Franklin senior Darius Hinton rushed for 172 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries to lead the Indians to a 48-13 victory over Catonsville on senior night at Franklin High School Friday.
Catonsville (6-4) had a 7-0 lead after Brian Taylor's 9-yard touchdown run, but the Indians scored the next 48 points as they took advantage of seven turnovers by the Comets in the first half.
"They've got game-breakers, and we really can't afford to give up any possessions and give them anything," Catonsville coach Rich Hambor said.
Catonsville, playing without three-year varsity center Jake Faircloth, who became ill on the bus ride, marched 73 yards on its first possession with the big play being a 51-yard run from senior Evan Rhodes (15 carries, 81 yards).
Garrett Wack's extra point made it 7-0 with 9:57 left in the quarter.
Franklin responded with a 44-yard drive, culminating with a 3-yard TD run by Hinton. The extra-point clanked off the left upright, one of three by kicker/defensive tackle Luis Belmontes that hit off a post.
Both teams stiffened on the next two drives.
A sack by Catonsville's Leymonte Morrison on third down and pressure by Morrison on quarterback Jacquez Adams on fourth down forced the Indians to turn over the ball on downs on one possession and a sack by Antwan Pearson and three incompletions ended another Franklin drive.
The Comets punted on two consecutive drives and struggled to move the ball against a defensive line led by Belmontes.
"Our defensive line is tremendous," Franklin coach Anthony Burgos said.
The offensive line of Nicholas Trogdon, Evan Ostrow, Marcus Williams, Patrick Allen and Eric Ostrow proved to be just as strong on the Indians' fourth possession.
They provided a hole for Hinton and the back gave his best second and third efforts on a 61-yard touchdown run that gave the Indians a 12-7 lead.
"I felt them, but I didn't feel them that physical and in my mind I was just thinking if they are not going to put me down, I'm not going to go down. I'm not going to stop until I get to the end zone," Hinton said.
The senior, who played with two torn anterior cruciate ligaments in his knees last season before having surgery after the season, demonstrated that he has recovered fully.
"Darius is just having a tremendous year, especially coming off these injuries and showing the whole country really that he is back," Burgos said. "He is playing with such passion to prove to all the colleges and himself and everybody that he is ready to play football."
An interception by McRae led to a 7-yard touchdown run by Hinton, and Jordan Adams added a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown that made it 41-7.
A Catonsville fumble on the next series turned into a 36-yard touchdown on the next play by Hinton.
The only score of the second half came on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Catonsville reserve quarterback Cameron McCarthy to Jamal Johnson.
The win advances Franklin to the Class 3A North Region playoffs. The Comets will miss the 4A playoffs for the second straight year.
"We had a couple short-yardage situations where we got penalties and a couple tipped balls went for interceptions and the next thing you know it's 20-7 instead of 7-0," Hambor said. "They are all good kids and they work hard and fight hard, and I'm proud of all of them."
On the other side, Burgos was proud of his team's effort.