During its run to the Class 3A football state championship game in 2015, Dundalk stunned two-time defending state champion in the regional final, 20-16.
The Owls continue to pay for that win.
Franklin ended Dundalk’s season for the third time in four years, whipping the Owls 40-8 on Friday in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
The only time in the past four years Dundalk’s season has not ended with a loss to Franklin was when the Owls didn’t reach the playoffs in 2017.
Dundalk has now lost seven straight games to Franklin (four regular season, three playoffs). The average score of those seven games is 40-7.
Franklin (9-2), the defending Class 3A state champion, advances to the state quarterfinals as the fifth seed. The Indians will play at fourth-seeded Damascus (9-2) on Friday.
Once again, Franklin defeated Dundalk through big plays on offense while its defense shut down the Owls.
Back-to-back sacks of quarterback Treshawn Ray forced the Owls to punt on their first possession, and Franklin turned a short pass into a long touchdown run and a 6-0 lead barely three minutes into the game.
The Owls started their ensuing drive on their own 16-yard line and moved to midfield as Ray connected with Patrick Ellis for an 18-yard gain and Ray carried twice for 12 yards.
But the Owls had to punt from midfield and the Indians zipped 78 yards in six plays to extend its lead to 12-0.
A 51-yard pass from the Franklin 32 to the Dundalk 27 was the big play in the drive, which ended with a 15-yard youchdown run.
Dundalk again picked up two first downs on its next drive as Henry Rohlfs caught a 12-yard pass and Ray picked up 19 yards on a quarterback draw.
But the drive stalled after an illegal procedure penalty and a sack, and the Owls punted.
Dundalk sacked Franklin quarterback Vernon Brown and seemed to on the verge of forcing an Indian punt. But on third and 11, Brown connected with Alex Jones running open across the middle for a 70-yard touchdown pass.
The Owls turned the ball over three plays later, leading to a 21-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Corey Crawford to give Franklin a 26-0 lead with 7:15 remaining in the first half.
A 24-yard run by Rohlfs highlighted Dundalk’s next possession, but the Owls were again forced to ount.
Franklin took possession at its own 18-yard line with 2:12 remaining in the first half, and managed a 12-play drive capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jones with nine seconds remaining.
The Owls fumbled on the opening possession of the second half, and Franklin’s Montre Harris scooped it up and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown and a 40-0 lead that activated the running clock.
Dundalk averted a shutout on a 15-yard run by Ray with 3:42 remaining that was set up by a Ray interception that started the Owls at the Franklin 25.
In the other Class 3A second-round games, Wilde lake continued its improbably postseason run with a 22-0 win over fourth-seeded Manchester Valley in Class 3A East.
Wilde Lake, seeded eighth in Class 3A East after making the playoffs with a 2-7 record, upset top-seeded River Hill in the first round, 14-10.
Westminster advanced to the state quarterfinals with a 16-7 win over Marriotts Ridge; Linganore defeated Rockville 43-12; Damascus defeated South Hagerstown 35-6; Huntingtown beat St. Charles 17-8; North Point upset Oxon Hill 28-23; and Mervo routed Towson 35-0.
Dundalk ended the season 7-4 and reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in school history.