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The North Carolina 2A state playoffs kicked off last Friday night with the Franklin Panthers hosting the Parkwood Rebels who travelled four hours through heavy rains to get to the Panther Pit. Seeded number one, the Panthers entered the contest hoping to move past the 16th seed Rebels with ease, but Parkwood had other things in mind.

The evening began in darkness when a transformer blew, leaving the stadium with a strange air about it. Any odd feelings were put to rest however when the undefeated Panthers came out and put up a Jeremiah Young touchdown in the early part of the first quarter and were able to keep the Rebels scoreless. In the second, on a pass from quarterback Luke Keener, Zach Graham ran for a 20-yard touchdown to put Franklin up, 14-0.


HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Denny Hamlin found redemption for a lost season, as Jimmie Johnson advanced to the threshold of legend.

Sidelined for four races with a broken back earlier in the season, Hamlin took the checkered flag in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as Johnson claimed his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a ninth-place finish.

Johnson finished the season 19 points ahead of polesitter and race runner-up Matt Kenseth, who held off a furious charge by third-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the closing laps. With six NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, Johnson is one behind all-time leaders Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.


The Franklin High School Panther's capped off their undefeated season when they travelled to Waynesville Friday night to take on a tough Tuscola football team. The Mountaineers entered the contest with a 8-2 record and proved capable of making the game close when the first quarter ended with a 7-6 score, Franklin in the lead.

By the second quarter, the visitor stands were able to take a sigh of relief as the Panthers went ahead 21-6. The second half of the game would prove to be a defensive showdown with neither team scoring on offense.


Competitions, concerts and fruit keep band busy.

Last Friday night, the Franklin High School Marching Panther Regiment travelled alongside the football team to Tuscola to offer support and encouragement on the football team's journey to a perfect season. In addition to organizing both pre-game and half-time entertainment at all home football games, the marching band works all year long to represent Franklin High School in regional band competitions.


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