The Swiss Army knife that is Cole Buckley
Buckley runs the ball...
...he throws passes...
and catches them, too....
Photos by Richard Sayer
Alex (aka "Big Al") Wible leaves 'em in his wake.
Buckley accounts for 4 TDs
as Knights end 20-game skid
Cole Buckley scored three touchdowns and threw for another as the Knights ended a 20-game losing streak dating back to 2021 with a 35-0 victory at Warren.
The senior was making the start as quarterback in place of injured junior Jason Carey, who reportedly is lost for the season with a knee injury. Buckley hasn't seen any extensive action at quarterback since his sophomore season, but he threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alex "Big Al" Wible to trigger the rout and then scored on keepers covering 25, 79 and 10 yards as the Knights took a 28-0 halftime lead.
Bryson Watson's 20-yard pick 6 in the third quarter made it 35-0, giving the Knights their first mercy rule advantage since 2017 when they blanked Titusville, 46-0, in the final game of the season.
The win over Warren was Franklin's first since it beat Conneaut midway through the 2021 campaign and ended a six-game losing streak against the Dragons. Warren fell to 0-6 with the loss.
Franklin is 1-5.
Buckley finished with an 142 yards on seven carries while Watson led the Knights with 146 on 16. It was the first time the Knights had two 100-yard rushers in a game since 2015 when Zak Lynn ran for 153 and Porter Remold added 123 against Meadville.
Nathan Pfennigwerth was five-for-five on extra point attempts, and was his usual self in the other aspects of the kicking game.
Watson broke lose for a 77-yard run from his own 7 to the Warren 16 only to lose the ball on a fumble. Four plays later, Warren had a 61-yard pass to the Franklin 21 called back by a penalty.
Even though Warren senior quarterback Eric Dippold kept the Franklin defense on its toes, the Dragons were never knocking on the door to score.
Fumbles were a thorn in Franklin's side on other occasions; Trystin Boocks lost one to start the second half, but later redeemed himself with an interception.
The Knights were also without senior linebacker Darrius Graham (hip), and his understudy, Sam Wimer, left the game on a stretcher and taken to Warren's hospital -- possibly as a precaution.
KNIGHT LIFE -- Buckley needs 13 yards receiving to pass Nate Byham for sixth on Franklin's all-time list...He has 2,475 yards rushing, passing and receiving...The Knights limited Warren to 148 yards total offense with Dippold completing nine
of 23 for 87 yards...Franklin finished with 400 yards with Buckley passing for 92...So here's an oddity: Buckley with all his yards, Pfennigwerth with his 53 kicking points (No. 5 all-time) to go with his school record 80 soccer goals playing in the same football game with Damon Curry, bidding to become Franklin's all-time leading scorer in basketball this winter (1,092 points), taking pictures that were published in The News-Herald the next morning...
Knights say "woo-hoo" after their first victory in 20 games.
Ian Haynes, who rewrote the FHS record book in the passing category, is still working his way back in shape after breaking his foot early last season.
Haynes, now at Kutztown, has gained 20 pounds after undergoing two surgeries and being laid up for fourth months.
He said he's not worried about the depth chart -- just getting healthy and back in shape.
"Hopefully I'll be close to 100 percent in a couple of weeks," he said Aug. 21.
The criminal justice major said he's spaced out his course load to cover his last three years of eligibility. He'll be starting his masters program next spring.
Grad student Donny Blaine returned as the starter at QB and played the first game, but redshirt freshman Judd Novak has started the last three.