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No. 22 Football Wins HCAC Opener at Defiance

No. 22 Football Wins HCAC Opener at Defiance

Defiance, Ohio - The No. 22-ranked Franklin College football team scored three first-quarter touchdowns and did not look back in picking up a 41-6 road victory against Defiance College in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.

Junior quarterback Chase Burton completed 21 of 29 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns in the first half as the Grizzlies built a 27-0 halftime advantage. The visitors added one touchdown in the third and fourth quarters to cap the scoring in the contest.

Franklin (2-1), ranked No. 22 in D3football.com's Top 25 poll, got on the scoreboard on its first possession as Burton found junior wingback Lee Wroblewski for a 41-yard touchdown pass at the 11:15 mark of the first quarter.

The Grizzlies capped their next offensive drive with a touchdown when Burton hooked up with junior split end Deontez Alexander on a 13-yard touchdown pass. Franklin led 13-0 with 7:38 left in the opening quarter. Alexander caught six passes in the contest.

Later in the period, Burton once again connected with Wroblewski, this time from 15 yards out to give Franklin a 20-0 advantage. Two of Wroblewski's four catches in the game went for touchdowns.

Junior wingback Darrell Crenshaw was on the receiving end of a Burton touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Burton found Crenshaw on consecutive pass plays, capped by a 19-yard strike with 9:14 remaining in the first half. Crenshaw caught a game-high 10 passes for 92 yards in the victory.

In the second half, senior running back Ty'Ronte Files capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive with a 17-yard rushing touchdown to give Franklin a 34-0 lead with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

Franklin found the end zone early in the fourth quarter when freshman quarterback Braden Smith threw his first collegiate touchdown pass to sophomore split end Ben Fleet. The 19-yard pass play increased Franklin's lead to 41-0 at 12:13 mark.

Defiance (1-2) scored a touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the game, but Franklin's special teams blocked the extra point.

Franklin's defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions in the contest. Senior defensive back Taylor Christensen and junior linebacker Jay McClain each recorded an interception for the visitors. Junior defensive lineman Zach Turner forced a fumble with a sack and sophomore defensive lineman Michael Eisberg recovered the loose ball to set up a first-quarter scoring drive.

Senior defensive back Trevon Sevion led Franklin with seven tackles, while junior linebacker Jared Wesley added six tackles in the game.

Franklin returns to action on Saturday, September 24 at 1:30 p.m. when it hosts Bluffton University during the program's Tribute to Service Day Game at Faught Stadium. Bluffton stands 3-0 on the season and defeated Mount St. Joseph University in its league opener on Saturday.