Boys Varsity Football
INDIANAPOLIS – Senior Michael Pitz ran for two touchdowns and junior Dylan Bishop threw for two more Friday night (Sept. 8), leading the Franklin Central football team to a 28-20 victory over visiting Columbus North.
Pitz rushed for 154 yards on 23 carries, including TDs that covered 4 yards and 67 yards, as the Flashes improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in Conference Indiana. Bishop contributed 16-of-21 pass for 209 yards, including scoring plays of 9 yards to senior Brett Alford and 3 yards to junior Maliki Parks.
Junior Trenton Kelley and senior Jaylen Flemmons combined for two scoring plays for the Bull Dogs, which dropped to 3-1 and 1-1. Senior J.D. Harris also provided a 96-yard touchdown on a kickoff return.
Franklin Central controlled the line of scrimmage, totaling 445 yards of offense on 72 plays while Columbus North managed just 217 yards on 38 plays. The Flashes amassed 23 first downs to just 10 for the Bull Dogs. FC just would not let the CN defense off the field, possessing the ball for 34 minutes, 45 seconds of the 48-minute contest.
The hosts scored on the game’s opening possession, Pitz going over the left side from 4 yards out to cap an 18-play, 87-yard drive. Senior Quinn Ferguson converted the extra point for a 7-0 edge.
Columbus North countered on the ensuing kick, Harris fielding the ball at his own 4, bursting through a seam and racing for a 96-yard touchdown. The play tied a school record for longest kick return set by Taylor Summa against Franklin Central on Sept. 7, 2012.
Pitz made it 14-6 shortly thereafter, breaking a tackle and dashing for a 67-yard score with 2:18 to go in the first quarter. The Flashes extended their advantage to 21-6 late in the second quarter when Bishop found Alford for a 9-yard touchdown to finish a seven-play, 51-yard drive.
The Bull Dogs had an apparent touchdown nullified just before the half. In the waning seconds, junior Langston Lunsford intercepted Bishop at the FC 40 and sprinted for an apparent score. However, CN was called for roughing the passer on the play, and Franklin Central then ran out the half.
Columbus North pulled within 21-12 on the opening possession of the third quarter, Kelley hitting Flemmons for an 8-yard score to complete an eight-play, 68-yard drive.
CN bent but held on the Flashes’ next possession, senior Brigham Kleinhenz and junior Jalen Paswater combining to stop Pitz for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the Bull Dogs’ 4. The visitors picked up one first down on their next possession, but then were forced to punt and Franklin Central countered with a 13-play, 62-yard march that ended with Bishop’s 3-yard scoring dart to Parks.
The Bull Dogs tried to come back. They moved 65 yards in five plays, Kelley hitting Flemmons on a fade for a 10-yard touchdown. Flemmons, playing quarterback on the conversion try, ran around right end and somehow found the end zone for a two-point play and an eight-point deficit with 5:13 to go.
Franklin Central finished the contest the way it began, controlling the ball with a 10-play drive and consuming all remaining time to end the game.
Columbus North returns to action at 7:30 p.m. next Friday (Sept. 15) when it hosts Terre Haute South (1-3, 1-1). The game will be Senior Night and has been designated a “Coaches vs. Cancer” game. Franklin Central is back to the field at 7 p.m. next Friday at Perry Meridian (0-4, 0-2). Both are Conference Indiana games.
At Franklin Central
Columbus North …………… 6 0 6 8 – 20
Franklin Central ……………. 14 7 0 7 – 28
FC – Michael Pitz 4 run (Quinn Ferguson kick), 3:36 1Q
CN – J.D. Harris 96 kickoff return (kick failed), 3:21 1Q
FC – Michael Pitz 67 run (Quinn Ferguson kick), 2:18 1Q
FC – Brett Alford 9 pass from Dylan Bishop (Quinn Ferguson kick), 1:53 2Q
CN – Jaylen Flemmons 8 pass from Trenton Kelley (kick failed), 9:23 3Q
FC – Maliki Parks 3 pass from Dylan Bishop (Quinn Ferguson kick), 6:27 4Q
CN – Jaylen Flemmons 10 pass from Trenton Kelley (Jaylen Flemmons run), 5:13 4Q
TEAM STATISTICS CN FC
First downs ....................... 10 23
Rushes-yards ................ 13-57 51-236
Passing yards ................... 160 209
Comp-Att-Int ...............16-25-1 16-21-0
Total yards ....................... 217 445
Fumbles-Lost .................... 1-0 3-0
Punts-average .............. 3-34.3 1-43.0
Penalties-yards .............. 5-51 7-61
Time of possession ........ 13:15 34:45
RUSHING – Columbus North: Cortez Bandy 12-51, Trenton Kelley 1-6. Franklin Central: Michael Pitz 23-154, Jaylen Brown 15-56, Maliki Parks 4-12, Dylan Bishop 8-11, Brett Alford 1-3.
PASSING – Columbus North: Trenton Kelley, 16-25-1, 160 yards. Franklin Central: Dylan Bishop, 16-21-0, 209 yards.
RECEIVING – Columbus North: Jaylen Flemmons 9-95, D’Andre Scruggs 2-27, Tristan Bailey 3-25, J.D. Harris 1-11, Cortez Bandy 1-2. Franklin Central: Maliki Parks 9-102, Jaylen Wilson 2-42, Austin Benner 2-28, Michael Pitz 2-28, Brett Alford 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Columbus North: None. Franklin Central: None.