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164 is motivation for Franklin

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 8:46 PM CST
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FRANKLIN, Texas (KBTX) - It is 164 miles from Franklin’s field house to AT&T Stadium in Arlington. For the second straight season the Lions will make the 164 miles trip to play in the Class 3A Division 2 State Championship game. Franklin will face Gunter on Thursday.

Since losing to Canadian 35-34 in the title game last season the Lions have had 164 on their minds. Since the playoffs began Jayden Jackson, Darren Daugherty and Hayden Helton have represented the Lions at midfield for the opening coin toss. Jackson wears number 1, Daugherty wears number 6 and Helton wears number 4. “It’s pretty cool to just send a message and show everybody that we’re coming. We’re coming for business,” said Daugherty. Jackson added, ““To show people what we have been trying to accomplish and what we’ve been trying to get to. Trying to get that 164 from here all the way to AT&T Stadium.”

Thursday’s game will feature a pair of 15-0 teams. To get that big 16th win Franklin will have to try and slow down a Gunter offense that is averaging 53 points per game in the playoffs. “They run it good. It’s a pistol offense that you have to be very disciplined on the defensive side of the ball and play assignment football over and over and over,” said Franklin head coach Mark Fannin. “We have been preaching to all 11 guys on defense just do you job over and over and over again and see how it goes.”

Franklin is 0-2 in state title games so a win over Gunter would give the Lions their first state title in program history. “It would mean the world to me, to my brothers, the coaching staff. This is what you work for all year so coming out on top would be the best,” said Helton.

Franklin and Gunter are scheduled to kick-off at 7:00 pm Thursday.

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