The Franklin High School varsity football team rolled past the Murphy Bulldogs Friday night. The season opener took place at the Panther Pit. Red and white shirts filled the home team's bleachers that spontaneously erupted every time the Panthers hammered in a touchdown or stopped a surging Bulldog drive.
The Panthers set the pace early on in the game with an opening drive that saw FHS running back Marquel Manning take the ball into the end zone. The Bulldogs fired back quickly and kept the score close through the first half. In that same half, Manning, who had seen the majority of carries throughout the game left the field with a limp only to find out that his season is up in the air for now. An MRI was scheduled for Tuesday.
In the second half of the game, despite being without Manning, the Panthers turned up the heat on the Bulldogs. Jeremiah Young stepped into Manning's role at tailback while Billy Higdon took over for Young at fullback.
Manning, Higdon and Young all had two touchdowns each which helped push the Panthers to a 41-17 win over the Bulldogs.
Tomorrow, the Panthers will travel to Asheville to take on the T.C. Roberson Rams who have thwarted their first two opponents, North Henderson (22-20) and Tuscola (27-18) to move to 2-0 on the season. Franklin will look to avenge last year's loss that saw T.C. pull out the win, 27-7, one of Franklin's worst defeats of 2012.