Time of Poss.
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College became the first team to score against No. 21 Franklin in over a month and used four first-half turnovers from the Grizzlies to put an early scare into the visitors. The Jackets trailed by only a touchdown deep into the third, before FC pulled away for the 35-14 victory.
Defiance struck first against the HCAC-leading Franklin squad, scoring four plays after Gregg Pickett recovered a fumble on the FC 22-yard marker. A pass interference call moved the ball to the nine-yard line, before a pair of four-yard rushes from Trevon Burrell and Garrett Teague put the ball on the one. Burrell then punched it in for a 7-0 Defiance lead with 6:04 left in the opening period.
The Grizzlies answered on their next possession, marching 57 yards in 92 seconds to draw even. Franklin then pushed in front with two more scores to build a 21-7 cushion with 3:28 left in the first half.
Another fumble by Franklin opened the door for DC's second score of the afternoon, as Vinnie Perez scooped up the loose ball on the Franklin 28 to give the Purple and Gold outstanding fielding position once again.
This time, the Jackets struck through the air, as Teague hit Andre Doran for 24 yards and then connected with Brian Mircovich for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 left in the half.
The score would remain 21-14 through much of the third quarter, until another turnover changed the tide of the contest. This time Franklin benefitted from the miscue, as Zack Corpe intercepted a Teague offering at the Franklin 35 and ran it back to the Defiance 25-yard line.
The up-tempo FC offense handled the rest, as Jonny West found Luke Hamm for a 22-yard touchdown reception just moments later to extend the Franklin lead to 28-14 with 14 seconds left in the third frame.
Franklin (6-2, 6-0 HCAC) would tack on another score in the fourth and kept the Jackets from any further damage to complete the 35-21 contest.
Defiance struggled to move the ball on the ground all afternoon against the HCAC's leading rush and overall defense, managing a season-low 38 yards on the ground on 47 carries.
The Jackets did do damage through the air however, as Doran hauled in personal-bests with seven catches for 113 yards and Mircovich caught six passes for 52 yards on one touchdown.
The 14 points by DC were the most allowed by Franklin since Earlham scored 20 against the Grizzlies in a 70-20 FC victory back on September 22. Since that game, Franklin had outscored its opposition by a 163-0 margin entering Saturday's action at Coressel Stadium.
The Defiance defense also played well in the losing effort, racking up five takeaways and holding Franklin's highly touted offense to its lowest scoring output in HCAC play this season.
Mason Foulk led the way with a career-high 10 tackles and one forced fumble, while Blaine McGowan added nine stops. Pickett, Perez, Jorry Matherson and Andrew Leverenz all recovered fumbles for Defiance, while Matt Forry pulled down an interception to go with seven hits.
Defiance (2-7, 2-5 HCAC) will take a week off, before concluding its 2012 campaign at Bluffton (5-3, 4-2 HCAC) on Saturday, November 10 at 1:30 pm.