Eagles Scratch Lions 2nd Time
Lexington defeated Franklin 23- 13 Friday night at A& M Consolidated High School field. This is the second time this season the Eagles have beaten the Lions. The first win propelled Lexington into the playoffs, the second moved Lexington into the Regional final game against Arp. Lexington won the first game by nine points the second by 10.
Franklin won the coin toss and elected to take the ball. Chase Hibbeler kicked off to the Franklin eight. The ball was returned to the 23 where Eriq Mitchell and Todd Glass stopped the returner. Franklin ran a sweep that went for 13 yards on the first play. The next three plays went for 0, 3, and 3 forcing a punt. After the punt, Lexington had the ball at their own 36-yard line.
Lexington proceeded to march the 64 yards in 11 plays to open the scoring. The drive took 5:13 off the clock. Lexington had passed on Franklin in the first game and this was no different. Kogan Garrett passed to Josh Murray for 10 yards on the second play of the drive. After gaining 40 yards on running plays, Garrett hit Murray again for 13 yards to move the ball to the one. Garrett then quarterback sneaked the last yard. Hibbeler toed the PAT for a 7-0 Eagle lead.
Franklin took the kick off and started one of their patented long drives all on the ground. The Lions ran off 11 plays. Franklin faced two fourth and short situations on the drive, only to have the drive halted by an illegal chop block at the Eagle eight. Facing a 2nd and 23 from the 23, a pass was called. Josh Murray slid in front of the receiver and intercepted the ball at the Eagle five yard line. He returned it to the 13 before being stopped as the first quarter ended.
Lexington did Franklin one better on this possession. The Eagles ran off 11 plays in route to the end zone. The drive was mainly a Flot-trot. Of the 87 yards A. J. Flot reeled off runs of 7,25,1,4,9,7, and the final one. Garrett passed for 25 yards on the drive to Murray and Jason Washington. Hibbeler toed the PAT for a 14-0 Lexington lead on two possessions. Neither drive suggested Franklin could stop the Eagles.
The Leixngton defense bent but never broke in the first half. After stopping Franklin at the eight with the interception, the defense stopped the Lions on downs at the eight later in the second quarter.
From there the Eagles mounted an almost miraculous drive in the last 1:07 of the game. A 44-yard pass to Washington got Lexington down the field quickly. With five seconds left on the clock, it appeared Lexington was going to try a long field goal. Instead Washington, the holder, threw a pass to Murray down the left sideline. Murray was stopped at the 10-yard line as time ran off the clock.
Lexington took Franklin’s generosity at the beginning of the second half. A poorly executed onside attempt gave Lexington the ball at the 50-yard line. Garrett lost six yards on the first play. Then the roof caved in on Franklin. Garrett passed to Washington for 24 and then 32 yards to Eriq Mitchell on a seam route for the score. Hibbeler popped a high fly that made it through for the PAT and a 21-0 Lexington lead.
The Lions went three and out. It looked as though the game was over when Lexington came marching down the field again. Lexington had moved 64 yards on five plays when an illegal motion penalty occurred. On the next play, Garrett had gotten the five yards back when he was hit hard and fumbled. Franklin took over at its own 15 and avoided disaster.
But…. Franklin lost eight yards on first down, had a penalty to move back to the seven. A sweep lost six more with the ball at the one. A six-yard gain put the ball at the seven on fourth down. The deep snap to the punter sailed over his head out of the end zone for a safety. The Eagles led 23-0.
Franklin punted to the Eagles with the free kick. The kick went out of bounds at the Franklin 45.Lexington moved down to the 27-yard line, but no further, as the Lion defense stiffened. During the third quarter Franklin had three possessions that resulted in 10 offensive plays, two of which had penalties.
The last two plays of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth resulted in a seven-play 77- yard drive. The big play was a 44- yard pass to the Eagle 10. From the 10, it took the Lions two plays to score. They kicked the PAT, the score was 23-7.
Starting at the Eagle 29 after the kick off, Garrett ran 24 yards on the first play. Then three plays and a punt were what evolved.
Franklin started at their own 25- yard line and embarked on a time consuming drive. Time was something they did not need to consume, but they never sped up their play calling ritual or anything. 16 plays and 5:49 later, they were in the Eagle end zone. A run into the middle of the Eagle defense got nowhere on the PAT, leaving the score 23-13. Needing two scores to win with only 1:36 left in the game, the Lions kicked off deep. Lexington returned the ball to the 18. The Eagles ran out the clock for the win to advance to the Regional finals for the second year in a row.
Tyler Meyer had an outstanding game for the Eagles on defense with 17 tackles, two for losses. Murray not only had large yardage on offense, he was in on 15 tackles to go with the INT.
Eriq Mitchell had a good game with 13 stops.
Antonio Washington had his usual solid game with 11 tackles as the Lions chose to run away from him.
Todd Glass and Will Holcomb, with nine tackles each, played important parts in the Eagle victory.