The Livonia Franklin Patriots started 2020 against a tough opponent, the Tractors of Dearborn Fordson. In a game that went back and forth all night, fourteen unanswered points carried the Patriots to a 28-27 season-opening victory.
Junior quarterback Zac Olesuk started the scoring for both sides late in the first quarter with a three-yard keeper. On the ensuing Tractors drive, Travis Boston Jr. broke free for a fifty-two yard score that evened the game at seven after the first quarter of play.
Franklin scored first to open the second quarter, as Connor Hatfield, a senior wide receiver, ran twenty-nine yards into the end zone. This would be the only score in the second quarter, allowing the Patriots to take the 14-7 lead to break.
Midway through the third quarter, Fordson started to find their footing. Boston ripped off another long touchdown run, this time from thirty-seven yards. The unsuccessful extra point left the Tractors behind 14-13. When Fordson got the football back after a Franklin fumble, they wasted no time in scoring to take the lead. They got another touchdown to take a 20-14 edge. Before the third quarter came to an end, Boston burst through the Patriots’ defense for a eighty-eight yard score to make it 27-14 heading into the final frame.
Olesuk, in his first varsity start, remained poised and led the first touchdown drive. He connected with Hatfield for a thirty yard scoring play to make it 27-21. After they recorded a stop and got the football back, Franklin went to work with little time on the clock. After moving down the field, Connor Hatfield capped off the scoring drive with a touchdown run from four yards out. The successful extra point by Brayden Felt gave the Patriots the lead with thirty-four seconds to play, a one-point margin they would not relinquish.
Franklin snapped a two-game losing streak in the series against Fordson to win this season opener. Next week, they will hit the road to take on John Glenn in a game that will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio. Fordson will remain on the road when they face Belleville.