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Friday Night Preview: Franklin at West Rowan

*Time: 7:30 p.m.
*Records: Franklin 5-6; West Rowan 10-1
*Bracket: 3A
*Seeds: No. 16 Franklin vs. No. 1 West Rowan
*Series: West leads 1-0
*Last meeting: West rolled 34-13 in the 2000 state playoffs
*Last week: Franklin ended a three-game losing streak with a 38-0 beatdown of Enka; West whipped Mooresville 33-6 to win another outright NPC title
*Next week: Winner takes on the survivor of the No. 9 Parkwood (7-4) and No. 8 Statesville (8-3) matchup
*Home and road splits: Franklin, which is traveling 200 miles, is 2-4 on the road; West is 6-0 at homenGame notes: People are starting to believe the only thing that could stop West Rowan’s offense is West Rowan’s defense. West handled Mooresville, the NPC’s second-best team, convincingly, so maybe the Falcons will make a deep playoff run.
West has outscored opponents 458-100, and while coach Scott Young will remind his team it’s the playoffs and everyone’s 0-0, Franklin shouldn’t be that tough a test.
Franklin lost its best player, junior running back Blaine Clark, to a torn ACL on Oct. 10, and it hadn’t scored much since then until it broke loose against a struggling Enka squad. Sophomore back Aaron Wallace ó all 145 pounds of him ó has carried most of the load since Clark’s injury.
Clark is the third standout Franklin has lost to an ACL tear this year.
West had safety Marco Gupton go down with a torn ACL recently. It hopes to give Brantley Horton, who has been the county’s top receiving threat with 10 TD catches, a night off to heal a broken hand.
K.P. Parks has rushed for at least 190 yards each of the last six weeks as Timmy Pangburn and his buddies keep opening big holes.

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