Wenonah QB Franklin Overtime Heroics Secure: TUSCALOOSA Wenonah High School’s quarterback, Samarian Franklin, showcased her prowess during a thrilling overtime victory against Montgomery Catholic in the AHSAA Class 1A-5A flag football championship at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Franklin’s decisive 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down sealed the Dragons’ 18-12 triumph. Coach Cedric Lane praised her running skills, emphasizing that she played to her strengths. In the overtime showdown, each team had the opportunity to gain 10 yards in four downs. Despite Montgomery Catholic’s initial possession, marked by three incomplete passes and a short run, the game remained tied at 12-all.
Lane advised Franklin to seize running opportunities in overtime, and on a crucial fourth-and-1, she executed a remarkable play. Taking the snap, she scanned for an open receiver, sprinted left, and leaped into the end zone, eluding defenders reaching for her flag.
Franklin initiated the scoring with a 12-yard TD pass to Jakerria Ringstaff, countered by Montgomery Catholic’s Jehle Dickson’s 4-yard TD pass to Anna Russo, knotting the score at 6-all. Wenonah claimed a 12-6 lead with seconds remaining in the first half, courtesy of Ringstaff’s 66-yard punt return.
Ringstaff described her touchdown, emphasizing determination, “I just kept running and running until they said TD.” The Knights equalized at 12-12 with Dickson’s 32-yard TD pass to Kate Robertson in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter remained scoreless, but Franklin’s connection with Ringstaff for a 40-yard catch-and-run set the stage for overtime. Despite Montgomery Catholic’s valiant efforts, forcing a flag pull at the 1 and a crucial defensive stop, the Dragons secured the championship.
Coach Toole expressed pride in her team’s resilience, stating, “They didn’t quit. They didn’t give up.” Dickson acknowledged the difficulty of falling short when victory seemed within reach.
Franklin’s impressive stats included completing 18-of-32 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown, adding 32 yards on 10 carries. She also showcased her versatility with four punts, averaging 26.8 yards. Montgomery Catholic’s Dickson posted 18-of-37 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns, with Russo contributing significantly on both offense and defense.
The Super 7 games, including this thrilling championship clash, were televised live on the Alabama Public Television Network, emphasizing the significance of high school flag football in the state.