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Franklin never trailed, despite some third quarter struggles, as the Sabers defeated Sun Prairie 38-17 to capture the Division 1 state football championship Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
The teams traded field goals in the first quarter, the first by Franklin's Cooper Mueller from 33 yards out. After Tanner Schultz of Sun Prairie answered with a 34-yarder of his own, Franklin hit for the game's first big play.
Off of play action, future Badger quarterback Myles Burkett hit Reese Osgood racing down the middle for an 88-yard touchdown strike in the closing part of the first quarter.
Later in the second quarter, Terrance Shelton closed out a Franklin scoring drive with a six yard touchdown scamper. The big play on the drive was a 39-yard run by senior Tanner Rivard, who finished with 140 yards on 32 carries for the Sabers.
Rivard would add to Franklin's lead early in the third quarter, as his one-yard touchdown run put the Sabers up 24-3 and seemingly in control of things.
However, Franklin took its foot off the brakes a bit. While the defense forced a three-and-out, on the next Sabers' offensive possession, Burkett was hit as he threw and the floating pass was picked off by Michael McMillan.
Two plays later, Jerry Kaminski hit Davis Hamilton for a 34-yard touchdown that gave the Sun Prairie sideline life.
Franklin would go three-and-out, and Sun Prairie scored its second touchdown in less than five minutes when Kaminski rushed for four yards, as the Cardinals pulled within one score at 24-17.
Franklin would dominate the fourth quarter, however, ensuring there would be no Sun Prairie heroics. Burkett connected with Osgood again, this time from 30 yards out, as the Sabers' lead was back at two scores with 7:55 remaining in the game.
Sun Prairie went nowhere on its next drive, and facing a fourth and ten from its own 26-yard line, the Cardinals elected to punt.
That decision would not pay off, as Franklin controlled the ball for 6:43, going 67 yards in 14 plays, capped off by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Burkett to Keaton Arendt to put the game away.
Burkett did throw two interceptions, but also completed 16-of-23 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns, adding 20 rushing yards as well. Arendt and Osgood combined for 13 catches, 265 yards, and three touchdowns in the game.
Sun Prairie junior quarterback Jerry Kaminski had his share of struggles, completing just 14-of-32 passes with two interceptions, but he did manage to throw for 136 yards and a touchdown, adding 20 yards and a score on the ground as well.
Franklin claims its first state title since a 2006 Division 2 championship, while Sun Prairie takes home its third runner-up trophy in the last ten years.
Travis Wilson serves as the WisSports.net General Manager, Football Editor, and contributing writer for other parts of the site. Wilson was selected as part of the Sports 40 Under 40 list by Coach & AD Magazine and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association for 2019. The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) named Travis the 2015 recipient of the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the WFCA Executive Board as the Website and Communications Director and is a member of the Executive Board of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. A graduate of Richland Center High School and Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Travis was a three-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, basketball) and currently resides in Reedsburg. You can follow him on Twitter at @travisWSN.
For the latest and most up to date football news and recruiting information, follow Travis on Twitter @travisWSN. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Travis at travis(at)wissports.net.