/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.

Sep. 19: All times Eastern
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Manchester 52, at Defiance 21
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Sep. 20: All times Eastern
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at Johns Hopkins 41, Moravian 0
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at St. Lawrence 32, Morrisville State 22
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MIT 13, at Becker 6
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Alfred State 27, at Rochester 21
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Brockport 55, at Buffalo State 22
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DePauw 21, at Kenyon 7
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Massachusetts Maritime 42, at Maine Maritime 21
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Salve Regina 62, at Dean 35
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at Hobart 20, Rowan 17
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at St. John Fisher 40, TCNJ 16
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Juniata 44, at Ursinus 38
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at Framingham State 48, Westfield State 21
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Wesley 20, at Endicott 17
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Amherst 24, at Colby 10
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at Methodist 30, Catholic 14
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Middlebury 28, at Bates 0
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at Merchant Marine 45, SUNY-Maritime 0
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at Trinity (Conn.) 61, Bowdoin 7
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at Union 27, Springfield 17
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at Apprentice 49, Gallaudet 13
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Hanover 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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at Trine 21, Concordia (Wis.) 16
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at Westminster (Pa.) 42, St. Vincent 14
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Wesleyan 28, at Hamilton 10
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at Hope 34, Aurora 32
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at Carnegie Mellon 20, Washington and Jefferson 13
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at Washington and Lee 52, Guilford 14
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WPI 31, at Husson 12
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at Albion 56, Eureka 41
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Averett 35, at Ferrum 12
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at Southern Virginia 29, Hampden-Sydney 17
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at Randolph-Macon 20, Emory and Henry 17
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at Franklin and Marshall 34, McDaniel 17
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at Plymouth State 34, Worcester State 9
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at Ithaca 27, Alfred 9
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Wilkes 24, at Lycoming 17
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at Ohio Wesleyan 55, Oberlin 3
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at Muhlenberg 24, Susquehanna 17
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Wabash 48, at Allegheny 35
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at Delaware Valley 28, Stevenson 21
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at Widener 48, FDU-Florham 10
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Alvernia 12
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Dickinson 56, at Gettysburg 20
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Lakeland 28, at Kalamazoo 7
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Concordia-Chicago 23, at Finlandia 12
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Greenville 42, at Northwestern (Minn.) 14
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at UW-Oshkosh 44, Huntingdon 14
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MacMurray 38, at Minnesota-Morris 14
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at Carthage 36, Carroll 7
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Westminster (Mo.) 35, at Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Williams 44, Tufts 8
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at Mount Union 45, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Franklin 34, at Bluffton 19
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at Mount St. Joseph 34, Anderson 7
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Bethany 41, at Waynesburg 17
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John Carroll 14, at Otterbein 7
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Nichols 37, at Anna Maria 20
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at Norwich 17, Coast Guard 14
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at Wilmington 42, Ohio Northern 38
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at Alma 51, Rockford 16
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at UW-Platteville 41, Thomas More 10
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at St. Olaf 36, Carleton 19
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at St. John's 33, Gustavus Adolphus 21
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at Concordia-Moorhead 48, Augsburg 0
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Nebraska Wesleyan 37, at Buena Vista 16
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 20
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at Austin 20, Centre 13
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Wartburg 62, at Luther 10
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Millikin 41, at North Park 7
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UW-Whitewater 28, at St. Xavier 20
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at Lewis and Clark 44, Whittier 41
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St. Thomas 74, at Hamline 14
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King's 41, at Hartwick 19
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at University of New England 31, Castleton 21
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at Olivet 21, Benedictine 6
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at Adrian 32, Wisconsin Lutheran 29
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Sul Ross State 21, at McMurry 7
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at Dickinson St. 23, UW-La Crosse 17
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at Waldorf 27, UW-River Falls 24
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at Willamette 34, Occidental 31
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Western Connecticut 42, at Bridgewater State 33
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at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 24, Pacific Lutheran 17
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at Puget Sound 28, La Verne 24
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at Mass-Dartmouth 37, Fitchburg State 13
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at Wittenberg 14, Wooster 12
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at Dakota St. 38, UW-Stevens Point 21
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at RPI 35, Utica 33
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at Stetson 59, Western New England 28
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North Central (Ill.) 46, at Washington U. 13
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at Marietta 31, Muskingum 25
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at Denison 66, Hiram 7
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Bridgewater 35, at Shenandoah 17
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at Brevard 27, Christopher Newport 6
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at Heidelberg 55, Capital 6
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at Case Western Reserve 52, Grove City 14
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at Geneva 45, Thiel 10
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Coe 24, at Loras 7
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at Augustana 55, Elmhurst 13
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at St. Scholastica 35, Crown 32
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Berry 14, at Trinity (Texas) 10
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Simpson 21, at Dubuque 14
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Birmingham-Southern 49, at Sewanee 30
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Texas Lutheran 31, at East Texas Baptist 21
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 24, Illinois Wesleyan 10
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at Southwestern 50, Louisiana College 3
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 23, Belhaven 13
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at Millsaps 14, Rhodes 0
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at George Fox 26, Pomona-Pitzer 15
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at Redlands 27, Linfield 19
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at Chapman 37, Whitworth 30
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at Cal Lutheran 45, Pacific 28
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Sep. 5: All times Eastern
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Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
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Sep. 6: All times Eastern
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Salisbury 63, at Albright 28
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Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
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Sep. 7: All times Eastern
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North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
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Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
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at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
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Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
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at Susquehanna 42, Lycoming 26
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at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
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at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
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Centre 45, at Hanover 31
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Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
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Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
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St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
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at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
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Whitworth 50, at La Verne 24
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at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
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at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
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Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
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Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
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Washington U. 43, at Chicago 7
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