Chargers bolt past Page in the 1st Round

2 years ago Special to County Line Preps - Cody T. Cameron 0

History was made at Benjamin Franklin High School last Saturday night.

The (4) Chargers scored 28-unanswered points during the second half to secure the school’s first-ever 3A playoff victory as they went on to defeat the (13) Page Sand Devils 34 – 14 on their home turf.

After a few early touchdowns from Page, the Chargers found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they trailed the Sand Devils 14 – 6 heading into the locker room after the first half.

The Chargers needed a spark and senior captain Seth Hamblin was there to answer the call.

On the first play from scrimmage to start the third quarter, senior quarterback Chase Adams threw a quick strike to Hamblin who turned up field gaining several yards after the catch as he bulldozed his way through would-be tacklers.

“We came into the locker room saying, ‘We got to do it for the seniors. This could be their last time here,’ Hamblin said about his team’s halftime locker room meeting. “We didn’t want to be done, we wanted to come back on Monday and practice again. We wanted another game, another chance to take us to the championship.”

The big play quickly shifted momentum in favor of the Chargers.

Benjamin Franklin went back to their roots by establishing a strong run game and playing hard-nosed defense.

Behind a very athletic offensive line, running backs Chandler Miles and Zach Jeffries ran wild in the second half, each scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns in the contest.

On defense, Benjamin Franklin forced five turnovers including four interceptions in the second half alone. Miles, a recipient of one of the five, turned his fourth quarter interception into a video game-like play, weaving his way through Page players and finding his way into the end zone for a pick-six.

The biggest play of the night came once again at the hands of Seth Hamblin.

Late in the fourth quarter with the Chargers up 18 – 14, Page had the ball deep in Chargers’ territory as they threatened to score the go-ahead touchdown. On a 4th-and-7, Page quarterback Jacob Doyle rolled right looking to hit a receiver right near the sticks. Hamblin had other plans as the senior jumped the route intercepting the pass and ending the Sand Devils’ last chance to take the lead.

“They (Page) were playing from behind and we knew they were going to pass the ball a bit more,” Hamblin said. “We were there in position on every pass. Our corners and safeties played amazing tonight.”

Miles (176) and Jefferies (183) combined to rush for 359 yard and four touchdowns on 53 carries. Hamblin had a pair of receptions for 43 yards in addition to matching sophomore Cade Mcafee with a team-high 15 tackles.

After the game Hamblin talked about the team’s preparation for the rest of their postseason play, “We can’t have a slow start like we did in this first half, we need to come out firing,” Hamblin said. “We’re all family and we’re all here for the same purpose.”

Up next:  No. 5 Sabino at No. 4 Benjamin Franklin on Friday, Nov. 10. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.