FRANKLIN – When Tre Bass is on, so is Franklin-Simpson.
Rushing 10 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns on Friday night, the dominant senior running back registered another standout performance and led the Class 4A Wildcats to a 48-21 win over Glasgow – a Class 2A club – at Shadetree Stadium.
“I knew it’d be a really physical game,” Bass said. “I knew our speed would be our advantage. Our lineman … I knew they’d give me the opportunity to make big plays.”
Participating in its first road game of the season, the Scotties entered the contest sporting a perfect record of 5-0. And for a team that has been producing at a high level offensively, Glasgow (5-1) was outgained 435-300 on the evening and could never find its usual explosive rhythm.
Glasgow running back Nick Mitchell, who exploded the previous two weeks with eight total rushing TDs, managed to record 156 yards on the ground but was held out of the end zone by a stout Franklin-Simpson (5-1) defensive unit.
“Defensively, they’re a tough team to stop,” Franklin-Simpson coach Doug Preston said. “I think they’re averaging 40 something points per game. They’re a team that can hurt you in a lot of ways. Their quarterback can throw and run, the running back – gosh, he’s tough – and physically impressive. I think they present matchup problems for anybody.”
The Wildcats struck first with Bass’ first TD midway through the opening quarter and led 7-0 after one. The Scotties responded on the first play of the second to tie it, but Franklin-Simpson found the end zone two more times in the first half to lead 21-7 at halftime.
Glasgow continued to hang around and even cut the Wildcats’ advantage to 21-14 early in the third quarter, but Franklin-Simpson went onto to score 27 straight points to build a 48-14 lead and never looked back.
While Bass stole the spotlight with his impressive outing, Carlos McKinney rushed for 115 yards on 17 carries, while Tedric Partinger finished with 51 yards to make up the Wildcats’ offense. Partinger also finished with a 30-yard pick-six TD, while Leo Stutzman recorded another interception to highlight the Franklin-Simpson defense.
“I think you can see us improving each week,” Preston said. “It was good to see the explosive plays, of course, and it was really good to see (quarterback) Luke (Richardson) complete some passes.”
It was all Bass – and Franklin-Simpson – in the first half.
After Glasgow covered 50 yards on a lengthy 12-play drive but turned it over on downs, the Wildcats’ offense quickly went to work. Following a one-yard run by McKinney, Bass took a handoff from Richardson and sprinted 68 yards untouched into the end zone to give Franklin a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Glasgow responded with another long drive – this one covering 83 yards with 13 plays – that ended with a score. After Mitchell rushed for 55 yards to give the Scotties good field position, Abernathy tossed a six-yard TD pass to Jaden Franklin to even the scoreboard at 7-all early into the second.
Bass continued to go to work following Glasgow’s successful series.
On the sixth play of the Wildcats’ second drive, Bass crossed the pylon from 26 yards out to put Franklin-Simpson back in front at 14-7. Just a little over six minutes later, the versatile back capped another short series with a five-yard TD run that sent the Wildcats into the locker room at halftime with a 21-7 lead.
“We stayed healthy,” Bass said. “They had a few players get banged up, and we just kept it going. I guess that helped. We stepped up, handled adversity and just got the job done.”
Glasgow didn’t go away easily.
Over eight minutes into the third quarter, the Scotties put together another lengthy drive and capped it with a three-yard TD run from quarterback Tanner Abernathy. The score cut the Franklin-Simpson lead to just 21-14, but the home club was ready to bounce right back.
After having their advantage cut in half, the Wildcats unloaded for 14 points in a span of 1:09 to build a comfortable 35-14 lead. As Bass broke loose for a 60-yard TD run – his fourth of the affair – Partinger then picked off Abernathy and returned it 30 yards for another score.
From there, Franklin-Simpson was able to hold off Glasgow and earn a big-time victory.
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“I think so,” said Preston when asked if he thinks his team is making strides. “I think there’s always room for improvement, which is a good thing. We’ll go to work on those things and try to improve in the areas we need to.”
Franklin-Simpson and Glasgow both return to action next Friday at 7 p.m., as the Wildcats host Allen County-Scottsville and the Scotties welcome Green County to Hank Royse Stadium.
FSHS – 7 14 14 13
GHS – 0 7 7 7
FSHS – Bass 68-yard run (Hollingsworth kick), 6:27
GHS – Abernathy 6-yard pass to Franklin (Elizalde kick), 11:53
FSHS – Bass 26-yard run (Hollingsworth kick), 8:54
FSHS – Bass 5-yard run (Hollingsworth kick), 2:47
GHS – Abernathy 3-yard run (Elizalde kick), 4:34
FSHS – Bass 60-yard run (Hollingsworth kick), 3:36