/seasons/2011/contrib/20111121fg1g1b

Franklin holds off second-half comeback by Thomas More to claim NCAA First Round victory

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FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin College withstood a second-half comeback by visiting Thomas More and prevailed 24-21 in their NCAA Division III first round football playoff game at Faught Stadium this afternoon.

Ranked 17th in the D3football.com Top 25 poll and rated 16th in the AFCA Division III Top 25 ranking this week, the Grizzlies (10-1) advanced to the second round where they will meet defending champion Wisconsin-Whitewater (11-0) on Saturday, Nov. 26.

The Warhawks, rated first in both D-III national polls, advanced by routing Albion (Mich.) 59-0 today.

Franklin dominated play most of the first half and took a 17-0 advantage into the halftime intermission. But the Saints (9-2) struck back in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns to pull to within three points.

The Grizzlies got some breathing room when sophomore quarterback Jonny West hit a wide open senior wingback Logan Worley on a 6-yard pass play to put FC up 24-14 with 13:14 to play.

Thomas More fought back to within three points again though when sophomore running back Domonique Hayden rushed for a 6-yard TD with 6:20 left, but Franklin kept the visitors off the scoreboard the rest of the way to win its first NCAA III football playoff game at home in three tries.

FC scored the game's only first-quarter TD when freshman running back Sam Otley scored on a 1-yard run, capping an 80-yard drive.

In the second period, junior kicker Cole Richards booted a 30-yard field goal at the 12:13 mark and sophomore running back Ethan Cook for a 1-yard TD with 3:07 left before the break.

The Saints stunned the hosts and the crowd when sophomore Kendall Owens returned a punt 84 yards to put Thomas More on the board. The visitiors then pulled to within three points when Hayden rushed for his first TD on a 2-yard play midway in the quarter.

West completed 26 of 44 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown with an interception. Sophomore split end Kyle Linville made eight catches and Cook rushed for 44 yards and his TD on 12 carries.

Franklin gained 323 yards of total offense as a team to Thomas More's 246 total.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio Audio Video
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap