The scoreboard situated at football field reflected the effort exerted by the players on the field on Friday night.
Lincoln High School dampened senior night for Franklin and may have eliminated the Panthers chances of moving into the post season with a 34-8 victory over FHS.
“You returners, you gotta remember this,” head coach Eric Jaimes told his team as he pointed towards the scoreboard. “Typically a team stops throwing the ball, but you see they were still trying to score. You just got to take it on the chin this time.”
“Only you know if you can leave with your head up, but as a team we didn’t put it together,” a displeased Jaimes added.
The Panthers (6-4, 3-2 Northern League) offense sputtered all night and was nearly shutout.
Trailing 34-0 with just over three minutes remaining in the ballgame, FHS quarterback John-Anthony Aguilar threw a pass in Joshua Taylor’s direction.
Taylor was being closely defended, but managed to grab possession of the ball for the completion. He shook off the defenders attempting to bring him down by his feet, high stepping out of their grasp and into the end zone for the Panthers lone touchdown of the night.
Senior running back Anthony Macias connected with Chris Goujon on the successful two-point conversion attempt that followed.
“It’s disappointing,” Macias said. “We practiced hard this week and we thought we had them. The thing is, we just didn’t come to play today, but I think we had a great season.”
Macias, who had been racking up yardage at will with countless long runs throughout the season, was limited to mostly short gains on his carries by the Tiger defense.
Franklin’s defense didn’t have an answer for Lincoln (8-2, 3-2) quarterback Brando Lopez. The 5-foot-9 senior aired it out against the Panthers secondary, completing 14-of-15 passes, amassing 254 yards for four touchdowns and no interceptions.
With the loss, Franklin’s chances of competing in the playoffs are slim, however, Jaimes told his team to be ready to practice on Monday.
“I don’t know if we are going to make it or not, but anything can happen,” he said.
FHS senior Max Guzman said, “It’s not a good feeling you know, I wish we could have done better as a team, but I’m proud of everybody I played with and I’m happy to be taught by these coaches. We had a good season and I’m thankful for that.”