Franklin, 9-3, has lost in the second round game three years in a row.
Franklin took the opening kickoff, completed a pass, but QB Jonny West, the Division III leader in passing yards, was intercepted by Warhawk defensive back Brady Grayvold (Norway, MI/Norway) on the next play. UW-W took over at their own 43. UW-W quarterback Matt Behrendt(Westchester, IL/Nazareth Academy) completed six of eight passes on the Warhawks' nine play drive, capped by a nine yard toss to split end Jake Kumerow (Bartlett, IL/South Elgin) for the touchdown. Erick Kindler's kick made it 7-0 with 10:52 left in the first quarter.
Backed to their 13 by a punt, Franklin moved the ball to their own 32. The Grizzlies' punt was negated by a Warhawk penalty, continuing the drive at their 47. That drive stalled at Whitewater's 32 after two incomplete passes and a sack by UW-W defensive end Mykeall Bratchett.
After the ensuing punt rolled into the end zone, UW-W took over on its 20. The Warhawks put together an eleven play drive, highlighted by Behrendt going 4-5 and Ryan Givens (Milwaukee/Milwaukee Riverside) four rushes for 17 yards. Behrendt connected with wideout Justin Howard (West Bend/Homestead) on the final play of the drive, scoring from 14 yards out. Kindler upped the margin to 14-0 with 14:06 remaining in the half.
Franklin responded with its best drive of the first half, taking the ball from its own 24 to the Whitewater three in thirteen plays. Facing a fourth and three at the six, Franklin elected to go for the touchdown, but West's low pass to Michael Maloian was ruled incomplete.
The Warhawk offense took over and pushed the ball all the way to the Franklin six, when the Grizzllies' defense stiffened, stuffing two rushes for losses and forcing an incomplete pass. Kindler came on to boot a 29 yard field goal to make it 17-0 with 1:02 left in the half.
The half did not end quietly. A Franklin punt turned into a 63 yard return by Justin Howard (West Bend/Homestead), but Franklin retained possession on a UW-W penalty. Franklin's next play, a West pass, was intercepted by Grayvold for the second time in the half.
UW-W's defense limited the Grizzlies to 85 yards offense, including minus eight on the ground. Whitewater was hindered by five penalties for 67 yards. Tyler Huber (North Prairie/Mukwonago) caught five passes for 70 yards to lead the UW-W offense, while All-American wideout Kyle Linville joined Maloian with three catches for Franklin.
Franklin was backed up to its eight on its first drive of the second half, but a 50 pass from West to tight end Dylan Jenney moved the ball to the Whitewater 35. Four plays later Mike Woods' 46 yard field goal put Franklin on the board, trailing 17-3 with 9:34 left in the third.
Later in the period Franklin punter Michael Parks was blocked by Loussaint Minett (Whitewater/Whitewater) and recovered by Ryan Cortez(Palatine, IL/Palatine) to give UW-W possession at the Franklin 29. Behrendt tossed his third scoring pass of the game, this time for 29 yards to Kumerow, his touchdown of the day, with 4:10 left in the third quarter. Whitewater's lead stood at 23-3 after the PAT failed.
Late in the fourth quarter circumstances forced Franklin to try to convert a fourth and two at its nineteen. After UW-W stuffed the run attempt for a loss of four yards it took just four plays for Kindler to add a 35 yard field goal to his day, boosting the Whitewater lead to 26-3 with 613 on the clock.
With Franklin back on its heels in a pass only situation, West tossed a pick-six to Grayvold, who picked the ball off at the Franklin 41. Kindler made it 33-3 at 5:01. Grayvold's third interception of the game ties the school record, the fourth Warhawk to accomplish the feat and the first since Ron Riley did it in a win over Milton College in 1981. It is also the most West has thrown in a game this season.
Franklin ended with four yards rushing, the lowest total allowed by the UW-W defense this year and also the fewest Franklin has totaled. The Grizzlies' three points is their lowest output of the season. Grayvold keyed the four turnovers by the Grizzlies, their highest total this year.
Franklin limited Whitewater to 79 yards rushing, the Warhawks' lowest production of the season. On the other hand, Whitewater's 33 points is the most by a Franklin opponent this season. The Grizzlies were penalized twice for 18 yards, their lowest total of the season, and they punted three times, the fewest by a Warhawk opponent. Linville had eleven receptions for 105 yards, the most, in both categories, by a 2013 Warhawk opponent. FC linebacker Jordan Segner racked up a team season high 12 tackles.
This was the fourth meeting between UW-W and Franklin. Their first meeting came in the 2010 playoffs, with UW-W winning 52-21 in Perkins Stadium in a first round game. . The following year UW-W won a regular season meeting 45-0 at Franklin, then faced the Grizzles in the second round of the playoffs and won 41-14.
Whitewater has faced Linfield twice. In 2005 the Warhawks prevailed 44-41 at McMinnville in the third round of the NCAA III playoff. The second meeting came in the 2009 playoffs, with UW-W winning 27-17 at Perkins Stadium in a playoff semifinal.