Franklin Leads Chanel To 1st Championship

By ANDY RESNIK, Associated Press Writer

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Tony Franklin rushed for 393 yards -- the most ever in a state football final -- and four touchdowns to lead Bedford Chanel to its first championship, 44-27 over Marion Pleasant on Friday in Division V.

Franklin, the Associated Press' co-offensive player of the year in Division V, surpassed the all-division rushing record set by Delphos St. John's Chad Schulte, who ran for 295 yards in the 1998 Division VI final.

The previous Division V mark was 280 yards by Shawn Cole of Amanda-Clearcreek in 1999. Amanda-Clearcreek beat Chanel 21-10 in last year's Division V final.

Franklin passed the Division V record on a 12-yard run with 5:43 to play in the third, then obliterated the Division VI mark 33 seconds later by sprinting 80 yards for a touchdown to give Chanel a 38-13 lead.

The cheers he received after the record-breaking run quickly turned to boos -- at least from Pleasant fans -- when Chanel recovered an onside kick instead of kicking deep.

Franklin also scored on runs of 10 yards in the first, 81 yards in the second and 49 yards in the third -- the first play from scrimmage in the second half -- on 33 carries. His four touchdowns tied the record for rushing TDs in a Division V final.

Chanel's 414 yards rushing -- on 49 attempts -- set the Division V final record for the most rushing yards by a team, passing Amanda-Clearcreek's mark of 392 yards in 1999.

Youngstown Ursuline holds the all-division record, running for 502 yards against Coldwater in the Division IV final last year.

Franklin had 209 yards rushing on 18 carries in the first half, helping the top-ranked Firebirds (15-0) take a 24-0 lead.

Kyle Moriarity threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Michael Collins and Chris Penny kicked a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter.

The first score for second-ranked Pleasant (14-1) came on halfback Braden Freeman's 18-yard TD pass to Adam Hesler with 7:56 left in the third.

A crushing blow in the second quarter knocked off Freeman's helmet and left him dazed, but the first-team all-Ohio performer quickly returned to the game.

He returned a punt 38 yards for a touchdown with 6:00 to play and threw a 6-yard TD pass to backup quarterback J.R. Cleveland with 32 seconds to go. James Taylor added a 2-yard TD run for the Spartans.

Pleasant quarterback Scott Jefferies suffered a left leg injury late in the first quarter and didn't return.

Chanel became the first team since Columbus DeSales in 1997 to win a state title the year after losing a championship game. DeSales dropped the Division III final Friday, 27-21 in overtime to Mentor Lake Catholic.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)