FHS Sports: Football Warriors End Winless Season, Falling To Plainfield, 40-26

Senior Quasim Ashford stiff arms a Plainfield Cardinal during the Warriors’ game on October 21.

They didn’t experience victory in eight tries this season, but Franklin High School football head coach Blair Wilson still considers his players to be winners.

The Warriors finished the 2022 campaign falling to the Plainfield Cardinals 40-26 on October 21 at home. With the loss, the Warriors fell to 0-8 on the season.

But for Coach Wilson, victory is won off the field, too.

“We won in the building, we won off the field,” he said. “We didn’t win on the field, but you have to win off the field first.”

“We turned around a lot of young men’s lives.” he said. “If I can touch my young men’s lives off the field, then I’ve won. Even though our record says 0 and 8, we won.”

The game looked promising for the Warriors in the first half, with Franklin jumping to a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Plainfield soon got on the board, but a missed extra point left the score 7-6, in favor of the Warriors.

The score held into the third quarter, when Plainfield scored two more times, missing the extra point on both of those occasions as well, and leading Franklin 18-7.

The Warriors scored late in the third, but missed a two-point conversion, leaving the score 18-13 in favor of the Cardinals.

With 11:49 left in teh game, Franklin regained the lead 20-18.

That lead didn’t last long, though. Plainfield scored, then made good on a two-point conversion to take a 26-20 lead.

But the Warriors bounced back tying the game at 26 with less than 10 minutes left in the game, but failing to get the extra points.

Plainfield sealed Franklin’s fate with two more late scores, ending at 40-26.

Franklin lost two touchdowns due to holding calls, and gave up teh ball several times on interceptions.

Wilson said he was proud of how his team played.

“These kids, the showed me everything that they’re made of,” he said. “This is the last time some of these kids will ever put on a helmet. My heart goes out to them. They gave me everything they’ve got.”

Wilson said he has high hopes for the future.

“We didn’t take over an historic winning program, but I am going to make this a winning program,” he said. “The biggest thing I’m proud of is what the kids did inside the building and will continue to do inside the building and off the field.”

“I told the seniors when I took over in January that they were going to be trailblazers, that they would be proud of the blue and gold when they come back,” Wilson said. “We’re definitely going to turn this program around.”

At the conclusion of the football and cheerleader senior night, the football team presented Wilson with a gift: a print of African wild dogs.

“That’s been our mantra, African wild dogs,” he aid. “It’s all about the pack.”

“I’m a dog lover, so I love the pack mentality,” Wilson said. “How the African dog says no bickering in the pack. The older dogs go hunting and bring back food for the younger dogs. I just liken that to us coaches going out bringing the kids back knowledge. They’re not born great hunters, but they have to learn to hunt. That’s what we’re doing, we’re learning how to hunt.”

“We have to learn how to win games,” he said. “A lot of times we were in position this year to finish games, and we just can’t finish games right now. The kids have to learn how to win, and I have to learn how to win.”

Wilson said he’s positive about the players he’ll have next season.

“We have a great crop of young players right now in the building and coming up from the Middle School,” he said. “The kids are committed to hit that weight room. They know what it takes now.”

“It’s going to take a lot of work to bring this program back, and we’re on our way,” he said.

Here are some scenes from the game:

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