Week 9's finale of the 2019 season of Heiser Automotive Group Thursday Night Lights saw a Southeast Conference battle between the Franklin Sabers and Oak Creek Knights on Thursday, October 17th. The My24 Sports Team, all of our great sponsorship partners with a booth presence in the TNL Fan Experience Area, and fans of all ages assembled for a damp, chilly night of high school football in Oak Creek.
Community members helped honor The Salvation Army and Media Relations Director Amy Hand for their efforts in Doing the Most Good in the area's neighborhoods. All season long, The Salvation Army has asked football fans to help in the good fight against hunger. Fans can pledge donations of money and time as volunteers at SAMilwaukee.org or by bringing food items to their nearest donation centers. Fans can also text "TNL" to 41444 for the donation link. (Message and data rates apply)
The anticipation was high as members of the of the United States Marine Corps took the field to present the Color Guard and honor America during the playing of the National Anthem ahead of kick-off.
The opening kick-off resulted in a touchback for Oak Creek and the Helmet Game was officially underway. The Knights' first drive stalled at their own 42-yard-line, forcing them to punt. Before a penalty negated the effort, the Sabers exploded onto the scene with a 90-yard punt return for touchdown. Instead, they took over on their own 18-yard-line for the start of their first offensive series. Franklin quickly and efficiently moved the chains before capping the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run from Myles Burkett started the night's scoring. Luke Cool's point-after kick was good, giving the Sabers an early 7-0 lead. After Oak Creek could only muster 12 yards on their next possession, Franklin found the end zone again on a 61-yard pass from Burkett to Mitch Alba (Cool PAT Good) on the ensuing drive.
In the second quarter, Franklin kept their foot on the gas pedal. After Keaton Arendt's 16-yard reception put the Sabers on the 1-yard-line, Lucas Nelson ran in the 1-yard score (Cool PAT Good) with 10:53 to play in the half. Oak Creek continued to sputter on offense, taking a penalty on a 4th & 1 play that backed them up and forced another punt. After trading punts, Franklin found their groove once again with under 5:00 in the quarter, converting on a 3rd & 3 play to keep the chains moving. A 23-yard pass from Burkett bounced off of a tumbling Elliott Harris and found the hands of Arendt in the end zone (Cool PAT Good) to put Franklin up 28-0 heading into the half.
In a fun reminder that Halloween is fast-approaching, two students were chosen to participate in a Goodwill Costume Race before the start of the second half. In the name of some good, clean All Hallows' Eve fun, the participants were tasked with sprinting down the track to an awaiting rack containing costumes. They had to quick-change into the festive garments and be the first to cross the Amazing Goodwill finish line to secure bragging rights.
As Oak Creek struggled to find answers, Franklin came out firing to start the second half of play. Burkett and Arendt connected again to move the Sabers to the Knights' 22-yard-line, and Burkett ran in his second ground touchdown from 15 yards out. A true point-after kick by Cool gave the Sabers a 35-0 lead and activated the WIAA-mandated running clock with 11:01 to play in the third quarter. Oak Creek couldn't gain any momentum, and faced a 49-point deficit by the quarter's end after Nelson's second touchdown run of the contest and a 55-yard pick-six by Dyson Klebertanz. The Knights finally broke through in the fourth quarter, when running back Gabe Buchman took in a 6-yard touchdown with 7:15 remaining. Dragan Kesich's point-after attempt failed after a bad snap, keeping Oak Creek at six points. Nolan Sporleder intercepted a Sabers pass with under 4:00 to play, but a high snap fumble on 4th & 7 extinguished any hope of doing more damage late as Franklin ran out of the clock to seal a dominant performance and won the Sabers the Helmet Trophy. FINAL SCORE: Franklin Sabers 49 - Oak Creek Knights 6
After the final whistle sounded, Sideline Reporter Mike McGivern gathered the victorious Sabers for the presentation of the Player of the Game Award with the United States Marines to Sophomore Quarterback Myles Burkett, who went 15-17 for 302 yards and accounted for two passing and two rushing touchdowns.
McGivern then presented the Rudig Trophies Game Trophy to Head Coach Louis Brown and his playoffs-bound Franklin Sabers.
Celebrating its tenth season of broadcasts, Heiser Automotive Group Thursday Night Lights is an effort of the My24 Sports Team to put a spotlight on local high schools and their talented students and faculty members, as well as community members effecting positive change and contributions. Games are broadcast live Thursdays at 7pm on My24 and stream live right here on My24Milwaukee.com. Encore presentations of the game broadcasts air the following Friday evening starting at 7pm.
Watch the week's complete broadcast above and explore My24Milwaukee.com for more of this season's Heiser Automotive Group Thursday Night Lights action, spotlights, and exclusive content!