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Football Rally Falls Short at Franklin

Football Rally Falls Short at Franklin

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FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a 14-0 deficit to knot the score at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter, before Franklin College pulled away to claim a 41-21 victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon.

Grant Welp led the Franklin offense by finishing 32-45 through the air for 345 yards and three touchdowns.  Zach Cole led the receivers with 93 yards and two touchdown catches for the Grizzlies.

Sophomore Austin Swenson finished 29-43 for 266 yards and two touchdowns as Rose-Hulman gained 373 yards of total offense in the contest.  Junior Aaron Abbott tied for the fifth most receptions in a game in school history with 13 catches for 120 yards to provide a target.  Senior Greg Lee led the ground attack with 77 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, senior Josh Sonneberger led the Fightin' Engineers with 10 tackles and three sacks.  Freshman Kaelen Garner added nine tackles and a red zone interception in the opening quarter to prevent a potential scoring drive.  Sophomore Kevin Nowak and sophomore Kyle Brewer added eight stops each.

Franklin jumped out to an early 14-0 lead with two touchdowns in the first quarter.  The Grizzlies marched 65 yards on their first drive, before Welp and Cole connected on an 11-yard touchdown strike.  The second score was a Welp 15-yard scoring strike to Jonny Hession in the final minute of the first quarter. 

Rose-Hulman marched back to close within 14-7 at the half.  The Fightin' Engineers marched 68 yards in 12 plays late in the second quarter, before Lee scored from one yard out with 2:15 left in the first half.  Franklin reached the outskirts of field goal range late in the opening half, but a missed field goal on the final play kept the score at 14-7 at intermission.

Rose-Hulman tied the score at 14-14 on its first drive of the third quarter.  The Engineers gained 83 yards in 11 plays, with Swenson hitting sophomore Alec Fisher on a 10-yard scoring strike at the 10:44 mark, then junior Craig Larew tied the score with the extra point.

Franklin regianed the lead at 21-14 on its next possession.  Welp scored from one yard out to cap a seven-play march with 8:47 left in the third quarter.

Rose-Hulman tied the score again at 21-21 late in the third quarter.  The Engineers gained 66 yards on eight plays, with Swenson's second touchdown pass of the day tying the score.  He connected with freshman Michael Iacono on a seven-yard screen pass touchdown with 2:13 left.

The Fightin' Engineers gained one possession in the fourth quarter with the score tied and the chance to take the lead.  But Franklin answered defensively, then took the lead on a nine-yard scoring pass from Welp to Cole.  The Grizzlies added two more touchdown runs after defensive stops to secure the final margin of victory.

Franklin improved to 6-2 on the season and 6-0 in conference play, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 5-2 and 3-2 in league games.  The Fightin' Engineers host Manchester University next Saturday at Cook Stadium.