MART — After tangling with perennial Class 3A playoff contender Franklin, Class 2A’s top-ranked Mart Panthers came out on the short end of a non-district game Friday night.
Franklin 21, Mart 0. Advantage Franklin.
Franklin 355 yards, Mart 142 yards. Advantage Franklin.
“That’s why we play these types of games,” Mart coach Kevin Hoffman said after the game. “It will pay dividends down the road. Franklin is a big, physical team and they beat us up on the line of scrimmage. If we run into another team down the road that plays a similar style of offense, we’ll have an idea where we’re at.”
Hoffman added, “Of course, I would have liked to put some points on the board.”
The Lions used six running backs and piled up 269 rushing yards in game, posting all of their points in the first half in handing the Panthers their first shutout loss in three years. Jared Pedraza scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 40 yards, and Clayton Rosprim added a three-yard touchdown run to account for Franklin’s points. The Lions also tackled Mart running back Tyrek Horne in the end zone for a safety after missing two extra point tries, and dominated the action in the first half.
The Panthers (2-1) managed one first down and just 38 yards of total offense in the first half.
Mart held the Lions off the scoreboard after halftime, intercepting Franklin quarterback Colton Ortner twice, including Jacob Ybarra’s fourth interception of the season to deny the Lions a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
“That (last drive) is something we can take from this game as a positive, for sure,” Hoffman said. “We’re not used this, so I thought we responded pretty well.”
Horne finished with 95 yards rushing in the game. The Panthers netted 90 yards on the ground. Quarterback Kyler Martin was sacked four times, and had to fall on two bad snaps that killed drives. The second, which lost 16 yards back to his own 1-yard line, setting up the safety and a 14-0 Franklin lead at the 2:40 mark of the second quarter.
The Lions got their final score the ensuing free kick on Padraza’s 40-run burst up the middle.
The Lions scored on their second possession of the game, a three-yard run by Rosprim, to lead 6-0 at the 5:35 mark of the first. A 38-yard run by Datron Dixon set up the score.
Ortner hit on three of five passes for 86 yards in the game. His 41-yard completion to Legrand Stegall set up Franklin’s second score of the game, a three-yard run by Pedraza.
“I told the kids at halftime not to look at the scoreboard. This is not the end all of the season. It’s just another game,” Hoffman said. “We don’t find ourselves in this situation very often. The kids hung in there.”
Franklin improved to 2-1. Rosprim led the Lions with 87 yards on 21 carries. Padraza had 60 yards and Avery Archibald had 61 yards for Franklin.
Shatydrick Bailey finished with four yards on three carries for Mart. The Panthers were last shut out in October 2015, a 21-0 loss to Crawford.
MART — As Mart head football coach Kevin Hoffman walked by, he smiled at his two seniors.