Franklin County has been wearing underdog label during playoffs

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story read in the second paragraph that Boyle County won against Johnson Central 21-20, but Johnson Central won. This article has since been corrected. 

By Linda Younkin
The State Journal

Franklin County’s football team wasn’t favored to beat Central in the Class 4A playoffs, and a loss to Johnson Central was a foregone conclusion for a lot of football fans as they looked forward to a Boyle County-Johnson Central rematch in the state final.

Instead, the Flyers have been busting brackets on their march to Friday’s state championship game against Boyle County, which lost by one point in last year’s title game 21-20 against Johnson Central.

FCHS (9-1) comes into Friday’s game off a 20-12 win at Johnson Central in last week’s semi-state matchup.

The Flyers are 20-2 over the past two seasons, with both losses coming to Central.

Last year’s loss in the second round of the playoffs ended Franklin County’s perfect season.

This year, Central won 18-16 in the regular season at FCHS, scoring the winning touchdown in the final 10 seconds of the game.

FCHS dominated the Yellow Jackets a month later in the second round of the playoffs, winning 42-6 at Central.

The Flyers have scored 399 points this season and given up 106. The 22 points scored by Woodford County the second week of the season are the most FCHS has given up in a game. Franklin County beat Woodford 40-22.

FCHS has scored 40 or more points in seven of its 10 games. The most points the Flyers have scored are 55 in their season opener, a 55-0 win at Anderson County.

Quarterback Nick Broyles (10) looks to pass as Kaden Moorman (4) blocks during Franklin County’s 20-12 win over Johnson Central in the state semi finals. – Photo by Linda Younkin/State Journal

FCHS senior quarterback Nick Broyles has thrown for 2,176 yards and 26 touchdowns with no interceptions, completing 130 of his 177 passes.

Franklin County’s Fred Farrier II heads for the end zone after catching a pass from Nick Broyles in the Class 4A Region 2 championship game against Allen County-Scottsville. FCHS won 48-14. – Photo by Linda Younkin/State Journal

Senior wide receiver Fred Farrier II has caught 54 passes for 977 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s also scored on an interception return and a punt return.

Junior wide receiver Zack Claudio has 37 receptions for 587 yards and five touchdowns.

The Flyers’ ground game is led by sophomore running back Kaden Moorman with 11 touchdowns, half of the team’s total of rushing touchdowns, on 88 carries.

Moorman has also caught 21 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns.

On defense, junior linebacker Brenton Sears leads Franklin County with 94 tackles, and he has three tackles for loss.

Senior defensive end Phillip Peiffer is close behind, with 92 tackles that include 12.5 TFL and 13.5 sacks, both team highs.

Sophomore linebacker Peyton Ledford has 91 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. He’s also used in short-yardage situations on offense.

He’s rushed for 28 yards on 10 carries and has scored four touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Jayden Mattison has recorded 83 tackles with 8.5 TFL and one sack.

Claudio, at defensive back, has a team-high six interceptions, and he’s returned half of them for touchdowns.

He’s also scored on a fumble recovery, as have Ledford and Mattison.

The Flyers won regional titles from 1976-1979. Their win over Allen County-Scottsville this year in the third round of the playoffs gave them their first regional crown in 41 years.