Milford Mill quarterback Kyle McEachern’s 64-yard run with 2:41 remaining lifted the Millers to a 33-28 victory over host Franklin in the Class 3A North region final Friday night.
The Indians, however, made Milford Mill sweat the victory out.
Reggie Ellis long punt return gave the Indians a shot at the winning touchdown in the final seconds.
Franklin quarterback Jackson Thornton got two throws off from the Milford Mill 15 in the final five seconds, but the first one was incomplete in the left corner of the end zone to Taurus Bruton and the second one was picked off by corner back Jimmy Lahay.
"Time will heal this," Franklin coach Anthony Burgos said. "We had a tremendous season. We battled all year long, going through our ups and downs."
McEachern was the hero of the night. He also threw two touchdown passes for Milford Mill, which trailed by 14 points late in the third quarter, but closed to 28-27 on short touchdown runs by Jamaal Morant and Deontaye White.
Franklin — which had beaten the Millers, 35-7, on Oct. 5 — went ahead, 27-14, late in third quarter on Ellis’ 11-yard scamper up the middle.
A 17-yard punt gave Franklin (10-2) possession on its own 24 to set up the Indians’ third score.
Two plays later, Franklin sophomore running back Darius Hinton went up the middle on a delayed draw with 6:03 remaining for his second touchdown.
Milford Mill scored on its first offensive play in the first half when McEachern avoided a Franklin defender, rolled to his left and found Mike Jones down the left sideline for a 58-yard score.
It didn’t take long for Franklin to respond as Hinton went in on a 21-yard run three plays later.
Franklin pushed its lead to 13-6 early in the second quarter when Thornton hit wide receiver Marquis Ellis on a 3-yard slant.
Milford Mill tied it at 14-14 in the closing seconds of the first half.
McEachern, who has been recruited by Towson State, Delaware State Howard universities, found Jones in the left corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score on fourth-and-9. Then, the quarterback teamed up with Jones again on the 2-point conversion.
"We feel have the best skill set in the country and we can compete with anyone," McEachern said.