No. 12 Franklin upsets No. 7 North Harford in 3A North final, 28-21

A huge defensive stand followed by Mark Venable's 26-yard run set up Joey Dorsey's fourth touchdown keeper of the game with five seconds left as No. 12 Franklin upset No. 7 North Harford, 28-21, before an estimated crowd of 2,000 in the Class 3A North regional championship Friday night in Pylesville.

The loss ended the Hawks' bid for an undefeated season.

"Joey, he wanted the ball," Venable said. "I wanted the ball, too, but anything for Joey Dorsey. He's been leading us all year. Big players want the ball at big times and Dorsey, he wanted it, so we gave it to him and he took care of business."

The Indians (10-2), who advance to next weekend's state semifinals, ran only three plays in the first quarter and trailed 14-0 early in the second quarter, but they rallied thanks to Venable and Dorsey.

Venable led the running game with 18 carries for 143 yards and Dorsey hit nine of 19 passes for 109 yards. Each time the Indians got to the 1- or 2-yard line, Dorsey took it in.

"I changed the play call at the line of scrimmage and just snuck it in there every time," Dorsey said. "It was great that coach allowed me to change the play at the line."

After Dorsey's second touchdown run tied the game at 14 with 8:11 to go in the third quarter, the Hawks went back on top when Brandon Bayer hit Jeremy Skrzypiec for a 27-yard touchdown on a halfback pass.

Dorsey's 2-yard run tied it with 10:07 left. North Harford (11-1) started its final drive with 5:21 to go, but the Indians defense stopped Bayer on fourth-and-1.

On the first play of the next Indians drive, Venable eluded several tackles and raced 26 yards to set up Dorsey's final touchdown six plays later.

Dorsey, whose team scored its second straight upset after knocking off Hereford last week, gave credit to just about everyone else on his team, especially the defense, for the victory.

"Defense has been great all year," the senior said, "Mark Venable's a great asset to the team and set us up for a great drive. Without the defense playing as well as they did and other offensive players, wide receivers, the 'O' line did great, or we wouldn't have won the game. "

North Harford coach Ken Brinkman said Venable's long gain on the final Indians drive was the killer for his Hawks, who were seeking their first trip to the state semifinals.

"They made a great run at the end," Brinkman said. "We thought we had him in the backfield. He was able to slip off some tackles and he hopped one guy and I think that was the one that broke our back right there."

For the Hawks, Bayer had 16 carries for 80 yards and threw one touchdown pass. Ben Kenley ran 17 times for 78 yards. Quarterback Cody Turner ran for one touchdown and passed for another.

F 0 7 7 14—28

NH 7 7 7 0—21

NH—Shaw 23 pass from Turner (Lenane kick)

NH—Turner 4 run (Lenane kick)

F—Dorsey 1 run (Gibson kick)

F—Dorsey 1 run (Gibson kick)

NH—Skrzypiec 27 pass from Bayer (Lenane kick)

F—Dorsey 2 run (Gibson kick)

F—Dorsey 1 run (Gibson kick)

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad