FRANKLIN, Ind. – In the rain on Saturday afternoon after an open week, the Defiance College football team fell, 28-0, to the host Franklin College Grizzlies in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup at Faught Stadium.
Despite giving up a season-low 28 points, Defiance was unable to generate much offense against Franklin, which is a perennial contender for the HCAC championship.
On the game's opening possession, the Yellow Jackets came away with a turnover when freshman Jaylen Redd (Memphis, Tenn./Germantown) forced a fumble that was recovered by Steven Lucas (Warren, Mich./Center Line).
DC made the Grizzlies punt on their next possession, but a couple of lost fumbles by the guests deep in their own territory led to touchdowns for FC. Franklin reached the end zone on runs of 15 and 3 yards at the 6:13 and 3:03 marks, respectively, of the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
With 1:12 left before the intermission, the hosts upped their advantage with a 26-yard touchdown pass and led, 21-0, at halftime.
In a scoreless third period, Defiance turned the ball over twice, once on an interception and the other time with a fumble, halting its first two drives of the second half. The Yellow Jackets played solid defense, however, and forced punts after each miscue.
DC's best possession of the day followed. Defiance started at its own 12-yard line and moved 45 yards to the Grizzlies' 43 before punting.
At the start of the fourth quarter, FC lost a fumble that was recovered by the Yellow Jackets' Rigo Villa (Fort Myers, Fla./Lehigh). Taking over at its own 23-yard line, DC drove to Franklin's 39 before giving the ball up on downs.
The Grizzlies responded with a touchdown drive that was capped off on a 6-yard pass, giving them a 28-0 advantage with 7:38 to go.
Defiance threw another interception, giving the ball back to FC, on the ensuing possession. The hosts gained only 13 yards on their final drive, though, as the Yellow Jackets' defense again played tough.
The contest featured eight fumbles, five by DC and three by Franklin.
The Grizzlies finished with 288 total yards while Defiance had 147. The Yellow Jackets passed for 142 yards to FC's 62. DC punted seven times and Franklin six
For Defiance, Cole Recker (Monument, Colo./Lewis Palmer) threw for 133 yards on eight completions, including a 31-yard strike to Terry Geiger (Columbus, Ohio/Columbus Crusaders), who ended with game highs of four receptions and 72 yards. On defense, Redd and Villa collected a game-best seven tackles each.
The Yellow Jackets drop to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in conference action while the Grizzlies improve to 4-4 and 3-2, respectively. DC is back on the road next Saturday to take on the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers. Kickoff for the conference contest is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Terre Haute, Indiana.