STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
As light rain trickled down up on The Hill, the Franklin Road Academy Panthers poured it on visiting Hickman Co. to honor the team’s seniors.
Standout talents like Lance Wilhoite (headed to join the Ducks up in Bend, Oregon) and Tymon Mitchell (off to play Between the Hedges at Georgia) all contributed to the team’s 42-7 thumping of the Bullodgs, but it was senior running back Brogan Wilson who got the most run for his buck.
Wilson’s four-touchdown night powered the team’s offense, one that needed a spark after the Bulldogs got off to a quick 7-0 start and led at the end of the first.
From then on, though, the Panthers scored 42 unanswered points and saw the clock set to run as the fourth quarter dwindled down and the team picked up its sixth win of the season.
Wilson credited his offensive line for his prolific performance and spoke to what the win meant.
“Last week, [we] didn’t have the best game [against BGA] as a team, and we just all wanted to rebound from that,” Wilson said. “We came out hard, took care of our assignments and got the dub.”
“We just made some adjustments,” Mitchell said about slowing down Hickman Co.’s early rushing attack.
What tilted the table in favor of the Panthers wasn’t just Wilson’s bunches of touchdowns; the team forced a handful of key takeaways to help stop Hickman Co.’s ground game.
“Thankfully, we were able to cause some turnovers there and slow them down,” FRA head coach Bill Whittemore. “[Hickman Co. RB R.K. Collins] is a tough back to tackle…that’s a tough offense to stop. Proud of our guys for staying the course.
“On offense, our guys are making plays most of the time, and have some opportunities to clean up a little bit. We’ve still got a ways to go, but overall, our guys are playing hard. They’re having fun.”
The Panthers will want to keep the good times rolling as they travel to CPA to take on their district rivals, the undefeated Lions, to close the season next week.
Speaking of a dangerous rushing attack, the team will be trying to slow down the three-headed monster of Kane Patterson, Sam West and Andrew Madden.
“I’m pretty confident in our d-line,” Mitchell said in facing the Lions, saying that consistent execution will be important going ahead. “I’ll put our d-line against anybody in the state.”
Whittemore mentioned that staying the course as a gap zone defense would be key to slowing down CPA’s rushing attack.
“For us, it’s doing our job every play, communicating well, making sure we’ve got the right checks in and [making] sure all 11 of our guys are on the same page,” he said.
“Their backs are good enough to have the vision to be able to hurt you, so we’ve just got to be consistent in what we do.”