Franklin Regional football team puts in work before first win
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Fans got a chance to see Franklin Regional's football team get back on track Friday against Indiana, but the groundwork was laid for the team's first win of the year well before kickoff.
The Class AAA No. 6 Panthers finished with a 35-0 win in Greater Allegheny Conference play over the Indians, thanks largely to a stellar defensive effort that limited the visitors' triple-option offense to just 82 yards of total offense in the game.
Franklin Regional (1-1, 1-1) quarterback Nico Lodovico finished with 282 yards on 12-for-15 passing, and Colin Jonov was his top receiver with 175 yards on four catches, including touchdown receptions of 86 and 65 yards, while Indiana (0-2, 0-2) fell to its second straight lopsided loss.
But one week after his defense was gashed for more than 200 yards by Mars in the season-opening defeat, Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta was pleased with his team's preparation for the next game after a setback.
“I don't know what it was against Mars. I don't know if we saw all the preseason rankings or what, but we were very disheartened by the loss,” Botta said.
“Hopefully, the kids saw a direct relation between how you prepare and how you perform in the game. Our kids said to me that they felt well-prepared for Indiana. Preparing for a game is the same as taking a math test or anything else in school; if you don't prepare, you're going to fail.”
While the defense shined in the game against Indiana, the offense still scuffled somewhat — a strange concept considering the Panthers finished with 472 yards of total offense.
But a series of early miscues led to the second straight slow start for the FR attack, something Botta is keen to see fixed this week.
“I'll be honest. I'm happy with the win, but in the first 15 minutes, we had about eight or nine offensive blunders of some kind,” Botta said. “We probably left some scores out on the field, and while it didn't affect the outcome, if we're playing Mars or West Mifflin or Thomas Jefferson and make those mistakes, we may not come away with the win.”
The Panthers' defense not only was strong stopping the run from a physical standpoint, but it did a good job of reading a deceptive Indiana offense.
Botta hopes preparation like last week's will pay off again this week, when the team goes on the road for the first time to face Highlands (0-2, 0-2) in a conference game.
With only five seniors on their roster, the Rams are one of the youngest teams in the WPIAL, but they come in well-coached and with some quirks to their offense that can give teams trouble.
“They really spread the field out, and they use some unorthodox formations. We have to be prepared,” Botta said. “A lot of people are going to look at their roster and see that they use a bunch of juniors and sophomores. But that sophomore (Josh) Schultheis had a great game against us for Mars, so we know that doesn't matter too much.
“Highlands is going to be very good in a couple of years. They're a good team now, but I don't believe they have the firepower that we do. Should we win? Yes. Can we lose? Definitely, so we need to eliminate the mistakes we made last week.”
The Rams will be playing their first home game of the season against FR. Highlands lost last week, 35-7, at Hampton, a week after a loss on the road at Hollidaysburg, 33-26.
This Friday's game is one of only two regular-season games, and the only conference game, that will kick off at 7:30 p.m. for the Panthers.
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.
- Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- UFO, Bigfoot encounters to be discussed at Connellsville library program
- Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: April 18, 2014
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Crash victim dies day after ‘horrific’ wreck in Armstrong County
- Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April?
- ‘Going downtown’ with dad, mom in ’50s among Connellsville native’s treasured memories
- Chef named for Pittsburgh’s new Kimpton hotel restaurant
- Rice cornerback among 3 draft prospects to visit Steelers
- Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins