Washington hands Frankfort first loss at 20-19
By Liz Beavers
CHARLES TOWN - Trailing by one point (20-19), with the ball at their opponents’ five-yard line, and with 4.6 remaining on the clock, Frankfort had one last shot to right the ship.
In a game the Falcons had led 13-0 at halftime and 19-6 midway through the fourth quarter, the Falcons were now trailing, but had fought back valiantly on the game’s final drive to put themselves into position for the win.
It wouldn’t be easy, despite the fact that the ball was at the five yard line, just two yards further than an extra point, it was positioned on the right hash and two extra points had already been snuffed out already. Still, the ball was in Frankfort’s court to use a baseball analogy.
In the end, it wasn’t meant to be as Washington blocked the field goal to preserve the 20-19 victory over Frankfort, their first over the Falcons since 2017.
“It’s a tough one right there. We were in control of the game, and they made a couple of big plays there in the second half and got the lead on us. I’m really proud of the way we battled back and made last drive. I was hoping we could punch that touchdown in there. At least we got down and got in field goal position, but, it was a tough one to lose,” Frankfort coach Kevin Whiteman stated after the contest.
According to Whiteman, “I give them credit. I told the coach from Washington, I’m happy for him, I’m proud of him. He had a good game plan. He told me after the game this was the biggest win for him at Washington beating Frankfort. I’m happy for what they did, you have to tip your hat to them, they did a good job. People get mad when I say this, but I’m happy for them. You’ve got to give a team that comes back and did what they did to beat us, you’ve got to give them credit.”
Frankfort took early control of the game, leading the Patriots 13-0 on the strength of two rushing touchdowns by Cole Hiett. Hiett scored on a five-yard run with 6:59 remaining in the second quarter, and Corey Brieloff’s kick lifted the Falcons to a 7-0 lead. With 1:46 remaining in the second frame, Hiett scored on a 20-yard scamper. The extra point was no good and the Falcons took a 13-0 lead into the break.
Washington, to their credit, did not lay down. The Patriots responded immediately in the second half, taking the second half kickoff and ultimately driving for a score. A long pass from Frankie Amore to Bryson Fleming advanced the ball down field. Washington then converted a fourth and one play to keep the drive alive and set up the score, which happened at the 8:03 mark of the third frame when Thomas Wogan took it in from three yards out. The extra point was no good and Frankfort clung to a 13-6 lead.
Frankfort, however, answered and answered quickly on a Cole Hiett 66-yard touchdown run less than one-minute later (7:07). For the second time in a row, the extra point was no good and Frankfort led 19-6.
After a lost possession to a turnover on downs, Washington capitalized on a Frankfort fumble on the Falcons’ ensuing drive in the fourth quarter. The gap narrowed in a big way when Frankie Amore connected on a 55-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Fleming with 6:44 remaining in the contest. With the extra point no good, Washington had cut the Frankfort lead to 19-13.
Washington would capitalize on another Frankfort turnover on the Falcons’ next possession, as the Patriots’ Thomas Wogan intercepted a ball at the Falcon 40-yard line. Wogan then connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Fleming and the extra point gave Washington the lead for good with 3:46 remaining in the contest.
Frankfort mounted an incredible drive capped off by a field goal attempt from the five yard line to win the game, Washington’s block of the attempt solidified the 20-19 victory for the home standing Patriots.
“They made those two big plays, you can take those two plays away, but they made them, they made the two plays they had to make to put them ahead to win the ball game. It’s a terrible loss. I feel like someone put a dagger in my chest,” Whiteman explained.
“The boys are dejected but I told them, one, we didn’t even think we’d be playing at this point, and two, they’re 5-1, there’s a lot of teams in the state that would like to be 5-1. Losing is terrible, but someone has to do it I guess.”
The last several games, Frankfort lost out statistically but came out ahead in the only statistic that counts, the score. On this night, Frankfort led in most statistical categories but fell just one point short on the scoreboard.
Frankfort accumulated 342 total yards, with 285 on the ground and 57 through the air. Colton McTaggart was 4-13 for 57 yards. Jake Clark caught a pass for 14 yards, Peyton Clark caught one for 25, and Cole Hiett caught one for five yards. Hiett led Frankfort with 154 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Peyton Clark added 109 yards on 14 carries. Jansen Moreland had 22 yards on seven carries. Frankfort turned the ball over twice and was penalized four times for 30 yards.
Washington earned 289 total yards, 171 through the air and 118 on the ground The Patriots only had one turnover and was penalized only one time for 10 yards.
Frankfort (5-1) will host Petersburg on Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. for Homecoming at Falcon Stadium.