Owls fall to Franklin in sectional opener



Seymour coach Mike Kelly pulled out a few tricks on Friday night as the Owls opened up their postseason journey on the road against Franklin.

A change at quarterback and running back, introductions of new personnel and a few fresh faces on defense littered the Owls play sets against the Grizzly Cubs.

Unfortunately, none of it mattered as the Owls were unable to contend with the host side, falling 42-0, ending their year.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

It moves the Grizzly Cubs into the sectional with the chance to win their first sectional title since 1984.

They beat the Owls that year to win their lone sectional championship. 

Junior quarterback Cody Ruble — a transfer from Columbus North — got the start over usual starter Brendan Smith. Ruble, who became eligible a few weeks ago in the final regular season game against Floyd Central, went 2-for-5 for 14 yards.

He was pulled on the Owls’ sixth possession of the first half for Smith and the normal backfield tandem of Chandler Drummond and Colin Greathouse took back over. 

It didn’t really matter who was on offense, however, as the Grizzly Cubs snuffed out everything thrown their way.

The Owl offense struggled so mightily against the Grizzly Cubs that the furthest they were able to charge up the field, with both sets of starters, was the Franklin 44-yard line.

They were able to get it down to the Franklin 7-yard line on the very last offensive series, but were unable to score thanks to the running clock.

On the flip side, Seymour had no answer for Franklin senior quarterback Drew Byerly, who torched the Owls for 103 yards on the ground with two scores and 179 yards of passing and three touchdowns. 

Byerly flexed his arm in the first quarter, throwing for two of his three touchdowns and then showed off his wheels in the second with runs of 62 and 35 yards.

"He’s deceptively quick," Seymour coach Mike Kelly said. "It doesn’t look like he’s running very hard, but he’s moving."

His second scoring run drew the ire of the Seymour coaching staff as Byerly shed several Owl tacklers to cross the scoring line.

Five Seymour defenders had Byerly corralled at the Owls’ 5-yard line, but he was able to blast through.

Yet, it wasn’t just Byerly’s elusiveness and power that frustrated the Owls; it was their large and physical front lines that capped out with their left tackle, who came in at 6-foot-3-inches and 295 pounds. 

"They have some hosses up front, their defensive line had some big physical football players and they were a challenge for us all night," Kelly said. "Offensive line wise, they move the ball very well. We had some opportunities to get them stopped, but we were unable to contain them offensively."

Kelly mentioned Franklin running back Jalen Ward as a great compliment to Byerly and hinted that whoever they play going forward is going to give them some issues. 

"On contact, it just seemed like he ran harder," he said. "They’ve got a really nice football team; this team is going to give whoever their facing a run for their money."

The Owls finish the year 4-6 for the second time in three seasons. It’s also the third year in a row Seymour finishes their year in the semifinal round of their sectional. 

However, the year wasn’t without it’s positive strides forward.

Kelly praised his seniors for the progress they’ve made this season and the mark they’ve left for the upcoming classes. 

"I think we’ve got a great group of seniors that have done everything that we’ve asked of them from a leadership standpoint," Kelly said. "They bought in one day one, we had a lot of great leadership this offseason and this is not the way we wanted the season to end."

Though Kelly didn’t allude to it specifically, the Grizzly Cubs are the kind of team the Owls hope to be in a handful of seasons. 

"As a program, we’ve got to get better," he concluded. "You can tell there’s a difference from where we are and where we want to be. Our seniors have shown the work ethic this season and what’s needed going forward."

Smith will be among several key seniors the Owls will need to replace next year along with Ely Henderson, Brayden Barker and Jacob Roberts.

Still, there’s a good building block of underclassmen for the Owls to improve upon as they look to 2020. 

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Box Score” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]


Grizzly Gubs;42

Seymour (4-6);0;0;0;0 — 0

Franklin (8-2);14;21;7;0 — 42

First quarter

F-Drew Byerly 16-yard pass to Max Lancer (Owen Mahin kick good), 9:13

F-Byerly 39 pass to Peyton Ruble (Mahin kick good), 5:09

Second quarter

F-Bylerly 62-yard run (Mahin kick good), 10:50

F-Byerly 35 run (Mahin kick good), 4:43

F-Byerly 12 pass to Christian McClure (Mahin kick good), 2:36

Third quarter

F-Jalen Ward 1 run (Mahin kick good), 6:43


Rushing: Brendan Smith 11-35, Chandler Drummond 7-27, Cody Ruble 1-2, Colin Greathouse 12-37

Passing: Cody Ruble 2-5-14, Brendan Smith 2-10-67

Receiving: Ely Henderson 1-11, Drew Vehslage 2-68, Brayden Barker 1-15


No posts to display