UIL Class 3A D2 State Final: Franklin defeats Gunter in a 49-35 thriller
Franklin got rolling right out of the gate and scored on a 59-yard rush from senior Malcom Murphy. Not long after the Lions got on the board, the Tigers answered with a score of their own as the Gunter senior quarterback Hudson Graham found Cole Lemon for a 25-yard touchdown pass. With strong defense, there wasn't another score until late in the first quarter as Bryson Washington rushed for an 18-yard touchdown. The second quarter opened with a long drive from Gunter ending in a one-yard touchdown rush from junior running back Ethan Sloan. Franklin had one more touchdown before halftime as Washington rushed a one-yarder into the end zone. Gunter's Lemons answered right back with a five-yard touchdown reception, but the PAT was no good. The Franklin Lions went into halftime ahead by only one point.
As the second half got underway, both defenses continued to play strong in what would prove to be a defensive battle through the rest of the game. Franklin scored on a huge 66-yard rush from Washington, but the score was answered by not only a touchdown from a 20-yard pass from Gunter's Graham to Sloan, but a two point conversion to tie the game at 28. The rest of the game saw two more touchdowns from Franklin- including an 86-yard rush from Murphy- and one from Gunter.
"I knew ever since they were in seventh grade when I had them that this was going to be a special group," head coach Mark Fannin said during the post-game press conference. "This group is the most dedicated group I have ever seen by putting in the work every single day and earning this tonight."