Outlook: The last time Franklin traveled to Harford County, it spoiled Bel Air’s home debut on its new turf field back in September. The No. 11 Indians head to Pylesville Friday evening with a state semifinal berth on the line.
The Reisterstown school (9-2) pulled off the surprise of the opening weekend of tournament play in the area, routing then-No. 5 Hereford, 47-14. Franklin, which lost a few weeks earlier to the Bulls, 14-6, scored the game’s first 27 points as Joey Dorsey threw three touchdowns, including 25 and 34 yards to junior wideout Ian Thomas.
Senior Mark Venable rushed 162 yards and two touchdowns, and returned a fumble 33 yards for another score. Thomas had a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown as the Bulls committed five fumbles. It was Franklin’s first victory over Hereford since 1995.
The No. 3 Hawks (11-0) kept their perfect season intact with a 15-6 decision over Catonsville. Nate Turner scored on an 11-yard run late in the third quarter, and Ben Kenley’s 29-yard jaunt and two-point run by Brandon Bayer with over a minute left in regulation, rallied North Harford.
The Hawks’ defense, led by Sean Cannon and Jake Harris, limited Catonsville to 51 yards rushing in the second half. The Comets, who came in averaging nearly 38 points a game, were held to their lowest output.
Franklin is looking for its first state semifinal berth since 2006. The Indians lost to Hereford in last year’s region finals.
North Harford, which lost to Hereford in last year’s semifinal round, last played in a region final in 2007. The Hawks lost to Wilde Lake in the 3A East finals.