Football - Franklin Regional vs Latrobe
Franklin Regional Celebrates Homecoming with 27-14 Win over Greater Latrobe
When Franklin Regional and Greater Latrobe get together for a friendly game of football in recent seasons, kickoff teams play has become a significant factor in determining the final score. This year's game on Friday, October 16, at the Panther's stadium in Murrysville was no exception. At the end of the night it was Franklin Regional who claimed the 27-14 win on Homecoming Night, but kickoff coverage factored into 3 of the 6 total touchdowns scored by the two teams.
Perhaps the Panthers had memories of last year's game, when Latrobe's Kameron Stevens took a pair of kickoffs to the house for touchdowns. Whatever the reason, Franklin Regional reached deep into the bag of tricks with their opening kickoff, executing the onside kick to perfection, negating any Latrobe return possibility and setting the Panthers up with the ball and good field position.
Franklin Regional converted the opening kick recovery into the first points of the game five play later when Trevor Brncic hit Jeffrey Downs in stride across the middle for a 16-yard touchdown with 9:58 left in the quarter. Caden Smith booted the PAT through the uprights for a 7-0 Franklin Regional lead.
Latrobe mounted a drive that took them to the Panthers' 18 yard line, but they turned the ball over on downs when they failed to convert a 4th-and-3 play. The quarter ended 7-0.
Franklin Regional added another touchdown at the 5:08 mark of the second quarter when Brncic found Mario Sarnic for a 35-yard catch and run to the endzone and a 14-0 lead after the PAT kick.
Latrobe got their offense in gear late in the half as Drake Clayton carried into the endzone from 4 yards out. John McHenry booted the PAT kick through and Latrobe trailed 14-7 with 1:11 left in the half.
It took the Panthers 14 seconds to get the 7 points back as Jerraine Turner returned McHenry's kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. The last 57 seconds of the half ticked off with no additional scoring and the Panthers led 21-7.
Jeffrey Downs tacked on his second touchdown of the game at 6:11 to play in the third when he grabbed a toss from Brncic and took it 38 yards for the score. Smith's kick was blocked and the score remained 27-7.
Then it was Latrobe's turn to take a kickoff to the house, as Kyle Brewer worked his way through coverage for the 80-yard touchdown at 5:55 in the third quarter. McHenry was good on the PAT and Franklin Regional led 27-14.
Both teams moved the ball in the fourth quarter with Franklin Regional's Brandon Zanotto and Latrobe's Nate Stemmerich contributing yardage on big plays. But neither team breached the goal line again, and the game ended with Brncic taking a knee in victory formation with a 27-14 win.
Next week is the final week of regular season play. Franklin Regional (4-2) hosts neighborhood rival Penn-Trafford while the Wildcats will welcome Woodland Hills to Latrobe's Memorial Stadium.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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