Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College football team suffered a hard-fought 23-22 last-minute loss to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday at Faught Stadium, but the Grizzlies remain tied for first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC).
Rose-Hulman, 6-2 overall and 5-1 in HCAC, scored the game-winning touchdown with 21 seconds remaining on a 1-yard run by running back Stanley Hogan.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Franklin moved the ball on two passes to its 44-yard line before time expired on an incomplete pass deep into Rose-Hulman territory.
The outcome, combined with Saturday's other scores creates a tie with Franklin, Rose-Hulman, Mount St. Joseph University, and Bluffton University each having one loss heading in the final three weeks of the regular season.
Rose-Hulman's game-winning score was set up by a fumble recovery by defensive back Tyler Brutofsky at Franklin's 29-yard line with the Engineers trailing 22-17 with 2:31 left in the game. The visitors took advantage of the mistake with Hogan covering 14 yards on six carries and quarterback Austin Swenson completing two passes for 15 yards.
Hogan rushed for 121 yards on 33 carries and Swenson completed 45 passes for 362 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Franklin junior quarterback Chase Burton completed 26 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns. The final scoring pass was a 13-yard effort to junior wingback Lee Wroblewski that gave the hosts the 22-17 edge early in the fourth quarter.
Burton's 15-yard scoring pass to junior split end Deontez Alexander gave the Grizzlies an early 6-0 lead after a missed extra-point kick. The lead was built to 9-0 in the first quarter on a 29-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Tanner Anderson.
Rose-Hulman came right back with Swenson finding receivers Michael Iacono and Alec Fisher on consecutive scoring passes that gave the visitors a 14-9 lead.
Then, Burton found junior split end Tanner Wroblewski on a 36-yard completion with 3:45 left in the second quarter, before a 23-yard field by Rose-Hulman placekicker Matt Murray gave Rose-Hulman a 17-16 halftime lead.
The Grizzlies, ranked No. 14 by D3football.com and No. 16 by American Football Coaches Association pollsters, could break part of the four-way first-place tie when they face Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.