Bulldogs suffer same fate, will miss playoffs again
The Thorndale Bulldogs would like to have that phrase stricken from the English language.
For the second straight season, the Bulldogs will stay at home despite a 7-3 record after being roughed up by Franklin 63-32 Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
More important than their winning ledger, the Bulldogs finish 3-3 in District 12-2A, unable to crack the top three by losing to the three teams ahead of them.
No. 4 Rogers stands 9-0 and 5-0 and travels to second place Lexington (7-2, 4-1) Friday.
Franklin (7-2, 3-2) will battle it out with Bruceville-Eddy (3-6, 2-3).
Even if Franklin falls, it will still enter the playoffs because it has victories over both Bruceville Eddy and Thorndale despite all three sporting 3-3 league records.
“I was proud of the way the kids played this season,” said first-year coach Brent Brevard. “It is of course disappointing not to make the playoffs, but our kids played hard and represent our community with pride. We had good senior leadership this season.”
The Lions took advantage of five Thorndale turnovers and coupled with 536 yards of offense—all on the ground—and Franklin had all the right ingredients for a big win.
“We had five turnovers and still managed 32 points,” said Brevard. “ The problem is you can’t give a team like Franklin five turnovers. They make you pay for each one.”
The Franklin backfield duo of Chris Morrow and Darius Floyd both cracked the 200-yard barrier, with Morrow rolling up 289 yards on 22 carries and Floyd chipping in 179 on just 14 carries.
Of the eight times the Lions found the end zone, Morrow and Floyd accounted for six (three apiece).
Franklin, which came into the game putting up over 50 points a game, averaged almost 13 yards every time it touched the ball.
“ We ran well and we really blocked well,” said Franklin Coach Mike Hedrick. “Our offensive line is very experienced. They don’t have a lot of size, but it says a lot for those kids the way they open holes for the backs.”
Thorndale was forced to play without starting quarterback Price Miller who was knocked out of the game in the third quarter, leaving the team in sophomore Riley Schaefer’s inexperienced hands.
The 5- foot- 10, 150 - pou nd Schaefer responded superbly, completing 8- of-11 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown after having attempted just six coming into the game.
He also found enough room to pick up 24 yards on 10 carries.
“Riley hasn’t gotten a lot of snaps this season,” Brevard said. “He came in and really played well given the situation.”
Before he was forced to leave the game, Miller was 5-for-14 with 69 yards which adds to his probable school record of 1,368 passing yards this year.
Senior Seth Rutter saved his best for last, grinding out a season high 120 yards in his final football game as a Bulldog.
Every time the Bulldogs inched closer, Franklin would bound further ahead.
Trailing 20-0, Thorndale had pulled to within 28-14 by halftime on Miller’s short run and his 6-yard connection with Jack Elms.
After Steven McKendrick’s 5- yard run and Schaefer’s 7-yard effort at the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs trailed just 35-26 heading into final period.
In the wild-and-woolly fourth quar ter, Frank lin posted 28 points, sandwiched around a 49 Schaefer to Elms hookup to put the game out of reach.
The final score was the third time this season the Lions had scored at least 63 points (69 and 70).
FRANKLIN 63, THORNDALE 32
|20 First downs||27|
|0 Passing yards||168|
|536 Total yards||428|
|9- 68 Penalties||5-32|
|Franklin 12 16||7||28— 63|
|Thorndale 0 14||12||6—32|
|FRANK—Darius Floyd 11 run||(||kick||failed)|
|FRANK— Chris Morrow 14||run||(||run||failed)|
|FRANK—Morrow 1 run (||Floyd||run)||9:52|
|THORN—Tyler Miller 2||run||(||Emanuel|
|Castillo kick) 2:36|
|FRANK—Floyd 45 run (Floyd||run)||2:14|
|THORN—Jack Elms 6 pass||from||Miller|
|(Castillo kick) :05|
|FRANK—Austin Dees 6 run (||Travis||Payne|
|THORN—Steven McKendrick||7||run (pass|
|THORN— Riley Schaefer 7||run||( pass|
|FRANK— Mitch Williams 1||run||(||Payne|
|FRANK— Morrow 47 run (||kick||failed)|
|THORN— Elms 49 pass||from||Schaefer|
|(pass failed) 5:22|
|F R ANK— Floyd 22 run (||Austin||Dees|
|FRANK—Zach Short 35||fumble||return|
|(Payne kick) 2:03|
RUSHING—Rutter 19-120, Miller 16- 45 TD, Brooks 7- 51, McKendrick 3-17 TD, Schaefer 10-24, Guzman 2- 4. FRANK: Morrow 22-289 3TD, Floyd 14-179 3TD. PASSING— Miller 5-14-2, 69 yards, TD Schaefer 8-11- 0, 99 yards TD. RECEIVING—Elms 3- 64 2TD, Stockton 2-10, Guzman 1-36, McKendrick 1-14, Mays 3-17, Schaefer 1-8
THORNDALE SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Rutter 111-786 10 TD, Brooks 75-390 4 TD, McKendrick 41-327 5 TD, Miller 118-308 9 TD, Guzman 27-95, Elms 6- 69, Schaefer 5-4, Salinas 1-(-29), Ware 3-3.
PASSING—Miller 84-165-5, 1,368 yards 13 TD, Schaefer 10- 17- 0 106 yards 2TD, McKendrick 1-1- 0 27 yards, Rutter 0-1-1.
RECEIVING—Elms 32-476 6TD, Mays 19-223, McKendrick 15- 304 3TD, Miller, P. 5-122 2TD, Youngblood 7-159 TD, Rutter 4-33, Stockton 6-84 TD, Schaefer 2-33, Miller,T. 1-18 TD, Guzman 2-48.