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Big plays help Franklin football to 29-8 win over Milford Mill

On a night when No. 5 Franklin's offense struggled, the Indians made enough big plays to spark a 29-8 win over Baltimore County Division II rival Milford Mill on Friday.

The Indians used two of those big plays to put the game away in the second half — a 36-yard touchdown run by Darius Hinton and a 57-yard catch by Brian Doyle from quarterback Jacquez Adams that set up an 8-yard Hinton touchdown run.

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"They gave us opportunities that we had to take advantage of," said Doyle, a junior wide receiver who also scored the first touchdown of the game on a 22-yard pass from Adams. "They did play good defense, but our big play was better than their defense."

In perhaps the hottest rivalry in Baltimore County, Franklin (7-1 overall, 5-0 division) has won six of the last seven meetings and Milford Mill (7-1, 4-1) hasn't won in the regular season since 2009, although the No. 14 Millers knocked Franklin out in the playoffs two years ago. In last season's Class 3A North regional final, the Indians beat Milford Mill on their way to their first state championship.

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Friday night, the Indians' defense did a good job of holding down a Millers' offense averaging 42.7 points per game. Brandon Abrams, Milford Mill's leading rusher, finally got his team on the board late in the third quarter, capping a 31/2 minute, 31-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown. Quarterback Deone White added the conversion run.

The Indians, who average 43.1 points per game, still led 22-8. They struck first on the Adams-to-Doyle touchdown pass and then added a 4-yard touchdown run by Adams and a 28-yard field goal by Luis Belmontes.

The Millers could not sustain another drive and the Indians put the game away two drives later when Doyle ran a route down the right side of the field, grabbed Adams' pass, tight-roped the sideline and raced to the Millers' 8-yard line. Hinton then punched it in with 6:40 to go.

For Franklin, which has lost only to No. 10 Calvert Hall, the win not only gives them bragging rights in Baltimore County but also boosts their status in the Class 3A region playoff race. Milford Mill had been in second place behind Aberdeen and Franklin was fourth.

"This is a big win," Doyle said. "It says a lot about who's the big dog in Baltimore County and we showed them that Franklin's not going to go down without a fight. We played Franklin football and look what happened."

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