REISTERSTOWN, Md. - Baltimore County often gets overlooked in the landscape of Maryland high school football.
Franklin set out to break that mold last season. The Indians posted a 12-2 record en route to a 20-7 victory over Linganore in the Class 3A state finals -- the first title in program history. The victory was the first for Baltimore County since Eastern Tech won the 2A crown in 2009.
Franklin appears ready to make a strong run at a repeat with 16 starters back and 36 letterwinners back overall.
Those returning include quarterback Jacquez Adams and cornerback Jordan Adams, senior twin brothers who are heading to West Virginia next year. In addition, also returning is Georgia-bound offensive tackle Patrick Allen and junior wide receiver Steven Smothers, who has two dozen colleges recruiting him.
“Baltimore County often lives in the shadows of other leagues in the state, but the football here is getting better every year,” Franklin coach Anthony Burgos said. “It’s not often a high school team gets so many players back for a second run at a title. We’re up for the challenge.”
Allen said last season was an amazing experience. But more importantly, he said, it taught the players what it took – both physically and mentally – to win a state title. The key this year, Allen added, is to ensure they don’t get complacent.
Franklin has hopes of avenging two losses from last season, beginning Sept. 5 when they play at MIAA A Conference foe Calvert Hall. The Cardinals beat the Indians 28-14 in 2013. Then on Sept. 26, Franklin travels to Perry Hall , which won last year’s meeting.
“The season is so long,” Allen said. “It starts in August and can stretch into December. The key is to remain focused and not forget about our goals. We know what is expected of us now.”
Jacquez Adams is taking a similar approach. He wants nothing more than to end his high school career with another title, especially with his brother by his side.
“Not too many people get to experience what we accomplished last season with their brother,” Adams said. “I have the chance to do that twice. We’re not going into this season expecting to lose. We have high expectations for ourselves and are ready to make a run at a repeat in 2014.”
- Sept. 5 at Calvert Hall College, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 12 vs. New Town, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 at Hereford, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 26 vs. Perry Hall, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 2 at Woodlawn, 4 p.m.
- Oct. 10 vs. Parkville, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 17 at Kenwood, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 24 vs. Milford Mill Academy, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 1 vs. Dundalk, 1 p.m.
- Nov. 7 vs. Catonsville, 7 p.m.