Franklin Routs Adrian in NCAA Division III Football Playoff 1st-Round Game

Release courtesy of Franklin College

ADRIAN, MI – After being held scoreless in the opening quarter, Franklin College exploded for four touchdowns in the second period and went on to rout host Adrian College 42-10 in their NCAA Division III football playoff game today.

The Grizzlies (9-2), who captured a first-round contest in the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year, improved to 9-2. FC is ranked 20th in this week's American Football Coaches Association Divison III Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The 25th-ranked Bulldogs, who had won nine straight games heading into their first NCAA appearance since 1988, finished at 9-2.

Franklin junior quarterback Jonny West (Avon, Ind./Speedway) completed 24 of 37 passes for 303 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Griz offensive attack.

Junior split end Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./H.S.) made 9 receptions for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns and senior running back Luke Hamm (New Castle, Ind./Shenandoah) rushed 10 times for 68 yards and a score.

The Grizzlies piled up 511 total yards of offense on the Performance Stadium turf to Adrian's 225. FC outgained its host 206-52 on the ground and had 305 passing yards to the Bulldogs' 173.

Franklin got on the scoreboard first when sophomore running back Sam Otley (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 50-yard drive.

The visitors then went up 14-0 when West connected with Linville on a 31-yard TD pass play 3-1/2 minutes later.

Adrian answered with a 2-yard scoring rush by Kyle Smock midway in the quarter, but the Grizzlies reached the end zone twice more before halftime.

West hit Linville with a 7-yard TD strike and then found senior split end Ben Hamlin (Plainfield, Ind./H.S.) with another 7-yard scoring toss to put FC up 28-7.

The Bulldogs then got a 26-yard field goal with time running out before the intermission.

The Grizzlies added one touchdown in both the third quarter (West to Linville on an 8-yard TD pass play) and fourth period (a 5-yard rush by Hamm) to wrap up the scoring assault.

FC's defense was led by junior linebacker Jordan Segner (Anderson, Ind./Highland), who made 10 total tackles and forced a fumble. Junior cornerback Zack Corpe (Granger, Ind./Elkhart Memorial), the HCAC's MVP on Defense in 2012, had 8 total tackles and broke up two passes and junior linebacker Scott Moore (Veedersburg, Ind./Fountain Central) made 8 total tackles.

Franklin evened its record in NCAA III playoff games at 4-4 under head coach Mike Leonard since making its first appearance in 2007.

The Grizzlies will travel down to Belton, Texas to face No. 2 ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday.  Game time has yet to be announced.