WARREN, Pa. – Cole Buckley got the opportunity to start at quarterback and took full advantage, accounting for four touchdowns to help Franklin end a 20-game losing streak with a 35-0 win at Warren.
Rewatch the game:
Buckley opened the scoring with a 74-yard touchdown pass, and added three scoring runs, of 25, 79, and 10 yards, as the Knights built a 28-0 halftime lead. Franklin’s last win was a 23-16 victory at Conneaut on Sept. 24, 2021.
“It’s great, it’s all smiles across the locker room,” Buckley said during his Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview. “Coming into this game, we thought we could win and we executed. We did what we were supposed to do.”
Buckley finished with seven carries for 139 yards, and was 2-4 passing for 92 yards to earn Allegheny Grille of Foxburg Player of the Game honors. He made the start at quarterback with regular starter Jason Corey unavailable.
“Going into this, I was a little nervous I hadn’t done it (play quarterback) in a long time, but then that (scoring drive) happened. And I just felt like I could do anything with the ball,” Buckley said.
The Knights needed just three plays to settle in. Following a penalty, Franklin had a 2nd-and-21 from its own 26. Buckley took the snap and rolled right. He threw a pass across his body to Alex Wible. Wible bobbled, then caught the ball over the defender’s back, shed a tackle, and raced 74 yards to the end zone.
Five minutes later, Buckley scored his first rushing touchdown with a 25-yard scamper to put Franklin ahead, 14-0.
Warren responded with a long drive that reached the Franklin 15. The Knights forced a turnover on downs and on Franklin’s first play, Buckley got the edge and took it 79 yards to paydirt.
Buckley scored his fourth touchdown late in the first half on a 10-yard run to give the Knights a 28-0 advantage.
Bryson Watson finished the scoring with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter. Watson stepped in front of Eric Dippold’s pass and returned the interception 19 yards for a pick-6.
Defensively, the Knights limited Warren to 148 total yards and just 2.64 yards per play.
Tommy Nyquist had nine carries for 29 yards, and Ethen Ringer had seven for 24 yards.
Dippold finished 9-23 passing for 87 yards with two interceptions.
Watson had 14 carries for 153 yards. According to Penny Weichel of yardsandpoints.com, that’s the first time Franklin has had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since 2015.