Franklin overcomes slow start before racing past Adrian, into second round
ADRIAN, Mich. – After being held scoreless in the opening quarter, Franklin exploded for four touchdowns in the second period and went on to rout host Adrian 42-10 in a Division III football playoff game Saturday.
The Grizzlies (9-2), who captured a first-round contest in the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year, improved to 9-2. The Bulldogs, who had won nine consecutive games heading into their first NCAA appearance since 1988, finished at 9-2.
Franklin junior quarterback Jonny West completed 24 of 37 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Griz offensive attack.
Junior split end Kyle Linville made nine receptions for 176 yards and three touchdowns and senior running back Luke Hamm rushed 10 times for 68 yards and a score.
The Grizzlies piled up 511 total yards of offense on the Performance Stadium turf to Adrian’s 225.
FC got on the scoreboard first when sophomore running back Sam Otley rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 50-yard drive.
The visitors then went up 14-0 when West connected with Linville on a 31-yard TD pass play less than four minutes later.
Adrian answered with a 2-yard scoring rush by Kyle Smock midway in the quarter, but the Grizzlies reached the end zone twice more before halftime.
West hit Linville with a seven-yard TD strike and then found senior split end Ben Hamlin with another seven-yard scoring toss to put FC up 28-7.
The Bulldogs then got a 26-yard field goal with time running out before the intermission.
The Grizzlies added one touchdown in both the third quarter (West to Linville on an eight-yard TD pass play) and fourth period (a five-yard rush by Hamm) to wrap up the scoring assault.