FRA looks to build on unlikely momentum generated in defeat

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 11:40pm

If there is such a thing as a good loss, Franklin Road Academy probably experienced one last Friday. 

The Panthers fell to 2-2 following a tough 21-14 defeat to defending DII-A state champion and top-ranked Knoxville Webb. The other loss was to undefeated Chattanooga Baylor (5-0), which is ranked No. 2 in AP in DII-AA.

Trying to build on their strong showing last week, the Panthers host Lancaster Christian Friday night.

“We played well at Webb and – at times – we outplayed them,” David Pack said.

The stats were pretty close (Webb out-gained FRA 290-274, while the Panthers had more first downs, 14-10). The one that was decidedly in the Panthers’ favor was turnovers. They were plus-6, with six takeaways and no giveaways.

Pack guided the Panthers to the state quarterfinals, their first postseason appearance since 2004 and their first postseason victory since 2000.

Making up for the absence of graduated star Doug Page, a Mr. Football finalist, is the play of quarterback Connor Maitland and tailback Jake Wahlstedt.

“Connor is a special player, very skilled and he can stretch the field,” Pack said. “We converted him to quarterback after he was our best receiver last year. Jake gives us another dimension. Both are very dangerous runners and outstanding playmakers. And both had over 100 yards rushing against Webb.

“We’re a little more diverse offensively from last year, and that’s thanks mainly to Connor’s multiple abilities.”

Pack hopes that translates into a strong second half. Following Friday’s game, the Panthers, currently 1-1 in region play, have four more region games, starting Oct. 1 with Zion Christian.

• FRA athletic director Kurt Page has announced the school has moved its senior night from Oct. 15 to Oct. 1 when the Panthers host Zion at 7 p.m. Fall senior athletes and parents will be recognized. Also, FRA announced that kickoff for the Oct. 15 home game against St. Andrews-Sewanee has been moved up to 5 p.m.

Lipscomb invades Goodpasture: In the lone Nashville game Thursday night, Lipscomb travels to play old rival Goodpasture at 7 p.m. for “Thursday Night Lights” on TV-30, WUXP. Goodpasture leads the series, 21-20.

• MBA QB questionable: Montgomery Bell Academy junior quarterback Aaron Simonis was carried off the field on a stretcher last Friday at Baylor after suffering a severely strained neck injury, and his status for Friday is uncertain.

Simonis appeared in shorts and T-shirt at practice this week. Coach Daniel McGugin called him “day to day,” with the possibility he might play Friday vs. McCallie. If not, McGugin said sophomore Dylan Hall, who played well in relief of Simonis last Friday, would get the call.

• MBA (4-1) will hold its 66th annual spaghetti dinner Friday prior to the Big Red’s DII game vs. McCallie (2-2) at 7:30. Dinner tickets remain at the 1950s level of $5 each.

Golf winners: Goodpasture (307), Hume-Fogg (327) and CPA (337) finished 1-2-3 in the District 9-A/AA golf tournament last week. All qualified for the Region 5-A/AA tournament which will be held Monday at Montgomery Bell State Park outside Dickson.

The FRA boys team qualified for state, finishing third behind Knoxville Webb and Ezell-Harding in the DII-A Middle/East Region tournament earlier this week.

Ensworth won the DII-AA tournament, topping Brentwood Academy by six strokes.

FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Thursday’s game

David Lipscomb at Goodpasture, 7 p.m.

Friday’s games

BGA at Brentwood Academy

Davidson Academy at Cane Ridge

DCA at CPA

East Literature at Sycamore

Fern Creek at Franklin

Gallatin at Brentwood

Hendersonville at Hunters Lane

Hillwood at Stratford

Lancaster Christian at FRA

Lebanon at Glencliff

McCallie at MBA

Overton at Centennial

McGavock at Wilson Central

NCS at Mt. Juliet Christian

Ooltewah at Maplewood

Pope JPII at East Hamilton

Ravenwood at Antioch

Siegel at Hillsboro

Smyrna at Ensworth

1 Comment on this post:

By: richgoose on 9/24/10 at 2:24

I am impressed with all that Franklin Road Academy is trying to do both athletically and academically.

I was not fortunate enough to have kids at FRA but I am interested enough to follow all that this school is doing that seems more positive than Brentwood Academy and
Ensworth .

FRA appears to be on the way towards the same success as a co-ed school that now exists with Harpeth Hall and MBA.