/seasons/2010/contrib/201011144a289y

Franklin earns Victory Bell, HCAC outright championship and NCAA automatic bid

More news about: Franklin

FRANKLIN, Ind. – All the spoils went to the victor at Franklin College's Faught Stadium today.

The Grizzlies captured the Victory Bell trophy, their third Heartland Conference outright football championship in four years and their third automatic bid to next week's NCAA Division III playoffs in a 48-25 decision over arch rival Hanover College.

Franklin finished its HCAC schedule with an unblemished 8-0 mark and improved to 9-1 overall. FC, ranked 24th in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll this week, will find out its NCAA playoff assignment on Sunday afternoon.

Senior quarterback Kyle Ray completed 34 of 41 passes for 361 yards and five touchdowns and ran for a score, senior split end Matt Zmich made 11 catches for 101 yards and three TDs and Franklin's defense held the upset-minded Panthers to just 29 net yards rushing and 153 yards of total offense to help the Griz defeat Hanover for the sixth straight year.

In most of their conference games this season, the Grizzlies had the game well in hand by halftime, but despite being mostly stymied by FC's defense from scrimmage, the Panthers held strong.

Hanover fell behind 14-0 when Ray scored on a 1-yard sneak and then passed to Zmich for a 9-yard touchdown in the opening quarter. But the visitors got on the scoreboard when senior Daniel Passafiume broke loose for an 84-yard kickoff return for a score.

Ray, who leads all Division III quarterbacks in passing efficiency, struck again with arm, hitting sophomore split end Kyle Linville this time for a 31-yard touchdown. But Hanover again pulled to within a touchdown by recovering a Franklin fumble on the host's own 2-yard-line and scoring on a pass from junior quarterback C.J. Croft to sophomore running back Colton Zeck.

In the second period, Franklin scored twice as Ray hit Zmich with a 5-yard TD strike and senior running back Darryl Stott rushed for a 1-yard touchdown, but gave up a 2-yard TD pass from Croft to junior tight end Matt Robinette to cap the Panthers' longest sustained scoring drive of 61 yards. Hanover also got two points on a safety on a Franklin punt play to pull to within just five points at 28-23 before Stott's rushing TD.

Franklin, which is eighth in rushing defense, eighth in scoring defense and 12th in total defense in Division III, kept the Panthers' offense off the scoreboard after the intermission.

Ray connected with Zmich on a 5-yard scoring toss early in the third quarter to put FC up 42-23. The Panthers tallied another safety on another errant snap on a punt attempt by Franklin. The Grizzlies closed out the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown strike from Ray to senior wingback Ryan Momberger with a minute left. Momberger had six receptions for 135 yards on the day.

In all, the Grizzlies gained 25 first downs and rolled up 445 yards of total offense.

On defense, senior linebacker Nick Cochran, junior linebacker David O'Rourke and senior linebacker Teddy Henkle made eight total tackles each. Freshman cornerback Zack Corpe had two interceptions, giving him eight for the season, and Cochran had FC's other pick-off.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Box Score Photos Recap Video
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Box Score Photos Recap Video
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap