Special to the Daily Journal
Franklin College didn’t get a record-breaking shutout, but its defense played a major role Saturday in the Grizzlies’ 35-14 victory at upset-minded Defiance.
Franklin was attempting to keep its opponent from scoring for the fourth straight game, as the Grizzlies tied the 1923 season’s school record of three straight last week. Although they didn’t get the shutout, they stopped several scoring threats by the Yellow Jackets in the second half to keep their record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference perfect this season.
Ranked 21st in this week’s D3football.com Top 25 Poll, the Grizzlies overcame five turnovers on the day and improved to 6-0 in the HCAC and 6-2 overall with its 24th consecutive triumph in a HCAC game.
Defiance fell to 2-5 in the HCAC and 2-7.
It didn’t take long for the Yellow Jackets to end Franklin’s shutout bid when they capitalized on a fumble recovery with a 1-yard touchdown run by Trevon Burrell midway in the opening quarter.
Franklin answered with two rushing touchdowns in the period, the first on a 12-yard run by senior running back Luke Hamm, the second a 1-yard score by junior quarterback Jonny West.
The Grizzlies took a two-touchdown lead when West hit junior split end Kyle Linville with a 39-yard strike with 3-1/2 minutes left before halftime, but Defiance responded with a touchdown pass play of its own when quarterback Grant Teague hit Brian Mircovich on an 8-yard play at the 1:09 mark.