Grizzlies retain Victory Bell

The Franklin College football team won its eighth straight game, defeating host Hanover College 53-13 in the 2015 Victory Bell Classic on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

With the victory, Franklin coach Mike Leonard won the 100th game of his coaching career.

The Grizzlies completed an undefeated Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference season for the fifth time in the past six years. The team won its sixth straight league title and now advances to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Franklin extended its winning streak in the Victory Bell Classic series to 11 straight.

Sophomore quarterback Chase Burton completed 30 of 38 passes for 443 yards and three touchdowns.

Franklin (8-2, 8-0 HCAC) capped its first two drives with rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Ty’Ronte Files scored on a seven-yard touchdown for the game’s first score. Junior running back Kole Stogner capped a seven-play drive on a six-yard rushing touchdown. The two rushing touchdowns gave the Grizzlies a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Grizzlies took a 16-0 lead after junior defensive lineman Devante Ash recorded a safety after Hanover took over on its own three-yard line.

Stogner scored his second rushing touchdown of the first half on a six-yard scamper to give Franklin a 23-0 advantage at the 12:10 mark.

Burton threw the first of his three passing touchdowns midway through the second quarter when he hooked up with senior split end Mason Deal on a six-yard pass. The two later connected on a 27-yard scoring pass to cap a 99-yard drive to give Franklin a 37-0 halftime lead.

Deal caught seven passes for 84 yards and two scores.

Senior tight end Dylan Jenney was on the receiving end of a 54-yard receiving touchdown early in the third quarter.

Sophomore wing back Lee Wroblewski caught a team-high eight passes. Senior wing back Kendal Butler added four receptions for 80 yards. Sophomore split end Darrell Crenshaw and Jenney each caught three passes for over 70 yards.

Defensively, senior linebacker Jeremiah Windell registered a team-high eight tackles. Senior defensive lineman Nate Bryan added six tackles, including four tackles for loss. The Grizzlies recorded two safeties.

Leonard won his 100th game in ending his 13th regular season along the sidelines. He has an overall record of 100-42 and has guided the Grizzlies to seven HCAC titles.

Since 2006, Franklin is 88-24 overall and 72-4 in conference games under Leonard.