INDIANAPOLIS – With powers Pike and Lawrence Central leaving Conference Indiana before the 2013 season, the role of favorite was tossed around with a number of the remaining teams in the conference.
Two-thirds of the way through the IHSAA season, a clear favorite has emerged on the south side of Indianapolis.
Southport upended Franklin Central 37-22 on Friday night and in the process improved to 6-0 on the season-the only undefeated team left in Conference Indiana.
With the victory the Cardinals have a two-game lead over five other teams in the conference with three games to play, making a championship a likely conclusion to the season.
For head coach Bill Peebles, its’ the first time nine years at the school that he has started a season 6-0 and need two more wins to equal his best season at Southport (2008, eight regular season wins)
Franklin Central wasn’t going to make it easy, however, as the Flashes (3-3) stood toe-to-toe with the frontrunners in the first half. Cory Durm’s 50-yard touchdown run gave the visitors an early 6-3 lead and even after Southport got the lead back, the quarterback led another long drive.
Robi Ford punched it in from six-yards out to give Franklin Central the lead, though a second failed two-point conversion attempt had their lead at just 12-10. The Cardinals answered before the end of the half with a 48-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Christian Perry to make it 17-12 Southport at the half.
Once again the Flashes answered, tackling a Southport runner who fumbled in his own endzone for the safety to make it 17-14. But after that it was all cardinals, who outscored the Flashes 20-8 down the stretch to stay undefeated.
Peebles’ team will try to stay undefeated next week at home as they face Terre Haute South while Franklin Central will return home to face Bloomington North.