Franklin-Simpson set for Class 4A state final rematch against Johnson Central

Wildcats lost 48-0 to Golden Eagles in 2016 title match

The rematch is set.

Franklin-Simpson will face Johnson Central for the second straight year in the championship of the Class 4A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CT at Kroger Field in Lexington.

“We get to go to Lexington – Kroger Field. We’re excited,” Franklin-Simpson head coach Doug Preston said last Friday.

In last December’s meeting between the two sides, the Wildcats watched their undefeated season end with a 48-0 shutout by the Golden Eagles. It’s safe to say that Preston’s club have its minds set on flipping the script this time around.

Franklin (11-3 overall) booked another trip to the Class 4A state title game after escaping with a 42-38, electrifying win over Collins last Friday in the semifinal round. The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter but Collins tied it at 21-21 at the 5:17 mark of the second before going up 31-28 in the third.

A big play by the Wildcats’ Saul Brady that set up a touchdown run for Carlos McKinney helped Franklin-Simpson seal it. Those two – along with Tre Bass and James Baker – combined to record 403 yards as a running back core, compared to Collins’ 37.

McKinney finished with two TDs on 56 yards and Bass ran for 127 yards and a TD while Brady rushed for 93 yards and a score. Additionally, Baker tallied 86 yards and a TD on just three carries.

Johnson Central (12-2) earned its third consecutive championship trip with a 43-24 win over Wayne County in the semifinal round last week.

In the Golden Eagles’ victory, running back Blake Gamble rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns on 19 attempts. Quarterback Riley Preece passed for 42 yards and a TD while running for one and 64 yards.

Saturday’s meeting will mark just the second all-time between Franklin-Simpson and Johnson Central. As the Wildcats will try to put the 2016 loss to the Golden Eagles behind them, they’ll also be trying to even that series to 1-1.

Class 4A State Championship: Franklin-Simpson (11-3) vs. Johnson Central (12-2)

• Sat., Dec. 2 | 3:30 p.m. (CT)
• Kroger Field | Lexington, KY
• Coaches: Doug Preston (FSHS) | Jim Matney (JCHS)
• Coverage: @SportingTimes | @_TylerMansfield

Senior writer Tyler Mansfield can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @_TylerMansfield.
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