FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Defiance College football team opened its 2009 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference schedule on Saturday at No. 23 Franklin. The Jackets could not pull off the upset and suffered their second-straight road loss to a nationally ranked opponent.
The host Grizzlies controlled the action throughout, despite Defiance holding a two-minute edge in time of possession. Franklin averaged over 6.2 yards per play, en route to racking up 441 total yards of offense and 23 first downs in the game. DC countered with 289 total yards of offense on 16 first downs but could not keep pace on the scoreboard and fell by a 41-14 margin.
FC opened the scoring with the first of three unanswered touchdowns, when Nick Purichia found Mitch Deffner for a 15-yard strike at the 8:40 point of the first quarter. The lead doubled to 14-0 just 1:28 later, as Joe Rush hauled in an interception and ran it back 29 yards for the score. Another touchdown pass to start the second quarter widened the gap to 21-0 in favor of Franklin and Defiance could never recover.
A pair of one-yard touchdown runs from Drew Kuesel in the second and third quarters drew the Jackets within 28-14 with 12 minutes left in the third period but the Grizzlies countered with two more touchdown passes to cap the scoring.
Kuesel ended the afternoon with just 37 yards on 16 carries but had the two rushing touchdowns to supply DC's only scores. Nick Wiedenhoft was DC's top offensive threat with 11 catches for 130 yards from his wide receiver position.
Defiance falls to 1-3 overall with its third-straight loss and moves to 0-1 in the HCAC. DC will try to turn things around on Saturday, October 10, when it hosts Manchester (1-3, 1-0 HCAC) at 1:30 pm. The game will highlight DC's 2009 homecoming celebration.