WEEK EIGHT PREVIEW | Grizzlies Close Out Home Schedule Against Defiance on Senior Day Saturday

Photo: Tom Low
Photo: Tom Low

Watch Live on GrizTV | Live Stats | Game Notes (PDF)

The Opening Kick
The 2019 home schedule comes to a close on Saturday afternoon when the Defiance Yellow Jackets come to Faught Stadium for an afternoon showdown. Prior to the opening kick, the Franklin football program will say "Thank You" to its 23 members enjoying their final home game with the senior day ceremonies.
 
Last Time Out
The Grizzlies welcomed Manchester to Faught Stadium last Saturday afternoon and thanks to a big fourth quarter, the Spartans came away with a 30-21 win. A full recap and box score can be found on page 14 of the game notes.
 
About the Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets are still in search of their first win in 2019 following a defeat at the hands of Hanover two weeks ago.
 
Points have been tough to come by for the Jackets this year with teams limiting Defiance to 11.6 points per game. On four occasions this season, Defiance has been held to seven points or fewer, including each of the last two contests.
 
Sophomore Reggie Washington has taked the bulk of the snaps under center, throwing for 669 yards and completing 42.5% of his attempts. Washington is also the team's leading rusher, accumulating 192 yards on the ground. Terry Geiger leads all receivers with 19 catches for 215 yards. 
 
On defense, junior Steven Lucas leads the team with 44 stops on the year, ranking ninth among all HCAC players. Freshman Damon Thomas' four sacks leads the team and Maurice Ponder's two INTs lead the secondary. 
 
Last Time They Met
The two teams clashed in early October last year, a contest that saw the Grizzlies head to Ohio and return home with a 55-28 win. Franklin accumulated nearly 700 yards of offense on the afternoon, with Jacob Earl rushing for 158 on the ground and adding 112 receiving yards. Six different Grizzlies found the end zone during the rout with the team racking up 32 first downs on the afternoon. 
 
Thank You, Seniors
Saturday's game marks the final afternoon as players for 22 student-athletes and one student assistant. Join us before the game to recognize Tre Akers, Matt Anderson, Jesse Crebbe, Cole Daab, Garrett Day, Jacob Earl, Jacob Ferguson, Alex Frey, Austin Grunden, Brady Hale, Bryce Hale, Payton Healy, Jordy Jackson, Ian Jenks, Chris Knight, John McKinney, Levi Schwartz, Brayton Shannon, Joey Siderewicz, Braden Smith, Robbie Strader, Rob Witham and Ben Woodward for their contributions to the program over the last four years.
 
Ground and Pound
Franklin's rushing attack has been the focal point of the offense in 2019, with four seniors leading the charge. Earl, Smith, Healy and Grunden have combined for 1,359 yards on the ground at 5.7 yards per attempt.
 
Black Mass
Freshman linebacker Aaron Black had a career-best 14 tackles last Saturday, giving him 35 stops on the year which is the most for a Franklin rookie since Dmitri Wilson in 2014.
 
Stuffing the Competition
Senior Brayton Shannon and junior Evan Stambaugh enter the week as the top two tacklers in the league. Shannon's 71 stops are the year give him the conference league with Stambaugh ranking second with 52 tackles. 
 
Return on Investment
Freshman Jarrett Gibson has emerged as the league's top kick returner, racking up an HCAC-best 555 return yards through four games. Gibson leads the Grizzlies with 680 all-purpose yards entering this week.
 
Around the HCAC
It's a full slate of league games on Saturday with all eight teams vying for position in the league. The remainder of Saturday's schedule is as follows: 
Anderson at Bluffton, 1:30 PM
Manchester at Hanover, 1:30 p.m.
Mount St. Joseph at Rose-Hulman, 4 p.m. 
 
Follow the Action Live
Saturday's game will be streamed by live on GrizTV, brought to you by the Hubler Automotive Group. Sam Weiderhaft will have the play-by-play action between the Grizzlies and Ravens. Links to the video and live stats are available at the top of the page. In-game updates will be provided on our Twitter feed, @FCGrizAthletics.