Livonia Franklin and Livonia Stevenson are rivals separated by only a few miles. This game has been a thriller each of the past few seasons, and on Friday night, they added another epic chapter to their rivalry. In overtime, the Patriots won this game 44-43.
On the opening drive of the game, Livonia Franklin drove all the way down to the two-yard line, before they fumbled the football away. As the ball bounced on the turf, Patrick Coughlin scooped it up for the Spartans and he ran 96 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, making it 7-0 Stevenson.
Late in the first quarter, Zac Olesuk found Connor Hatfield for a 47 yard touchdown that evened the score back at 7.
Stevenson would take the lead back with just over three minutes to play in the half, when Harvard Commit Caden Woodall burst through the line and went eighty-eight yards to the end zone. Olesuk and the Patriots would respond with a big play of their own, as he found Dom Ufferman for a forty-two yard touchdown. Before the half ended, Woodall again broke for a long touchdown run. This sixty-one yarder, paired together with a two-point conversion gave Stevenson a 22-14 halftime edge.
Woodall added a third touchdown run, this time a 44 yard dart, to increase Stevenson’s lead to fifteen points. Neither team would score the remainder of the quarter.
As the fourth quarter began, Franklin mounted a comeback. After scoring the first touchdown to pull within eight, Olesuk and Hatfield connected again for a twenty-yard touchdown. The Patriots lined up for two and converted, making it 29-29 with 11:05 to play.
Stevenson went to their most reliable source of offense yet again, and Woodall ran 52 yards unimpeded to the end zone, giving the Spartans a 36-29 lead with 6:12 to play.
Franklin would respond with a touchdown drive of their own, and although Coach Kelbert admitted afterwards that he considered going for two at this point, they elected to kick the extra point and take the game to overtime.
In the extra frame, Stevenson got the ball first. On the first play, Woodall ran ten yards into the end zone for yet another touchdown. They kicked the extra point and took a 43-36 lead as the ball changed possession.
Franklin also only needed one play to find the end zone as Olesuk and Hatfield once again connected, this time from ten yards out. Coach Kelbert, knowing that Woodall was nearly impossible to stop, elected to dial up a pass play on the two-point try. Olesuk was able to find an open Brandon Reiten for a two-point conversion, and Franklin won this football game 44-43!
The Patriots are now 2-2 in 2020, and they have a HUGE test next week. Belleville, one of the best teams in the state, with a trio of Division 1 commits already on their roster (and other potential talent in the pipeline) will be their next opponent. This game will be LIVE on MSR next Friday, and it should be must watch football.