Senior Night is an occasion to honor soon-to-be graduates for their contributions, and they are often read aloud during a pregame ceremony.
Franklin might want to allow for some extra time Friday in the Panther Pit.
The Macon County school has won football more games the past four years (42) than any similar period in history. And 23 seniors for the Panthers (10-0, 6-0) have already clinched at least a share of their third Western North Carolina Athletic Conference championship since 2011.
Jeremiah Young (1,301 yards, 20 touchdowns), Dalton Cochran (918 yards and 11 touchdowns with one interception), Trey Maslin (33 receptions for 326 yards and two touchdowns) and Austin Price (6.3 tackles per game) are among the 12th graders vying for an outright WNCAC title against Tuscola (5-5, 4-2).
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
“This group of seniors has won more than any we’ve ever had here at Franklin,” Panthers coach Josh Brooks said.
“They’ve been a joy to coach and we’re excited about being home Friday. Tuscola is a team worthy of our full attention and they certainly have it. They’re doing some new things under a new coach, but they’re still a physical team just like Tuscola teams in the past. That hasn’t changed.”
Franklin and Young (6.8 tackles per game) have won 23 consecutive regular-season games dating back to 2012. The program had never entered the state playoffs with a perfect record prior to 2011. Now the Panthers might be about to do it for the third time.
Kelton Lowry (302 yards, five touchdowns), Hunter Gibbs (248 yards, two touchdowns) and Cochran (207 yards, four touchdowns) have also been effective with their rushing.
Franklin has scored 287 points in the first halves of games played this fall and only allowed 37 with a defense fronted by Young, Price, Gibbs (4.2) and Camron Roper (4.1).
The Panthers were No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press 2-A poll and ranked fifth by NCPreps.com.