Updated: Feb 21
From 2004 to present, the Marion-Franklin Red Devils have enjoyed one of the most successful runs in Columbus City League football history.
Coach Haffele gives quarterback Verlon Reed instruction during a playoff game vs. Beechcroft ('08)
“Though Massey and Daniels were Division 1 college talent, and all three transfers helped push Brookhaven to a 2004 state championship, their exit served as the catalyst for a new day in Red Devil football.”
Since 2004, the Red Devils are 146-41 (.780)
After posting a record of 4-6 in 2003, and losing key players Alex Daniels, Keith Massey and Antoine Roberts to transfer, many counted the Red Devils out. Though Massey and Daniels were Division I college talent, and all three transfers helped push Brookhaven to a 2004 state championship, their exit served as the catalyst for a new day in Red Devil football. The team used the exit of the players, and others counting them out, as motivation to make a playoff run of their own.
In 2004, led by the emergence of sophomore running back Joshua Anderson, the Red Devils finished 9-2 with a share of the City League South crown and a playoff appearance under their belt. The following season, Coach Brian Haffele took over and the Red Devils continued to build on their success. Under Haffele, from 2005-2018, the Red Devils compiled a record of 130-15, with 11 playoff appearances, three regional titles and 12 City League South titles. Haffele's run at Marion-Franklin is arguably the best run in City League history, for a coach. Though the Red Devils do not have a state title, it is important to point out that each time they were defeated in the regional finals, it was by the eventual state champion. Under Haffele, the Red Devils enjoyed a dominating region final victory in 2013, over an undefeated Athens team led by the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow.
After the 2018 season, Coach Haffele stepped down as coach of the Red Devils, replaced by David Lasko. Lasko is a well respected coach in Central Ohio who guided the Red Devils to take steps in the right direction in 2019. The Red Devils finished 7-4, earning a playoff appearance where they were knocked off by state finalist Licking Valley in the first round. The team‘s four losses in 2019 came against teams who posted a combined record of 42-8. With some key pieces returning, the Red Devils will be one of a handful of teams with a legit shot at the City League South crown and making another playoff appearance.
We at Cap City Preps were able to secure all of Marion-Franklin's game film from 2007-2020. We will be releasing some of the key games over the next few months, as well as offering downloads of entire seasons. Below are some classic playoff battles from the Red Devil’s 2011 & 2012 runs. Check back often for more on Marion-Franklin football.