Smothers stars as Franklin defeats Damascus 35-21 for Maryland 3A title


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BALTIMORE — Steven Smothers caught three touchdown passes and returned a fumble for another score as Franklin defeated Damascus 35-21 to win a second consecutive Maryland Class 3A state championship on Thursday night.

Franklin (13-1) rallied from an early 21-0 deficit after two costly turnovers hurt the Indians early.

Quarterback Jacquez Adams (14 of 20 for 221 yards) started the comeback with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Smothers (six catches, 122 yards) with 30 seconds left in the first half. Kiandre Burrell of Franklin then ran for a 35-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half.

The Indians tied it on the next drive when Adams hit Smothers with a 47-yard scoring pass. They took a 28-21 lead when Adams threw his third touchdown pass to Smothers, a 12-yard toss with 2:56 left in the game.

Smothers then returned a fumble for a 12-yard touchdown with 4 seconds left. Darius Hinton (165 yards rushing) also sparked Franklin's offense.

Jake Funk (138 yards rushing) ran for two touchdowns as Damascus took the 21-0 lead in the second quarter, but the Swarmin' Hornets couldn't do much on offense after that.

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