Franklin, Ind. - The No. 11-ranked Franklin College football improved to 6-0 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play with a 41-7 victory over Defiance College on Senior Day at Faught Stadium. The Grizzlies have scored 40 or more points in six straight games.
Franklin (6-2, 6-0 HCAC) honored 18 seniors prior to the game. The senior class is 30-0 in HCAC games and is looking to become the first team to win four consecutive league titles.
Senior preseason All-American quarterback Jonny West (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) increased his NCAA Division III lead for touchdown passes, tossing for five scores in the victory. He now has thrown for 35 touchdowns this season.
West first found senior preseason All-American wide receiver Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) for a two-yard score to cap the game's first possession. The score marked the seventh straight game that the Grizzlies have recorded a score on the first possession of a game.
Junior running back Joey Pasquale (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) had an eight-yard reception to give the hosts a 14-0 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter.
Defiance (3-6, 3-4 HCAC) cut into the deficit on a 22-yard run from Daniel Colling at the 3:04 mark of the opening quarter.
West was on the receiving end of a touchdown pass from sophomore Kendal Butler (Toledo, Ill./Cumberland) in the early minutes of the second quarter. The score gave the Grizzlies a 21-7 advantage.
Franklin took a 28-7 halftime lead after freshman Zay Thornton (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard) caught an 11-yard pass from West with 10 seconds remaining in the period.
The hosts added two more passing touchdowns in the third quarter – a two-yard hookup with Linville and a 26-yard pass to Butler.
The Grizzlies recorded 438 yards of total offense, including 308 yards through the air. Pasquale led the ground attack with 124 yards, becoming the team's first 100-yard rusher of the season. He also had nine catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.
West finished 30-of-48 for 305 yards and five touchdowns, and also caught the one touchdown pass. Linville was his main target with 15 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, senior Jordan Segner (Anderson, Ind./Highland) led the unit with 11 tackles. Fellow senior Dominique Boyd (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) had nine stops, including 1.5 quarterback sacks on the afternoon. Senior Matt Walker (North Vernon, Ind./Jennings County) recorded eight tackles.
Franklin goes on the road for the final two regular-season games, beginning on Saturday, November 9 at Bluffton University (Ohio). Live statistics of the game will be available at www.franklingrizzlies.com.