Cleveland Football Defeated by Franklin in Season Kickoff Rival Game


Clarion photo Scotty Douglass

The Warriors on the drive against Franklin, Aug. 31 in the season opener. The Warriors lost a heartbreaker 20-14 in overtime.

By Scotty Douglass, Reporter

To kick off football season, Cleveland’s varsity football team fell to the Franklin Quakers 20-14 on Friday, Aug. 31, after a long-fought battle. The Warriors scored two touchdowns, both of which were scored during the first half of the game.

The game started off strong for the Warriors with Skyler Danel, junior, scoring a touchdown at 4:45, just five minutes before the end of the first quarter. They continued playing strong into the second quarter, when Max Gillen, senior, scored another touchdown for the Warriors. When halftime came, the Warriors were up on the Quakers 14-0.

Quarter three went by with neither teams scoring any points, and the Warriors were still up 14-0.

As fourth quarter commenced, it was at first looking promising for the Warriors. This changed at 6:23, when the Quakers scored a touchdown, finally putting them on the scoreboard and making their crowd go wild. The Quakers’ cheers heightened just two and a half minutes before the end of the game, when they scored another touchdown, evening the score at 14.

The game continued with the large crowd on the edge of their seats, eagerly cheering their teams on to score the game finisher. Ten seconds before the end of the fourth quarter, the Quakers scored yet another touchdown. Ten seconds later, the buzzer went off, and the Quakers were sure they had just won against the Warriors.

However, immediately after the buzzer went off, the score was changed when the Quakers received a holding call, recalling the touchdown they had almost scored. This brought both teams back to a 14-14 tie, which meant overtime.

This gave the Warriors hope as the game was thrown into overtime and giving Cleveland fans new hope to win the game. The Warriors got louder and louder as the Quakers gained yards, slowly moving toward the goal line. After a long overtime fight between both teams, the Quakers were the ones to score that final touchdown, shortly after the Warriors took their chance to score but failed. This won them the game with a final score of 20-14.

Despite losing to the Quakers, head coach Eric Fraser said that he was “really thrilled,” and that the team “came out and battled their tails off.”

Fraser also said that the team moving down to a 5a classification was a good decision for them. “It’s a brand new league,” said Fraser. “It’s going to be exciting to get to play new people that don’t have expectations (of how the team will perform).”

The Warriors play at Wilson on Friday, Sept. 7. The Trojans, who also dropped to 5A, lost 34-13 in their first game of the season.