided trouble early when a 71-yard Taverius Travis scoring run was called back for a penalty. On the night, the Rebels allowed just 108 yards, with Overton (1-2, 0-1) picking up its only score on a Theo Jackson 5-yard third-quarter run.
“I thought we did a really good job on all but one play,” Webb said. “We didn’t have our leverage right. We’ve got to be perfect against kids faster than us. They took it to the house; we were fortunate. But we played really aggressive defensively. We had several people to the ball.”
Next up for the Rebels is a visit from Brentwood (1-2) in non-region play.
“I’ve been a part of many of those games, as an assistant and as head coach,” Webb said. “Many years we played each other twice. It doesn’t matter, the records of either team. All that needs to be said is ‘Brentwood’. We’re both 0-0, and it’ll be a brawl from start to finish.
“We’ve got to enjoy Overton, but this is definitely Brentwood week.”
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