Brown reigns as Franklin Regional wins on homecoming
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
Dane Brown won twice Friday night.
The senior running back had 150 total yards and two touchdowns, and to top it all off, he was named homecoming king at halftime of Franklin Regional's 35-0 win over Hollidaysburg on Friday.
The fifth-ranked Panthers (6-1, 5-1) also have a chance to be kings of the Greater Allegheny Conference after previously unbeaten Mars was upset last week by Knoch. That set up a three-way tie for first place between Mars, Franklin Regional and the Panthers' opponent when they go on the road this Friday at 7 p.m., No. 8 Hampton.
Brown was the star of the night for Franklin Regional, however, as he played a key role in the Panthers' first four touchdown drives, in addition to the homecoming honor.
“It was actually my girlfriend that won homecoming queen, so that was pretty awesome,” Brown said. “But getting a team win tonight was big, especially with so many people here. It was a great win for everyone on the team.”
The season hasn't been the smoothest for Brown, who injured his ankle during the team's second game and missed the next two weeks.
He returned to play in wins over Belle Vernon and Knoch, but Friday's game against Hollidaysburg (3-4, 3-3) was the first time the Franklin Regional career rushing leader looked as though he was back to normal.
“It was definitely something that wrenches at you inside, to have to watch your team and not be able to help,” Brown said. “I was putting in the effort at physical therapy to get back as quick as I could.”
Brown was sharp on his first two carries against Hollidaysburg, the second of which was a 17-yard touchdown, but his biggest play of the day came just before halftime.
After senior defensive back Chris Colucci made perhaps the play of the game by stripping the ball from Hollidaysburg quarterback Brian Urban and recovering it after a 60-yard run, the Panthers had 1:38 left and just a 7-0 lead.
On a first-down play from the Panthers' 33, Brown drifted to the left to catch a screen pass from quarterback Nico Lodovico. With blockers in front, Brown charged forward to midfield before cutting back all the way to the right side.
After breaking a pair of tackles, Brown was finally pulled down at the 16-yard line for a gain of 51, which set up a Lodovico touchdown run just before half.
“That was the boy we're used to seeing,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said of the long catch and run. “He told me before the game that he was ready to go, and he showed it. I'm proud of him.”
That big play swung momentum to the Panthers, who put the game away in the second half with touchdown runs of 13 yards by Brown, 2 yards by Matt Yurko and 3 yards by Paul Emanuele.
Even with the injury, the fall hasn't been all bad for Brown, who last month committed to attend and play football for Cornell University next year.
“I was down mostly to Ivy and Patriot League schools, and that was the level of football I felt would be appropriate for me, along with the academics,” Brown said.
“I love the campus at Cornell, but it was really the coaches that sold me. I love the direction they're going with the program. I got to go up there for their homecoming game and meet (former Mt. Lebanon and current Cornell running back) Luke Hagy, so the thought of a WPIAL backfield up there is something I'm excited about, too.”
Before that happens, there's work to be done at Franklin Regional, and Brown will be a big part of the team's success for the rest of this season.
“We need him. We're not going to go very far without him,” Botta said. “Our other backs run the ball well, but you saw what Dane's capable of doing (on Friday).”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals
- High school notebook: WPIAL career passing leader Williams commits to Temple
- South Fayette, Hickory share simliar offensive schemes by spreading it around
- Central Catholic delivers crushing defensive performance to qualify for PIAA championship
- Friday’s PIAA semifinal football games postponed
- North Catholic football team earns trip to Heinz Field
- High school notebook: Gateway football falls to Class AAA based on new PIAA enrollment figures
- Clarion’s explosive offense to test Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s stingy defense
- Running game carries South Fayette past Hickory and into PIAA title game