Franklin Knights
Oil City Oilers





Vintage Helmet and American Football Ball


If you are from Anywhere, USA, and happened to stumble upon this site, Franklin and Oil City are about eight miles apart along Route 8 in Venango County, Pa. -- which is about halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie in the western part of the state.

Penny Weichel, site editor

Covering high school football in Venango County, Pa.

2020 Oil City schedule


Aug. 27 -- at General McLane  L, 12-33

Sept. 2 -- at Conneaut W, 38-18

Sept. 10 -- Wilmington, canceled

Sept. 17 -- Sharon

Sept. 24 -- Harbor Creek

Oct. 1 -- at Franklin

Oct. 8 -- at Warren

Oct. 15 -- Meadville

Oct. 22 -- Erie


Aug. 28 -- at Harbor Creek L 7-42

Sept. 3 -- Fairview L, 7-41

Sept. 10 -- at Eisenhower L, 14-55

Sept. 18 -- at Warren

Sept. 24 -- Conneaut

Oct. 1 -- Oil City

Oct. 8 -- at Meadville

Oct. 15 -- General McLane

Oct. 22 -- at Butler

Oct. 29 -- Lakeview

KOs -- 7 p.m.





General McLane/1-1/1-1/40-59

Harbor Creek/1-1/1-2/76-51

Oil City/1-1/1-1/50-51



Sept. 10

Wilmington at Oil City, canceled, COVID

Eisenhower 55, Franklin 14

Erie 36, Harbor Creek 20

Butler 27, Meadville 13

Cathedral Prep 55, Warren 6

McDowell at General McLane, canceled COVID

Warren, Ohio, JFK 66, Conneaut 0

Sept. 17

Sharon at Oil City

Meadville at Harbor Creek

Conneaut at General McLane

Sept. 18

Franklin at Warren

Oilers to play Sharon Friday in Senior Night game

Oil City filled its open date Friday by scheduling Sharon in a non-region game. Kickoff is 7 p.m. AD Tim LaVan said it will be Senior Night for football, band and cheerleaders.

The jayvee Oilers will travel to Sharon for a Saturday morning game (10 a.m. KO).

Sharon was scheduled to play Titusville Friday, but since the Rockets are still dealing with COVID issues, that game was canceled.

The Oilers are just coming off COVID issues of their own, forcing them to cancel their home game with Wilmington Sept. 10. Tonight's jayvee game with the Greyhounds is still off the books.

Sharon is 2-1, and is coming off a 14-7 decision against Hickory. The Tigers have rolled Corry and lost to University Prep of the Pittsburgh City League.

Meanwhile, Oil City sophomore Ethen Knox was District 10's leading rusher after Week 2 with 475 yards. He has since been overtaken by Harbor Creek's Cam Williamson who has 485 yards after Week 3 games.

"Pasture of Pain" turns out to be 
"Field of Nightmares" for Franklin

Eisenhower's Pain of Pasture proved not only to be pure torture for Franklin on Sept. 10, but a playground of some embarrassing moments in their 55-14 non-region loss.

The Ikes (aka Knights, same as Franklin) took the opening kickoff and scored on a conventional drive for a 7-0 lead, but things quickly took a turn to the wild side after that.

A blocked punt, a couple of fumbled kickoffs and a crippling facemask penalty...and before they knew it, the local Knights were down 29-0 by quarter's end. 

The blocked punt came on Franklin's first possession and set the Ikes up at the 5. The ensuing touchdown put Eisenhower ahead 14-0 at the 3:48 mark.

Then Franklin muffed two straight squib kicks. Eisenhower immediately answered the first with a 34-yard TD pass. The Ikes started at the FHS 35 after the second, and the local Knights almost had them stopped -- but a fourth-down facemask call gave the Ikes a first down on the 7 and they scored two plays later. 

So it was 27-0, but Franklin was still in the grip of misfortune as evidenced by a block in the back call on the ensuing kickoff, forcing the Knights to start on their own 6-inch line. And that led to a safety after an intentional grounding call.

It wasn't until early in the second quarter -- after Eisenhower (3-0) rolled to still another score -- that Franklin started a drive with normal field position. On its own 35.

Hunter Marsteller went in for Cole Buckley at that point and played the rest of the half at quarterback. Buckley returned to quarterback to start the second half.

Meanwhile, Carson Wible scored on a 21-yard run and Nathon Pfennigwerth added the first of two extra points for Franklin before the half ended. Buckley completed an 11-yard pass to Wyatt Bell to start the second half, and set up a second TD run by Wible, this one covering 16 yards. The drive began after a 63-yard kickoff return to the 27 by Bell, his second sizable return of the game.

But back to the first half; there was more weirdness before it was all over. Eisenhower made an interception, but gave the ball back to Franklin on a fumbled return, Jackon Ewing recovering for the Knights. And a double unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Franklin gave Eisenhower a first down on the 25.

When the dust had settled, Eisenhower held a 49-7 halftime lead. 

The Ikes finished with 327 yards rushing and 406 yards total offense. Quarterback Garrett Jensen threw three TD passes, two to Wyatt Lookenhouse, after attempting just 14 passes going into the game. They used seven running backs with 5-5, 135-pound junior Keegan Eckstrom leading the way with 98 yards on five carries. (Eisenhower has only three seniors on its team.)

Franklin totaled 114 yards of offense, including 96 rushing. And 88 of those yards were by Wible, a career high for him on 14 carries. The Knights also had a first-and-goal at the EHS 9 late in the game, but were turned away on downs.

KNIGHT LIFE -- The game marked the first meeting between Franklin and Eisenhower, located in Russell, Warren County...Franklin is 4-0 against Youngsville, the other small Warren County school, the last meeting coming in 1926...The Knights will make a return trip to Warren County next Saturday night, this time taking on familiar foe Warren for the latest in a series that began in 1904...Despite completing just the one pass, Buckley still gives opponents something to think about with his refusal to give up on plays...Warren announcers (the game was televised on the D9 and 10 site on Facebook), noted the sophomore throws a nice pass off his scrambling. They also referred to Wible, a two-way standout, as a "house"...One of Eisenhower's cheers is, "We like Ike!" Who woulda thunk?...Got some incomplete yards totals from Chuck Holland's 1963 campaign, but with 707, enough to put him on the seasonal all-time list. Knights now have 40 players with 500 yards or more. Holland sustained various leg ailments in 1963 to reach that total...

Oil City Offense

QB -- Dane Ley or Gavin Stephens

TB -- Ethen Knox, Travis Carbaugh, Kyle Beichner, Carl Chelton 

FB -- Kevin Pearsall 

Slot -- Cam Schiffer, Travis Carbaugh, Justen Dunkle

SE -- Malik Carney, Alex Stevens, Stephens

TE -- Brayden McFetridge

T -- Cam Crocker, Logan Suttle

G -- Walker Willey, Henry Milford

C -- Jacob VanWormer

Oil City Defense

E -- Cam Crocker, Brayden McFetridge

T -- Logan Suttle, Henry Milford, Cam Schiffer, Walker Willey

LB -- Carl Chelton, Kevin Pearsall, Travis Carbaugh, Landon Burgdorfer, Ben Garland, Jon Hargenrader

CB -- Malek Carney, Gavin Stephens

S -- Ethen Knox, Justen Dunkle

Franklin Offense

QB -- Cole Buckley 

WB/WO/FB  -- Hunter Marsteller, Draven Strausburgh, Joey Hedglin, Jackson Ewing, Toby Sanchez

TB -- Carson Wible

FB -- Wyatt Bell

OL -- Dustin McMullen, Austin Beatty, Matthew Wimer, Gabe Wright, Landon Perry

TE -- Drew Wilkinson

Franklin Defense

L -- Austin Beatty, Dustin McMullen, Matthew Wimer, Landon Perry

LB -- Gabe Wright, Devon Strausburgh, Carson Wible

CB -- Wyatt Bell, Joey Hedglin, Jacob Brown

S -- Cole Buckley, Hunter Marsteller

Remember the guy on the far left?
K-two QB room.jpg
Kutztown quarterback room

Why that's Ian Haynes, who hasn't played since 2019 when he rewrote the Franklin and District 10 record books for 9,471 yards to go with 95 touchdowns.

Haynes then announced he was going to Kutztown, but the Golden Bears didn't play in 2020 due to Covid. So Haynes sat.

When he entered Kutztown, he tipped the scales at 205. Now he's 6-3, 225. And, "yup," he says, "excited to get back on the field."

Haynes doesn't expect to start this season with sixth-year senior Erik Nickel (6-4, 235) around. "It's really his job to lose. I'll be ready if they need me," Haynes says.

Believe it or not, Nickel, from Bridgewater, N.J., used to be listed at 6-4, 265. Now he's not that much bigger than Haynes. Nickel is now listed at 250 on the roster -- although Haynes estimated him at 6-4, 235.

Haynes does expect to be in the hunt for the starting job in 2022 with at least the other two guys in the photo -- redshirt freshman Donny Blaine (6-2, 200 from North Pocono) and true freshman Aiden Sanchez (6-3, 185 from Smyrna, Del.)

"I'm a Covid freshman," Haynes says with a chuckle.


Oil City's Holden Stahl (far left) is part of the quarterback room at California. The 6-2, 215-pounder was a three-year starter for the Oilers' D-10 championship teams. Junior Noah Mitchell, (center) 6-4, 225, was the Vulcans' starter at QB in 2018 and 2019, passing for 2,464 yards and 25 TDs as a soph. Cal's season was canceled last year due to Covid. Redshirt frosh Wyatt Hirt (6-4, 210) hails fromn Canonsburg but played high school ball at Linsly Institute in West Virginia.


Oil City's Mario Fontanazza (standing, third from the left) is among the beef the 'Boro will bring. The former all-stater is part of the 11-man defensive line at Edinboro. 


Franklin's Cade Adams (left) and Oil City's Noah Petro are freshmen at Westminster. Adams, 6-0, 162, is a WR and wears No. 19. Petro, 6-1, 252, is a RB and wears No. 33. Petro got into the Titans' opener, a 48-6 loss  to perennial Division III power Mount Union, and had four carries, gaining 10 yards, one for 6. Westminster was picked last spring to win the Presidents' Athletic Conference.


Brayden Crocker, who sustained season-ending injuries in 2019 and 2020, has elected to forgo his senior year in football. He has a wrestling schollie to Division I Clarion.

Dan York.jpg

4 District 10 titles

It's easy to overlook, but Oil City coach Dan York actually has four District 10 titles -- the last three with the Oilers and in 2013 with Lakeview.


Six state crowns

Tiger LaVerde' s Kirtland, Ohio, team won its sixth state championship last fall. The 1991 OCHS grad and former Franklin coach now has 205 coaching victories.

Coach of the Year

Franklin grad Blane Gold was named District 9 Coach of the Year by D9and10Sports. com and later by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association after guiding Redbank Valley to the district Class A title this season. He is 14-5 in his first two years as coach.

Big PAT_edited.jpg
Patterson has his day

Oil City Council proclaimed July 24 "Pat Patterson" Day in OIl City. Patterson, who taught at OCHS from 1969-90 and was football coach from 1969-76, was honored for his tireless work with youth.

Coaches corner
venangoFooTBALL.COM covers the Grid Doings of Oil City and Franklin High Schools in Venango County, Pa. It also includes the football histories of the two schools along with that of venango catholic (nee Christian), which dropped the sport in the 1990s.
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