The Mathews High School football team lost a 22-17 thriller on Friday night to a very strong Franklin squad, with the visiting Broncos scoring to take the lead for good in the fourth quarter of the 40th annual Mathews Ruritan Bowl.
"Franklin will probably be the number-one ranked team in Region A, and our kids played exceptionally hard on both sides of the ball and on special teams," said MHS head coach Paul White, who saw his Devils slip to 1-2.
"We have to learn how to win the close games against ranked teams," he added. "We are creating turnovers on defense and special teams, and the offense is still doing a very good job. I certainly hope that we have the opportunity to play Franklin again in the playoffs. For two years in a row it has been a very tough game, and we have been in position to win but need to finish the job.
"Defensively, we gave up one big play after having to punt, but I am proud of the defensive effort against a very good offense," White added.