Cleveland Football Defeats Franklin To Win Southeast Cup


Cleveland Claims Southeast Cup

By Patrick Brown, Yanling Joslin, and Piper Gillen

The Cleveland Warriors beat Franklin Lightning 31-14 on Sept. 6 in the season opener, winning the Southeast Cup for the first time since 2012. Last year, Cleveland lost the lead in the fourth quarter and lost 20-14. 

“It was super satisfying to see our kids rebound this year and be able to pull off the win,” said Warriors Head Coach Kenneth Dulio. 

It was an exciting game, with plenty of outstanding players that helped Cleveland capture the win. Finian Jamesberry, the leading rusher, ran for 124 yards with one touchdown. Mason Nehls and Warner Cole were the leading tacklers. Nathan Asher, the kicker, made four extra points and one field goal, which led to him being nominated by the Portland Tribune as their Player of the Week. 

“Strong senior leadership is a real blessing for a football team, and it’s really important for any sports team, and we definitely have that on this team,” Dulio said when asked about improvement on last year’s season, which ended 1-8. “I think the advantage we have is we have a lot of returning players and a really good group of seniors. When you have that on a football team there’s going to be improvement, and that’s what we’ve seen, but certainly we can’t just rely on that.”

When asked what’s next for the football team, Dulio said, “Even though we won the Franklin game, we have a lot of areas we still need to improve on. Our goal is to continue to have them grow and develop as football players and a football team and keep improving throughout the season.” 

The atmosphere at the game was electric and by the end of the game, there were more Cleveland fans at Franklin than Franklin fans. Dulio expressed his gratitude for the strong Cleveland support and said, “(I was super excited) that we’re able to get this win versus a rival and that the whole Cleveland community was involved and took part in that.”