Franklin Ends Season with 63-17 Setback at Mary Hardin-Baylor in NCAA 2nd Round

BELTON, TX – Host University of Mary Hardin-Baylor put 28 points up on the scoreboard in the opening quarter and went on to rout Franklin College 63-17 in their NCAA Division III football second-round playoff game today.

The host Crusaders, ranked second in both the American Football Coaches Association's Division III Top 25 Poll and D3football.com Top 25 poll, advanced to next week's NCAA quarterfinals round with a 12-0 record. The Grizzlies, 20th in the AFCA ranking and 16th in the D3football.com poll, were eliminated in the second round on the road for the second consecutive year, finishing 9-3 in 2012.

It was the first meeting between the schools.

The Mary Hardin-Baylor defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession and then drove 53 yards in eight plays with Darius Wilson scoring on 1-yard plunge just 3:48 into the game.

LiDarral Bailey hit Tyler Coker with a 32-yard scoring pass on the first play after the Crusaders intercepted to up the host's lead to 14-0 just 45 seconds later.

Bailey would add touchdown passes of 25 yards to Keith Reineke and 1 yard to Coker to give a UMHB a commanding 28-0 lead before the furst quarter ended and before FC could gain a first down.

In the second period, Kamray Runnels rushed for a 14-yard TD and Elijah Hudson scored on a 14-yard run to stretch the Crusaders' lead to 42-0.

Franklin senior kicker Cole Richards (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) hit a 39-yard field goal te get the Grizzlies on the board with 2:19 left in the first half, but Dustin Frye took a swing pass from Jake Sims and raced 70 yards for another UMHB touchdown to make it 49-3 at halftime.

Three of the Crusaders' first-half scores resulted from interceptionjs made. 

The Grizzlies got a pair of touchdown passes from junior quarterback Jonny West (Avon, Ind./H.S.) in the third quarter to pull FC to within 32 points at 49-17.

West found junior split end Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./H.S.) with a 32-yard TD strike and added a three-yard scoring pass to sophomore running back Joey Pasquale (Noblesville, Ind./H.S.) on the final play of the period.

Hudson and Wilson both added 1-yard TD runs for UMHB in the fourth quarter to round out the scoringn.

The Crusaders rolled up 563 yards of total offense with 282 on the ground and 281 through the air. Franklin finished with 310 total yards.

Bailey completed 12 of 15 passes for 136 yards and 3 TDs and added three rushes for 34 more yards despite going to the bench midway through the second quarter. Sims hit 5 of 10 tosses for 139 yards and a touchdown off the bench. Wilson led the UMHB running game with 83 yards and 2 TDs on 15 carries and Geoff Myles had 5 catches for 40 yards.

West finished a long day, completing 26 of 43 pass attempts for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns for Franklin, but was intercepted twice and sacked three times.

Linville caught 11 passes for 154 yards and a TD and sophomore running back Kyle Holzbog (Huntingburg, Ind./Southridge) ran for 22 yards on five carries. Junior linebackers Alex Van Cleve (Evansville, Ind./Mater Dei) and Jordan Segner (Anderson, Ind./Highland) recorded 15 total tackles each to lead the Grizzly defense.

(Photo courtesy of Josh Quinn, Temple Daily Telegram)