Franklin Regional football looks to move on from disappointing loss
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Franklin Regional football coach Greg Botta thought Highlands would present his team with a difficult test last week.
He got exactly what he expected.
“I knew it,” Botta said after Highlands beat the Panthers, 17-0, in their home opener last Friday night.
“It is what I expected. I knew what they did. They did a great job against us defensively. (Highlands coach Sam Albert) prepared his kids quite well, they kind of limited our offense and we just made a ton of mistakes on defense — didn't wrap (up ball carriers), and had too many personal fouls, too many penalties.”
Franklin Regional (2-1, 2-1 Greater Allegheny Conference) will look to move on from the loss when it travels to play Greensburg Salem at 7 p.m. Friday.
Botta said the loss would test the team's character.
Offensively, the Panthers were limited to 127 yards and four first downs against the Golden Rams (3-0, 3-0). But penalties — the Panthers committed 10, for 82 yards — especially hurt. An early personal foul penalty cost the team a chance to score, and the Panthers committed two other penalties on the first drive of the second half.
“You can't win games like that, especially (against) good-caliber football teams,” Botta said. “I think our kids learned a valuable lesson today, and now they've got to move on, forget about it and get ready for Greensburg.”
Defensively, Franklin Regional allowed Highlands running back Elijah Jackson to rush for 232 yards — 182 of which came in the second half.
“Elijah runs hard, and he got hit a couple times solid and came back up,” Botta said. “I can't give that kid enough credit. But we weren't watching our target, and that's what I preached all week long — keep your eyes on the target. But I can't take anything away from him. He's a heck of a running back.”
The loss to Highlands dropped Franklin Regional into a second-place tie in the Greater Allegheny Conference with Mars. The Planets will play at Highlands this week.
Meanwhile, the Panthers will face another test this week against Greensburg Salem (1-2, 1-2). The Golden Lions lost their past two games, but Botta said every team in the Greater Allegheny presents a challenge.
“They're all big, and I knew this conference would be fairly even,” he said. “There's not too many weak sisters, so week in (and) week out it's going to be a battle.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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.
- City rivals Allderdice, Brashear seeking elusive title
- Schoolboy pick of week: BV Area
- VND High school football notebook: Local flavor enhances Penn Hills, other playoff teams
- Through the years: Highlands routed Franklin Regional to clinch conference title
- Thomas Jefferson football team enters WPIAL Class AAA playoffs as No. 2 seed
- Gorman: Billy Holt’s big moment for Albert Gallatin
- Birdie explains why he was wrong
- WPIAL playoffs have been tough on teams from Allegheny, Tri-County South
- Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top WPIAL first-round matchups
- H.S. Picks hunting for perfect costume
- Statewide HSFB notebook: Pope John Paul II football player continues comeback