Frankfort faced a tough challenge in sectional football action Friday when they traveled to face its perennial rival, the Lebanon Tigers – a team that has held the Hot Dogs scoreless over the previous three years and outscored them 233-39 in the past four. And like the previous three years, Lebanon shut out the Dogs, winning 29-0. The 29 points allowed is the fewest a Dogs’ defense has allowed against Lebanon since a 29-14 loss in 2015. Frankfort ends the season at 5-5.

“To come down here and play these guys to a 29-0 ball game, it’s just a testament to how far these guys have come,” said third-year FHS head coach James Byers. “How far this team has come. How far this senior class has brought us. We threw these guys to the wolves when they were sophomores.”

Lebanon used a mix of defense schemes to shut down the Frankfort offense. On the ground, Hot Dog junior running back Riley Goodnight entered the game averaging 132 yards-per-game and was held to just 39 yards on 26 carries. From the air, junior quarterback Sam Michael threw for 34 yards on 4-of-9 attempts.

“Even though we did not score, we offensively moved the ball well,” said Byers. “Sam made some really nice throws. Riley had some really nice runs. Cam (Swinford) had a really nice catch on the sideline to convert the first down.”

For the season, Goodnight rushed for 1,229 yards, added an additional 145 yards of receiving, and scored 15 touchdowns – 13 from the ground and two from the air. Goodnight finished his junior season ranked 21st in Indiana for total yards and 19th in the state in rushing yards.

Michael threw for 908 yards on 50 percent passing this season and rushed for 510 yards. He scored 13 touchdowns in total with seven from the air and six on the ground. Seniors Jade Ayers and Kyle Earl finished with 441 and 293 receiving yards respectively.

Defensively the Hot Dogs were led by the linebacker duo of senior Gabe Chavez and junior Brenton Wood with 16 and 15 tackles respectively. Wood also had a blocked punt. Senior Ramsey Mitchell added a sack and junior Bryce McDonald came away with an interception.

For the season, Chavez ended ranked 2nd nationally in tackles and 1st in Indiana. Junior defensive tackle Vlad Carreras Lantigua finished the year ranked 20th nationally overall in tackles, 1st nationally among defensive tackles, and 7th overall in Indiana. McDonald finished the year tied for 31st nationally in interceptions, tied for 7th in the state in interceptions, and tied for 15th in the state in tackles among free safeties. Ramsey Mitchell finished his senior year tied for 13th in the state in sacks and senior Reece Mitchell ended his year as the No. 1 strong safety in the state in total tackles.

Coach Byers talked about how the program has grown and what this season has meant for the growth of the Frankfort football program in years to come.

“There was talk of shutting down the program two years ago,” said Byers. “The numbers were so low - it was really bad. Our staff came in and we didn’t win any games - we got the numbers up (students playing). We started getting better, showing improvement. We improved more that second year. We were more competitive in games and this year finally turning the corner and getting those wins, making plays and winning tight ball games.

“North Mont is an outstanding team. Crawfordsville is a really well-coached team. To make that trip up, two-hours to a different time zone, and play a South Central team - that was super awesome. Southmont, an incredibly physical team, their coach has them run a triple-option really well. Then Clinton Prairie, a lot of athletes and a big offensive line, for us to go in there and get our first win was tremendous.

“These guys have had a huge year and I’m so proud of them. I wish we could keep playing, but it ends for everybody like this but for six.”

Each year six teams in Indiana high school football are crowned state champs - one in each of the six football classes.

Coach Byers looks toward next year with seven returning starters on each the defense and offense side. “We’ve made huge strides,” said Byers. “Now it’s, how do we take the next step? And, that’s going to be the focus of this offseason.”


TIGERS 29, HOT DOGS 0

Frankfort;0;0;0;0;-;0

Lebanon;10;12;0;7;-;29 

Scoring Summary

1st Qtr (9:16) Lebanon. Trevor Myers 38-yard field goal. 3-0.

1st Qtr (3:27) Lebanon. Garrett Harker 1-yard run. Trevor Myers kick good. 10-0.

2nd Qtr (4:20) Lebanon. Caden Boggess 23-yard pass from Garrett Harker. Kick failed. 16-0.

2nd Qtr (1:33) Lebanon. Garrett Harker 35-yard run. Kick failed. 22-0.

4th Qtr (9:05) Lebanon. Brayton Bowen 1-yard run. Trevor Myers kick good. 29-0.