Big plays help Franklin pull away in third quarter against Defiance

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FRANKLIN, Ind. (Sept. 24) – Franklin College put three touchdowns up on the scoreboard in the third quarter, pulling away from visiting Defiance to win 52-14 in a Heartland Conference football clash at Faught Stadium today.

The Grizzlies improved to 2-0 in the HCAC and 3-1 overall, winning their 12th straight league contest. The Yellow Jackets fell to 0-2 in the conference and 0-4 in all games.

FC senior running back Reece Craig rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yard scoring burst in the third period, on 13 carries and sophomore quarterback Jonny West threw for 318 yards and one score to help the Griz overpower Defiance.

Sophomore running back Ethan Cook also rushed for two touchdowns – a 1-yard run late in the opening quarter and a 9-yard run with four minutes left in the first half.

Franklin tallied five touchdowns on the ground in all.

The Grizzlies opened the scoring when Craig ran in from two yards out at the 10;22 mark of the first period. After Cook's first TD, Defiance cut FC's lead in half when quarterback Aaron Spencer rushed for a 2-yard score early in the second quarter.

Cook put Franklin up 21-7 with his second touchdown, but Spencer answered with a 9-yard rushing TD with just 47 seconds remaining in the opening half.

But Franklin drove downfield close enough in the waning seconds to set up a 30-yard field goal made by junior kicker Cole Richards.

Big plays highlighted the third period for the Griz.

After West rifled an eight-yard scoring toss to sophomore split end Kyle Linville, Craig broke loose to score on his 55-yard run and sophomore cornerback Zack Corpe smelled out the first pass tossed by Defiance subsitute quarterback Rick Powell, picked it off and scampered 69 yards into the end zone.

The game's final points were scored by Franklin sophomore running back Kyle Holzbog on a 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.

For the day, Franklin outgained the Yellow Jackets in total offensive yards 469 to 385.

The Grizzlies' defense was led by sophomore inside linebacker Sanchez Tate, who made seven total tackles.