Frankfort looked to build on its win over Clinton Prairie as it traveled to Tri-West to open Sagamore Conference play Friday evening – but the Bruins had other plans.
The Bruins (2-1, 1-0) featured a trio of seniors on offensive at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
The Hot Dogs (1-2, 0-1) won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half and that placed the Bruins' trio on the field first.
Bruins quarterback Kai Ross started play from their own 40-yard line after the Hot Dogs kickoff went out of bounds. Ross moved the Bruins quickly and effectively down the field utilizing running back Garrett Cora and wide receiver Bryce Hendershot.
Ross connected with Hendershot twice, and handed the ball off to Cora four times in the initial campaign of the night, mounting an eight-play, 60-yard drive capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Cora that took 3:13 off of the clock. An extra point kick by Cortland Williams made the score 7-0.
“Tri-West is incredibly well-coached,” said Frankfort Head Coach James Byers. “They've got athletes all over the field, [Hendershot] and [Cora] were making plays. [Ross] did a good job at quarterback and their linebackers are really tough.”
The Bruins’ defense held Frankfort scoreless for three quarters while its offense put together a total of seven scoring drives en route to a 50-14 win.
Frankfort’s running back, Riley Goodnight, scored both Hot Dog touchdowns in the fourth quarter on runs of 2-yards and 56-yards. Jade Ayers added a two-point conversion on a run.
“Offensively when we fed Riley the ball we got going a little bit, but Riley doesn't get going without the offensive line,” said Byers. “And, we had some tremendous blocks from our wide receivers.”
Byers talked about what the Hot Dogs need to do to work on.
“We've got to clean up the little details – had some tackling mistakes, had some offside mistakes. And, when we play a crisp game and when we clean those mistakes up, we play really well. And when we have those small mistakes, we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot and that is always tough for any team to come back from.”
An example provided by Byers on what the Hot Dogs need to address is the ability to “make the big play.”
Leading 14-0 in the 2nd quarter, Tri-West looked to score again with a first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. The Dogs defense put together two huge back-to-back plays with consecutive sacks of Ross on second and third downs. Ramsey Mitchell and Charlie Garcia combined for the first sack that drove the ball back to the 13-yard line. The ensuing play found Ross being chased down by Brenton Wood all the way to the 25-yard line, setting up a fourth-and-goal. Ross took the snap and scrambled near field and found Hendershot deep in the end-zone for an apparent touchdown, but the officials called a penalty on the Bruins for an illegal receiver down field. That set-up another fourth-and-goal opportunity, but now from the 30-yard line. This time Ross took the snap and dropped back and connected with Cora 4-yards deep in the endzone for a touchdown.
“We got to be able to make that play,” Byers said. “We ought to be able to make that big play. That's the next step. We've got flashes of brilliance. We've just got to put it all together at all the time.”
Comparing the game Friday with last year’s game with Tri-West – which the Hot Dogs lost 62-6 – Byers sees improvement.
“I thought we competed better with them than we have in the past two years,” he said. “I thought we were in a better position to run with them than we were in the past two years and now it's about taking that next step forward.
“I am really happy with our effort and 80% of our execution,” Byers added. “Now we've got to get it over the hump and get it to where we're playing our best ball every down.”
The Southmont Mounties (1-1, 0-1), coming off of a 28-6 loss to North Montgomery, are next-up for the Hot Dogs as Sagamore Conference play continues Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Frankfort.
To prepare for the Mounties, Byers talked defense fundamentals. “We are going to keep working on tackling fundamentals, that's a big thing that we struggled with [Friday]. We've got to become better tacklers in open space. We've got work on our hips on staying low. And, defensively taking care of that will help a lot. Southmont runs a triple and so they're going to be tough to defend. You've got to stay gap sound, gotta do your job. We haven't seen much of them, but that's just what they've run in the past.”
BRUINS 50, HOT DOGS 14
1st Qtr (8:47) Tri-West. Garrett Cora 1-yard run. Cortland Williams kick good. 0-7.
1st Qtr (4:04) Tri-West. Garrett Cora 1-yard run. Cortland Williams kick good. 0-14.
2nd Qtr (9:29) Tri-West. Garrett Cora 30-yard pass from Kai Ross. Dominic Pugliese pass from Kai Ross, two-point conversion good. 0-22.
2nd Qtr (7:58) Tri-West. Garrett Cora 6-yard run. Cortland Williams kick good. 0-29.
2nd Qtr (3:43) Tri-West. Skyler Marlowe 9-yard pass from Kai Ross.Cortland Williams extra-point good. 0-36.
2nd Qtr (1:29) Tri-West. Jacen Mohr 22-yard pass from Kai Ross. Cortland Williams kick good. 0-43.
3rd Qtr (3:19) Tri-West. Garrett Cora 15-yard run. Cortland Williams kick good. 0-50.
4th Qtr (9:47) Frankfort. Riley Goodnight 2-yard run. Jade Ayers run, two-point conversion good. 8-50.
4th Qtr (4:03) Frankfort. Riley Goodnight 54-yard run. Dakota Bailey kick failed. 14-50.