Franklin Looks For Fifth Win in Six Tries Tonight at Erie Central Tech; Oil City Entertains Strong Vincent

| September 30, 2016

Ian Haynes Franklin by Mike Schnelle
ERIE, Pa. – Already off to its best start in over 12 years, Franklin will look for its fifth win in six tries when it visits Veterans Stadium in Erie to take on Erie Central Tech at 7 p.m. Friday.

(Photo: Franklin freshman quarterback Ian Haynes is off to a strong start. Photo by Mike Schnelle. Check out more of Schnelle’s work here)

The Knights, who beat the Falcons 31-22 last season, are coming off a 50-16 win over Erie East that pushed them to 4-1 for the first time since at least 2003. Franklin also started the 2006 season 3-1 but lost in its fourth game to Oil City in overtime.

Coach Tom Hayne’s squad has been about as balanced offensively as possible throwing for 804 yards and rushing for 807.

The Knights do have a 2-1 run-to-pass ratio having called 201 running plays and 100 passing plays through the first five weeks.

Freshman quarterback Ian Haynes, Coach Haynes’ son, has been everything Knights’ fans could have hoped for.

The youngster is completing 55 percent (49 of 89) of his passes for 720 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions and had the first interception-free game of his career against Erie East when he threw for 114 yards and a score.

The fact Ian Haynes has a talented receiving corps to work with doesn’t hurt.

Brendon Gordon, Eric Hoffman and Brandon Johnson all have double-digit catches on the season led by Johnson’s 16 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon, who has played just about everywhere for the Knights, has 12 grabs for 257 yards and three touchdowns with Hoffman adding 14 for 152 and a score.

The passing game is helped by the fact teams have to respect Franklin’s run game that is led by Vinnie Greco’s 534 yards and six touchdowns. Greco had his third 100-yard game of the season last week with 154 and two touchdowns. Gordon adds 230 yards on the ground with a pair of scores.

Defensively, Franklin has been stout against the run allowing 121.6 yards per game on the season. The defense has also forced 14 turnovers.

Central Tech enters the contest at 2-3 and is coming off a 41-0 win over Erie Strong Vincent. The Falcons also own a 40-36 win at Meadville to open the season and have lost to Erie Cathedral Prep, General McLane and Fort LeBoeuf with the lost to Fort LeBoeuf of the one-point varsity, 21-20.

Franklin will need to know where Keyshaan Husband is at all times.

Husband is an explosive player who has run for 770 yards and eight touchdowns on the season while also grabbing a pair of catches for 31 yards. He is coming off a 152-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Strong Vincent.

While Husband and his 90 carries is the focus of the Falcon offense, Danny Blue (280 yards rushing, 3 TDs; 5 catches, 159 yards, 3 TDs) and quarterback Jason Williams (212 yards rushing, 3 TDs; 14 of 37 passing, 3 TDs; 4 Ints) will beat you if not paid attention to.

Up next for the Knights will be a trip to Meadville before they return home to face DuBois Oct. 14.

OILERS STILL SEARCHING FOR FIRST WIN AS THEY HOST ONE-WIN STRONG VINCENT

OIL CITY, Pa. – It’s been a rough go to the start of Dan York’s coaching career at Oil City, as the veteran coach’s Oilers are still looking for their first win.

Oil City hasn’t had less than three wins in any season since 2004 but has been outscored 201-61 through five games including a lopsided 61-13 loss to Grove City last week.

York came to Oil City known as a run-first coach, and the veteran, who guided Lakeview for years, hasn’t strayed from that philosophy with the Oilers rushing the ball nearly 77 percent of the time.

The ground game has had varying success averaging 191.4 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry but has twice been held under 150 yards in the first five weeks including last week when the Oilers ran for 103. Oil City has also only scored four rushing touchdowns on the year.

While 11 different players have carried the ball for Oil City including four toting the pigskin at least 20 times, Jahmeer Jordan has become the workhorse rushing for 243 yards and a touchdown despite missing the first two weeks of the season.

Two other players – Josh Puleo (28 for 120) and Seth Thompson (28 for 100) have cracked the 100-yard mark on the year, while Christian Cole has 46 carries for 94 yards and Matthew Hutchinson 90 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

Dylin Chapin is being asked to manage the game at quarterback and he is 17 of 50 for 189 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. Caden Highfield has caught two of the touchdown passes.

Strong Vincent is coming off a 41-0 loss to Erie Central Tech last week, and the Colonels have been shutout in back-to-back games. Outside of a 40-0 win over Erie East, Strong Vincent has scored just 14 points in its other four contests.

What offense the Colonels do have, and it’s not much considering they average 142.8 yards per game, is balanced with Strong Vincent rushing for 344 yards and passing for 380 on the season.

Arlan Pulliam leads the ground game with 192 yards and two touchdowns, while Sam Peterson is 24 of 83 passing for 288 yards, one touchdown and eight interceptions. Peterson went without an interception for the first time this season in the loss to Central Tech last week.

Oil City will have to keep an eye on Jamil Grandberry who has nine catches for 212 yards and a score. Grandberry, though, had just one catch for eight yards last week.

The Oilers are back on the road next week at Conneaut Area.


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