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|Weather, turnovers make for Cougar loss|
The Franklin Academy took a hard district loss at home Friday night, as Mount Salus delivered a 68-42 victory.
The Cougars struck first when Nate Blackwell and Colton Monnin marched down the field and scored on a Monnin-led touchdown run.
Monnin would again score on the two-point conversion, giving the Cougars an early 8-point lead.
It would be the first and last time the Cougars would hold the lead.
"Youth and inexperience were the real determining factors," said Franklin Academy head coach Dyle Hassell. "We are playing a lot of freshmen and eight-graders who are not really experienced at playing in the rain and mud."
Three interceptions for touchdowns didn't help either.
"It was just a comedy of errors," Hassell said.
The bright spot of the night was Blackwell, who proved instrumental in every scoring drive.
Blackwell accounted for 214 yards rushing and five of six Cougars touchdowns.
Injuries also took their toll on the Cougars.
Drew Guice went out with a knee problem. He would be followed by the other receiver, Chris Hassell.
Hassell also received a knee injury.
That effectively eliminated the Cougars passing game. Monnin would finish out the game 5 for 15 for a total of 87 passing yards and 4 interceptions.
The lack of passing game put the pressure squarely on Monnin, Blackwell and Rylin Taylor, who had to make the plays with their feet.
Taylor rushed for 72 total yards and Monnin complimented that total with 61 yards and a touchdown.
In the end, though, the obstacles proved too much.
Mount Salus bested the Cougars, leaving Franklin Academy with a 2 and 1 record in district play.
Next week, they'll face last year's state runner up, Tensas Academy.
"Tensas is the class of our district," Hassell said. "They are well coached and have a number of veteran players."
The game comes at a bad time for the Cougars, who have injuries mounting up and a few more key player sick in bed.
"We just have to give it our best effort and hopefully we can play with them," Hassell said.