Bluffton, Ohio - The Franklin College football team had its 31-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) winning streak ended in a 24-17 loss at Bluffton University on Saturday. The Grizzlies stand 6-3 and is 6-1 in HCAC action.
Bluffton (3-6, 3-4 HCAC) scored the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining. Donovan Brown caught a 44-yard deflected pass to give the hosts a 24-17 lead.
The Beavers took a 7-0 lead on a Connor Sheehan 73-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Frost in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies cut the lead to 7-3 following a 26-yard field goal by Mike Wood at the 14:12 mark of the first half. Bluffton converted a 25-yard field goal from Zach Rader midway through the second quarter.
Franklin tied the game at 10 on a nine-yard touchdown rush from senior quarterback Jonny West (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.
In the second half, Bluffton's Connor Sheehan capped a nine-play, 69-yard drive with a one-yard score. The score gave the Beavers a 17-10 advantage with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Franklin squared the game at 17-17 after freshman running back Kole Stogner (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood) scored on a three-yard touchdown carry with 3:40 left in the contest.
After Franklin had its fourth turnover of the game, Bluffton converted with the winning score.
Individually, West threw for 316 yards and completed 33 passes. Senior Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) had eight catches for 124 yards. Junior Dylan Jenney (Floyd Knobs, Ind./Floyd Knobs) recorded eight receptions, while Stogner added eight catches.
Junior Joey Pasquale (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) led the rushing attack with 72 yards on nine attempts. Stogner recorded 62 yards on the ground and a score.
Franklin returns to action on Saturday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m. at Hanover College in the annual Victory Bell Classic. A win would give the Grizzlies their fourth consecutive HCAC title. Live statistics of the game will be available at www.franklingrizzlies.com. In-game updates will be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics).