Jack Heyl was the man of the night for the Ben Franklin Falcons as he led them to a 14-12 victory over the Grace King Fighting Irish on Thursday night at Joe Yenni Stadium.
The senior quarterback carried the ball 20 times for 83 yards and both of Franklin’s touchdowns. He scored the eventual game- winner in the early fourth quarter.
“A lot of credit to the offensive line. They picked it up in the second half,” Heyl said. “(We knew) if we stuck around and kept pounding it, we knew we could get something going. ... It all worked out in the end.”
Franklin improved to 3-5, while the Irish fell to 0-8.
“We’ve only got 20 kids,” Franklin coach Wally Scott said. “But they worked hard. They’re pretty tough.”
Neither team got their offense going in the first half. Grace King managed a few long runs by Ryan Kelly, which accounted for all of its first downs, but generated very little after them.
The Irish had a pair of one-play drives that resulted in lost fumbles.
Still, their defense answered the call. Despite Franklin repeatedly starting its drives with favorable field position, the Irish defense stonewalled the Falcons once they crossed midfield. Franklin drove to the red zone twice in the first half.
Their first trip ended with a turnover on downs. Their second trip looked promising, but a holding call negated an 18-yard run by Heyl, and Grace King’s Jomo Smith intercepted Heyl in the end zone to kill the threat.
Franklin finally broke through late in the third quarter on Heyl’s quarterback sneak from 1 yard out. A jet sweep to Mathew Winfield that went for 23 yards on third-and-long set up the score. The two point attempt failed, but Franklin had a 6-0 lead.
The Irish came right back on the ensuing drive. A pair of long runs by Kelly and a third by Troy Doane set up Doane’s 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 6 after the missed extra point.
The Falcons answered back. Heyl completed an 18-yard pass on a crucial third down, and later had a 17-yard run to set up his go-ahead touchdown.
A successful two point conversion made the score 14-6. The Irish scored again to climb within 14-12, but they failed on the two -point conversion, and the Falcons held on for the 14-12 victory.