A Rivalry that Dates Back 135 Years, Oil City Set to Travel to Franklin

Jared Sullenberger

Jared Sullenberger

Published October 1, 2021 12:00 pm
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OIL CITY, Pa.– Franklin and Oil City are about eight miles apart along Route 8 in Venango County and the Route 8 rivalry continues to live on strong. When the Franklin Knights make their way to Oil City Friday Night, it will be the 135 consecutive year the the two teams have faced off.

(Photo by Kelly Malek)

Since 2010 the Oilers and the Knights have played 12 times with Oil City holding the advantage, 10-2. Last season both teams faced off twice with Oil City winning both games in convincing fashion by scores of 75-0 and 68-6.

The Oilers come off of last week with a win against Harbor Creek where Oil City clawed out a 14-13 victory. The Oilers’ Ethan Knox finished the contest with 40 carries for 226 yards and a score. Carl Chelton added had only one carry for 37 yards, but made it count, taking it the distance as he added the only other score for Oil City.

Utilizing four of their main skilled players, Oil City finished the contest with 324 yards on 45 rushing attempts.

The Oilers relied on the interior lineman to stop the Harbor Creek offense as Cam Crocker finished the night with 11 total tackles.

Kevin Pearsall added 10 tackles to his resume in the win as he proved to be a dominant force in the Oilers defensive gameplan.

After dropping the first four games of the season, the Franklin Knights look to keep building momentum this week as they come off their first win of the season, defeating Conneaut Area by a final score of 23-16.

The Knights have allowed opponents to score 201 total points through the first four games, while only scoring a total of 80 points on the year.

One of the oldest rivalries in the state of Pennsylvania and one of few rivalries that date back more than 100 years, here is a look at the career leaders for both teams in the Route 8 Rivalry Showdown.

Oil City
INDIVIDUAL

Rushing — 313, Christian Cole, 2018
Passing — 282, Mark Kulinski, 2010
Receiving — 121, Ben Koyack, 2010 (4 catches)

​5 TDs — Cole, 2018
4 TDs — Johnny Waitkus, 1931; Jack Cleaves, 1916
6 TD passes — Kulinski, 2010

​TEAM
Rushing — 631, 2018
Passing — 313, 2009 (Kulinski and Stephen May)
Total yards — 665, 2018

Defense
Minus yards rushing — minus 24, 2020; minus 50, 2018

Total yards — 13, 1985

Franklin
INDIVIDUAL

Rushing — 267, Butch Conrad, 1959
Passing — 295, Julian Wested, 2007
Receiving — 207, Tyler Bittner, 2007 (14 catches)

​5 TDs — Conrad, 1959; Red Law, 1966
4 TDs — Brendon Gordon, 2017; Ron Richburg, 1976
4 or more TD passes — none

TEAM
Rushing — 442, 1959
Passing — 295, 2007
Total yards — 603, 1972

​Defense
Minus yards rushing — minus 29, 1986

Total yards — 6, 1973

FRANKLIN-OIL CITY SERIES SINCE 2010
YEAR-WINNER-SCORE

2020 — Oil City 75, Franklin 0
Oil City 68, Franklin 6
2019 — Oil City 27, Franklin 16
2018 — Oil City 73, Franklin 7
2017 — Franklin 44, Oil City 36
2016 — Franklin 30, Oil City 20
2015 — Oil City 42, Franklin 8
2014 — Oil City 35, Franklin 22
2013 — Oil City 35, Franklin 7
2012 — Oil City 26, Franklin 13
2011 — Oil City 31, Franklin 28
2010 — Oil City 50, Franklin 8


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