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Franklin too much for Senators

Franklin High spoiled Madison's homecoming game Friday night, blowing out the Senators 34-0 in the PIL 5A opener for both teams.

The Quakers (1-3) had a potent offensive attack led by 6-3 senior quarterback Josh Nine. Nine threw four touchdown passes, hitting on 9 of 23 attempts for 236 yards.

'I think we came together really good today,' Nine said. 'I give all the credit to my teammates.'

Coach Richard Lex echoed Nine's thoughts, and recognized that their tough nonconference schedule helped them prepare for their own division.

'That set us up for this win,' Lex said. 'Madison is pretty physical, and we hung in there.'

The Franklin defense slammed the door shut against Madison's offense. Jacob Lusby, a 6-2 senior defensive back, intercepted the Senators' first pass from scrimmage. The Quakers also recovered three Senators fumbles.

Perhaps the worst part of the night for Madison came in the third quarter. Trainers and coaches rushed to the field to find quarterback John Doyle, a 6-0 senior, laying motionless after being slammed to the ground on a run up the middle. Doyle suffered a broken left clavicle, and will miss significant time.

'We're going to have to make a few changes, and evaluate where we're at with our younger quarterbacks,' Madison coach Adam Skyles said. 'It's a big loss for us.'

Now with a record of 0-4, the Senators came into Friday's game already missing several starters, including seniors Javier Meigar, Boy Sengphet and Jahmarciay Barr. Sophomore Robby Heiberg was hurt, too, but was called upon to replace the injured Doyle at quarterback.

'We're a little banged up right now,' Skyles said.

Even before Doyle's exit, the Senators seemed more focused on finding ways to run the football. Charles Riga, a 6-1, 205-pound running back, carried 19 times but was held to 61 yards. Heiberg was stuffed, too, with just 28 yards on 15 tries. Doyle gained 23 yards on the ground and was 2 of 7 through the air for 20 yards.

For both teams, the first quarter was filled with punts and penalties, and neither squad could take advantage of the opponent's sluggish start.

Franklin came alive in the second quarter. After another turnover on downs for the Senators, the Quakers scored immediately on a 54-yard strike from Nine to 6-3 junior wide receiver Dominic Draheim. Draheim snagged three balls for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, Madison surrendered possession, and it was Franklin's football again. And the Quakers scored, again. This time, it was Damian Woods, a 6-1 senior wide receiver, who caught a pass from Nine, and took it 51 yards to the end zone. Woods ended his night with 97 yards on four catches.

With just over two minutes to play in the first half, the Senators lined up to punt, but they mishandled the long snap. The football went over the punter's head, and Franklin took over at the 7-yard line. Nine then connected with Lusby for the quick score, putting the Quakers ahead 21-0 at halftime.

The third quarter was much like the first. Punt. Fumble. Turnover on downs. However, after the injury to Doyle, the Quakers could smell blood.

Franklin's defense had Madison backed up deep into its own territory, and the Quakers forced another punt. The long snap was mishandled again, and senior linebacker Justin Cortado pounced on the football for a touchdown. The extra point missed, but Franklin was still on top 27-0.

The Quakers would begin to sit their starters in the fourth quarter, but not until Nine had a chance to hook up with Draheim on another touchdown, this one for 18 yards.