Cat fight: Franklin Regional takes on Hollidaysburg Friday night
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's true that blemishes become more pronounced on a television camera, but Franklin Regional's early-game struggles couldn't stop the Panthers from stealing the show.
Class AAA No. 6 Franklin Regional won its first televised game of 2012 by shaking off a slow start for a 23-13 win at Knoch in a Greater Allegheny Conference game shown on Root Sports last Thursday.
Miscues by the Panthers (5-1, 4-1) led to an early 7-3 deficit after the first of two scores for Ben Tackett of Knoch (4-2, 3-2). But Charan Singh's 24-yard scoring reception from Nico Lodovico gave the Panthers a 10-7 lead, despite some frustrating moments for head coach Greg Botta and his staff.
“I counted out nine mistakes that we made, offensively and defensively, in the first five minutes,” Botta said. “Offsides, holding, a snap over our quarterback's head — it was like one thing after another, and we were lucky to survive that first quarter.”
Franklin Regional took control to start the second half, as Singh caught his second touchdown from 29 yards out and Adam Mihoci caught a 3-yard score to give the Panthers a commanding lead.
Tackett scored in the final quarter for Knoch, but the Panthers' defense otherwise held firm to keep the Knights from rallying.
“Our kids rallied. We had a good talk at halftime about how these are the sort of games that mold you, and the kids really responded,” Botta said.
Lodovico led the FR offense with 186 yards on 9-for-18 passing with three touchdowns and an interception. Singh had most of the receiving yardage with 154 on six catches, and he was strong in the air to bring in some high passes.
The road win sets Franklin Regional on a clear path toward a second-place conference finish and a home playoff game, but the Panthers still have some challenging games remaining on the schedule — the first of which comes Friday at 7 p.m. against Hollidaysburg (3-3, 3-2).
The Golden Tigers will come to Murrysville knowing that one more conference win likely earns them a playoff spot, but with undefeated Mars next on the schedule, Hollidaysburg players will be trying to not leave their hopes to their final game at Indiana.
“Hollidaysburg is fighting for the playoffs, so we know it's not going to be an easy game,” Botta said. “I know their coach, John Barton, very well from coaching in the East-West Game with him, and he's going to cross all the T's and dot all the I's in preparing for this game.”
The Golden Tigers run a read-option offense with 225-pound running back Greg Dinges being the hammer in the backfield and 170-pounder Reid Miller being the speedster taking handoffs from quarterback Brian Urban.
Hollidaysburg is coming off a 28-14 loss to Hampton in which it had a slow start of its own to fall behind, 14-0, before fighting back against the Talbots, who currently share second place in the conference with Franklin Regional.
“Their line is huge, and defensively, they play a modified five-man front with a lot of Cover 3 and Cover 4 that we have to prepare for,” Botta said.
“They're a good team, but they've self-destructed in a few games. They fumbled early against Hampton to fall behind 14-0, and they did the same things against Knoch. Those are mistakes they have made, but we can't count on them doing the same against us. We have to be prepared.”
The biggest benefit of Franklin Regional's television game last week is that the Thursday contest gives the team an extra day of rest and preparation for homecoming, where the Panthers will want to be at their best.
“We are banged up, but the good thing about Thursday games is the extra day off,” Botta said. “We have to get healthy, and some of our guys won't be back, but for guys like Mihoci, who has a sprained ankle, needed that extra rest and will be back on the field.
“It is homecoming, and the kids are going to enjoy themselves, but they also know what they have to do this week to get a win 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.
- Pirates acquire infielder from Indians, designate Axford, Gomez for assignment
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Fábregas: Cancer-stricken California woman chooses to plan her death
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend
- Cafeteria worker tried to stop Washington school shooter
- Jack Bruce, bassist of 60s band Cream, dies at 71
- Man robbed, shot in East Liberty
- Police investigate 2 shootings in Washington County, one of them fatal
- Valley, Freeport provide special moment for Clarke in regular-season finale