Franklin, Ind. - No. 13-ranked Franklin College suffered its second straight three-point loss, falling 31-28 to NCAA Division I-FCS Butler University on Saturday night at Faught Stadium. The game was the Grizzlies' first football night contest.
The Grizzlies (0-2) tied the game at 21-21 after a six-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jonny West (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) to senior split end Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) with 8:48 left in the contest.
Franklin forced Butler (2-1) to punt on its next offensive drive. Senior Dominique Boyd (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) blocked the punt to give the hosts the ball at the Butler 31-yard line.
The Grizzlies moved the ball inside the Bulldogs' five-yard line, but David Burke intercepted a pass in the end zone to end the scoring threat.
Butler proceeded to move the ball down the field and took a 28-21 lead after Matt Lancaster's one-yard rushing touchdown with 2:39 left in the game. The lead grew to 31-21 after Jon Treloar's 33-yard field goal in the final minute.
However, Franklin wasn't done as Zack Corpe (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial) returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to keep within striking distance.
Butler recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.
Linville became Franklin's career record holder for receptions (216), breaking Joel Taylor's mark of 207 catches. He led the team's offensive effort with 13 receptions for 154 yards.
West threw for 360 yards after completing 36 of 58 passes and three touchdowns.
Franklin built a 14-0 lead after touchdown passes to junior Jonny Hession (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) in the first quarter. Junior Dylan Jenney (Floyd Knobs, Ind./Floyd Knobs) hauled in a 27-yard pass at the 12:46 mark of the second quarter.
Butler cut into the lead, 14-7, after an 18-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Lancaster's one-yard score with 41 seconds left.
In the second half, the Bulldogs tied the game following a six-yard rushing touchdown by Trae Heeter. Then, Lancaster threw for a score to Brandon Collins to give the visitors a 21-14 advantage with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
Franklin returns to the field on Saturday, September 21 at 1:30 p.m. against Manchester University in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener.