Franklin County needs a clean game to beat Richland

Published 3:03 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021

MEADVILLE — Franklin County (0-2) has had a rough start to their season but will look to bounce back when they take on Richland (2-1) Friday night.

The Rangers are a “formidable opponent,” Bulldog head coach B.J. Smithhart said, as they have scored 118 points in three games and given up 53 points.

Smithhart said it will be the first time he has ever played the school. Luckily, he has the advantage of film to study his upcoming opponent. 

“We know what their base offense is and what they are trying to accomplish,” Smithhart said. “We know what kind of defense they will be in. Until you play them live though, there are some things you will not see until you play. They are a well-coached team and are going to make you beat them. They are not going to beat themselves.”

Franklin County will have to clean up its mistakes from the past two weeks. Turnovers have been the biggest blemish to their game. In total, they have turned the ball over four times, he said. 

Slow second-quarter starts have put the team behind early as they let games get away. He said they need to do a better job this week of not putting themselves in too big of a hole early on. The key to not letting the game slip away is to “take care of the football and not panic,” he said. 

Offensively, Franklin County has had a slow start to its season scoring 20 points. They are averaging 37 yards per game in the air and 5.5 yards per game on the ground.  He said he does not care how they get the ball moving on offense. He just wants them to play better. 

“We have to get our quarterback going. We have to get him involved every game,” Smithart said. “We have to figure out ways to get it done. We need to learn how to get Ja’Marlin Green going and what plays will be best for him. Once he gets to the second level (of the defense,) he is hard to deal with.” 

Friday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Richland.