By Sam Findley | For the Daily Journal
The confidence of heading into the playoffs with a victory could only be awarded to one team.
A stellar night from Javon Tracy, who had five all-purpose touchdowns, and a solid defensive performance helped Class 5A No. 2 Decatur Central secure a 42-7 win over Franklin.
“They’ve got some really good athletes that made some really good plays. I felt like our defense competed pretty damn hard, but they scored on some really explosive big plays,” Grizzly Cubs coach Chris Coll said.
Decatur Central (7-1, 6-0 Mid-State) came out swinging, with the first play resulting in a 65-yard touchdown run for Chaikou Diallo. Franklin (3-5, 3-3) was then able to hold onto the ball for a 14-play drive but was shut down by a swarm of Hawks linemen on the 24-yard line. Tracy capped off the ensuing Decatur Central drive by scrambling out of the pocket for a 6-yard touchdown run.
The Grizzly Cubs had another long drive that ended with a swarm of Hawk linemen, and three plays later Tracy danced out of the pocket and got to the sideline, finding the end zone on a 69-yard touchdown to put the Hawks up 21-0 with 7:03 left in the first half.
Tracy wasn’t done, breaking free and sprinting to the corner of the end zone with 21.6 seconds left in the first half to put Decatur Central in the driver seat up 28-0.
Decatur Central’s great night didn’t end at halftime. The defense forced a Franklin punt, which was tipped to put the Hawks within 24 yards of the end zone. Tracy capitalized on the field position, finding Diallo for a touchdown to make it 35-0 with 10:33 left in the third quarter.
Tracy tacked on another touchdown when he broke out of a crowded pocket and found William Starks for a 33-yard score to cap the Decatur Central scoring.
Franklin got a final consolation touchdown, finishing off its best drive of the night with John Shepard punching it in from the 5-yard line.
The Grizzly Cubs open 5A postseason play Oct. 29 at New Palestine.
“We’re just gonna go back to work next week and compete in the sectionals,” Coll said.