MLK High football beats Franklin 30-14, rematch looms in Public League playoffs

    The Martin Luther King High School Cougars football team solidified its playoff seeding with a 30-14 win over the Benjamin Franklin High School Electrons, its seventh consecutive victory after two season-opening losses.

    The Cougars will face the Electrons again in next week’s opening round of the Philadelphia Public League playoffs.

    Game recap

    After a pair of non-scoring opening drives, MLK wide receiver and outside linebacker Delane Hart got things started with an interception and 52-yard touchdown reception on the following drive to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead.

    The defense continued to hold the Electrons. The Cougars would score again with six minutes left in the first half after a long drive and a 10-yard sprint by running back Aaron Watkins. Franklin would answer back with a 25-yard touchdown pass and extra point to bring the score to 12-7 at the half.

    MLK returned from the locker room ready to put more points on the board. Big runs Devonte Hunter carried them to the Electrons’ 17-yard-line. There, quarterback Joseph Walker connected with tight end Brendan Jackson for six more bringing the score to 18-7.

    Franklin made its way deep into Cougar territory on the next drive, but a turnover on downs put the ball back in the hands of Walker who sprinted down field on a keeper. Walker would hit Hart with a pass for his third touchdown to extend the lead to 24-7.

    Each team would score once more bringing the final tally to 30-14.

    Postgame celebration

    After being soaked by a water cooler, a wet Coach Ed Dunn had some words for his team: “Welcome to the playoffs, baby!”

    “Sept. 1st, after those first two games, we realized that we had to win every single game to get to the playoffs,” Dunn said. “So what did we do? Won every single game … and we’re still going to win every single game!”

    The coach then wiped the team’s record clean, starting the postseason with an 0-0 slate.

    “We ain’t done. We’re still hungry. They’re going to come harder than they came this week,” he said. “But guess what? We’re going to come harder.”

    The opening-round playoff game against Franklin will be played Saturday at Simon Gratz High’s Marcus Foster Memorial Stadium, Hunting Park and Germantown avenues. A time has not yet been announced.

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