It is not how Chris Coll would have scripted his first game as Franklin’s football coach.
Columbus North quarterback Trenton Kelley threw for three touchdowns, two to D’Andre Scruggs, and ran for a TD on a 2-yard quarterback sneak to power the Bull Dogs to a 41-0 romp over host Franklin in the season-opener Friday night.
Nonetheless, Coll saw some positive things.
“I felt like there were good things that happened; we were just too inconsistent,” said Coll, who was 79-43, including a Class 3A state title in 2014, as the coach at Tri-West. “We moved the ball a little bit and couldn’t finish. We made some plays on defense and then gave up a big play.
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“It’s all part of the process. We’re getting better and we’ll continue to get better. We just got to be more consistent on special teams, offense and defense. If we stop having those breakdowns, piece together a whole season, we’ll be all right. We’re a work in process. It’s going to be a little bit, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Senior running back Cortez Bandy rushed for 175 yards on 25 carries to lead North’s running attack. Bandy scored first for the Bull Dogs on a 7-yard TD pass with 8:30 left in the first quarter. The PAT failed, but North was on the scoreboard less than two minutes later on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Kelley to Scruggs
With 2:08 left in the first quarter, Kelley and Scruggs hooked up for 23-yard scoring pass to make it 20-0.
“I was proud of our kids for getting out of the gate strong,” Bull Dogs coach Tim Bless said. “We knew we had to make the statement early.”
Driving again at the start of the second quarter, Kelley’s pass was intercepted deep in Franklin territory. The Grizzly Cubs followed with a 12-play drive that stalled before midfield but chewed up nearly seven minutes.
In the third quarter, Bandy added another 10-yard TD run. Kelley then ran for a score and then connected with tight end Tristan Bailey to push North’s lead to 41-0. Like the second quarter, the final quarter was scoreless as both teams subbed quite liberally.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bandy had a 60-yard run called back and shortly after a 83-yard TD run called back for holding calls. The Bull Dogs finally punted for the first time with 10:03 left.
“We have a lot of first-year starters, and they’re very talented football players,” Bless said. “It was Trenton’s first start, but we had great confidence he was going to put the ball where it belongs. We have great players on the perimeter and they all made great plays.”