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Franklin stays undefeated in HCAC

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Franklin freshman Kole Stogner had two carries for 40 yards in the Grizzlies 67-7 triumph against visiting Anderson
Franklin freshman Kole Stogner had two carries for 40 yards in the Grizzlies 67-7 triumph against visiting Anderson

Another day, another lopsided conference win for the Franklin College football team.

Led by senior quarterback Jonny West’s four first-half touchdown passes, raising his nation-leading season total to 25, Franklin rolled past Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson 67-7 on Saturday at Stewart “Red” Faught Stadium.

For the No. 14 Division III Grizzlies, it was their 30th consecutive win against a Heartland Collegiate Athletic conference opponent. They are 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the HCAC.

Anderson drops 0-6 overall and to 0-4 in the HCAC.

Franklin coach Mike Leonard, who went shoeless to support the world-wide children’s organization Samaritans Feet, said the Grizzlies attention will immediately shift to next Saturday’s critical conference showdown at Rose-Hulman.

Both teams are unbeaten in league play.

“They’re playing really well. They’re coming off a bye week, and their coaches are here watching us play,” Leonard said. “The goal now is to rise to the occasion, and I expect our players to do just exactly that.”

Each of Franklin’s HCAC wins have been convincing. Leonard said the performances are strong testimony to the Grizzlies’ ability to stay focused, even when outcomes are essentially decided by halftime.

“There were a lot of guys who were getting in for the first time in the second half, and we as coaches had to make sure that we were focused,” Leonard said. “I made a little challenge to the whole team at halftime saying, we’re up 51-0, let’s set a goal and act like we’re down 20, and that’ll keep everybody on the sidelines enthused.

“It really kept everybody into it.”

Against Anderson, the Grizzlies put the game out of reach in the first quarter by scoring 35 points.

Franklin senior linebacker Scott Moore got things started with a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown a little over two minutes into the game.

From there, West went to work, completing touchdown passes to junior tight end Dylan Jenney, followed by one each to junior Zach Cole and freshman Zay Thornton.

West and most of the offensive and defensive starters did not play in the second half.

With 15 ball carriers, Franklin rushed the ball for 226 yards.

On the day, the Grizzlies used five quarterbacks, resulting in a total of 376 net yards. Franklin had 13 different players catch passes.

The Grizzlies amassed a total of 602 yards of offense compared to Anderson’s 167.

Defensively, Franklin recorded four quarterback sacks, resulting in a net loss of 41 yards.

Sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Windell had nine tackles, and senior Colin Gallagher recorded six stops and a recovered fumble.

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