Sunday, October 13, 2013
Host Franklin College jumped out to a 21-10 first quarter lead, and had a 28-point lead at the half en route to a 55-27 HCAC win on Saturday against the Mount. The Lions, 3-2 overall, 3-1 in the conference, will return to action on Oct. 19 when they host 2013 Homecoming with a game against HCAC-foe Defiance College (3-3, 3-1 HCAC). The loss to the Grizzlies drops the Lions into a third place tie in the conference with the Yellow Jackets, behind Rose-Hulman (4-0) and Franklin (3-0).
The Grizzlies were voted the HCAC Pre-season favorite by the league coaches before the season and their offense got about proving that early on against the Lions. The Mount scored its first TD of the game early in the first quarter when Caleb Watkins (Middletown, OH/Middletown) hooked up with Leonard Riston (Cincinnati, OH/Withrow) on a 65-yard pass play. The Lions cut the 21-10 deficit to 21-17 when Watkins tossed his second TD pass of the first half with 12:21 showing on the second quarter clock, to John Peters (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) on a three-yard play, and Shane Kelly (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) added the PAT kick. Franklin answered that score just 18 seconds later, scoring on a 71-TD pass. Kelly's 35-yard field goal with 8:15 to play would end the Lions scoring in the half, and cut the Franklin lead to 28-20. The Grizzlies, however, would score three more times in the first half, mainly taking advantage of the Mount's pass defense, to take a 48-20 halftime lead. Franklin had over 380 yards of total offense in the first half, scoring touchdowns on seven of 11 possessions, while the Lions had just over 250 of total offense and punted five times out of their 10 possessions.
Franklin would add another TD in the third quarter, their seventh passing TD of the game, while Peters and Watkins would hook up again on another scoring play, this time from 15 yards early in the fourth quarter to end the scoring in the game. Both teams subbed liberally throughout the second half as the Grizzlies, ranked 14th in the nation, went on to their third win of the season, all in HCAC play.
Watkins finished 22-of-41 for 261 yards, throwing three TDs and one interception. Riston had a team-high nine receptions for a game-high 183 yards. Franklin finished with 511 total offensive yards to the Mount's 278. The Mount recovered one fumble - by Brent McCleerey (Mooresville, IN/Monrovia) - and had two interceptions. Montez Patterson (Cincinnati, OH/Hughes) led the team with seven tackles.