SportsRed Zone: High School Football


'I couldn't be more proud': Franklin is headed back to AT&T to defend their title

The Lions punched their ticket to their 4th consecutive state championship game after defeating Edna 52-14
Posted: 6:49 AM, Dec 08, 2023
Updated: 2023-12-08 07:49:21-05
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CYPRESS, Texas — The rematch was on with a trip to AT&T Stadium on the line. The Franklin Lions looking to get back there for the fourth consecutive season.

Junior running back, Jayden Jackson telling 15 ABC's Donna Conrad earlier this week, “We want to leave no doubt.”

And after their 52 to 14 win against the Edna Cowboys—they did just that.

After their opening drive stalled out, the Lions recovered a fumble on Edna’s first possession that gave the Lions great field position and even better momentum.

Franklin’s offense went to work and after Jackson found the end zone for the first touchdown of the night—they lived there. 

The Lions—who are known for their run heavy—slot-T offense took to the air as quarterback Cort Lowry went 10 for 12 for 178 yards, while receiver Devyn Hidrogo caught 7 of those passes for 162 yards—all in the first half.

"We did throw the ball a lot and that's a straight contribution to those guys [Edna],” Franklin head coach Mark Fannin said.

“They’re some big physical boys, and we got a quarterback that can sling it and we got some kids that can go catch the football, and when you can add that into our running game, it’s pretty good.”

The defense was equally impressive forcing three turnovers in the first half and keeping the Cowboys off the board until the final 8 minutes of the game.

“Defense is playing really good right now,” Fannin said.

“They're playing as a team. They're real good on the rules right now. They're swarm tackling, game tackling, getting to the football and I couldn't be more proud of that group right now.”

The Lions are now one of 17 teams in UIL Texas football history to reach four consecutive state title games. That all started with this group of seniors who have set the standard for Franklin's continued success.

“This group of seniors right here kind of set the tone,” Fannin said.

“When they came in as freshmen, we knew this group was going to be pretty special, and were we right about that—those guys are some special players and I love them all to death.”

164—That’s how many miles it is to drive from Franklin to AT&T Stadium. The Lions will make that very familiar drive next Thursday to defend their title as they look to claim their third straight championship.

Kickoff for the 3A Division 1 State Championship is set for 3 p.m. against Malakoff in Arlington.