By Corey Elliot
---- — PLAINFIELD — For three quarters Friday night, Plainfield almost seemed invisible and it wasn’t because of their camouflage jerseys. Franklin's 21-point second quarter was just enough cushion to hold off a late Plainfield rally and secure a 42-28 conference road-win for the Grizzly Cubs.
“Initially, we played really well defensively but there were a few momentum plays that went against us and the next thing you know we’re in a hole,” Plainfield coach Brian Woodard said. “That was the story of the first half, momentum plays.”
Franklin continued its momentum after halftime, putting another seven points on the scoreboard. Trailing 28-6 and its back against the wall, Plainfield answered with two of Jacob Maple’s four rushing touchdowns as the Quakers pulled within eight at 28-20.
On the ensuing possession, Franklin kept the Quakers at bay as they scored on a 76-yard touchdown run to make it 35-20 with just seven minutes left to play.
Plainfield then drove down the field and responded as Maple scored another rushing touchdown. The Quakers went for two successfully and brought the game back within a touchdown.
On the kickoff, Plainfield attempted an onside kick that was perfectly executed and four Quakers had a chance at to recover, but no one could come up with the ball as it rolled out of bounds and into Franklin's possession.
“Make a play. It was right there," Woodard said. "It was awesome; everybody did their job but we just couldn’t get our hands on it."
After Franklin took over, Plainfield had three time outs and a third down to stop the Grizzly Cubs but another big touchdown run broke the game open into a 42-28 deficit with under a minute left.
Maple finished with 148 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the night.
Plainfield (4-3) will have to make the most of the time left in the season as they approach the state tournament, a task that Woodard is well aware of.
“Losing is obviously something you want to avoid but most importantly this time of year,” he said. “This time of year you want to be playing your best ball marching towards your goal, our goal, and tonight we took a huge step backwards. But tomorrow we will regroup, look at the film and move on towards these last few weeks.”