Franklin College Selected by Coaches to Win Fourth Straight HCAC Crown

2013 Schedule

GREENWOOD, IN – Franklin College claimed their fifth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football title last fall, boasting an 8-0 conference mark for the third straight season.   The Grizzlies have been selected as the favorite to win a fourth-straight league crown in 2013, according to a poll of the HCAC's nine head coaches.

Franklin, who was 9-3 overall in 2012, held off Hanover College in the preseason poll receiving 79 points and seven first place votes. Hanover placed second in the voting with 67 points and the final two first place votes, while Manchester University finished third with 54 points.  The College of Mount St. Joseph (45), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (44), Bluffton University (43), Defiance College (40), Earlham College (19), and Anderson University (14) round out the poll.

Along with their goal of receiving a fourth consecutive conference crown and NCAA Division III playoff berth, the Grizzlies will also be going for their sixth title in seven years under the direction of five-time HCAC Coach of the Year Mike Leonard. 

The team's 26-straight HCAC victories are tied for the fourth longest active conference winning streak in the country as Franklin returns 20 starters from last season's team.

The No. 19 ranked Grizzlies (D3football.com) will be directed on offense by senior quarterback Jonny West (Speedway, Ind./H.S.).  The senior quarterback was one of four Grizzlies to earn Preseason All-America honors from D3football.com and currently leads NCAA Division III with 19 victories and 65 touchdowns as a starting QB.  West led the HCAC in touchdowns (33) and passing yards per game (262.6) last fall.  The Grizzlies also return Preseason All-America wide receiver Kyle Linville (Speedway, Ind./H.S.) as he comes back for his senior season.  Linville led the league with 1,426 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior and currently holds five school records.  The senior also enters the 2013 season leading all active NCAA football players with 39 career touchdown receptions.  The blue and gold offensive attack was the most feared in the HCAC last season, averaging 39.7 points and 450.3 yards per game.

Franklin's defense returns 2012 HCAC Defensive Most Valuable Player Zack Corpe (Granger, Ind./Elkhart) after tallying seven interceptions as a junior.  Corpe has 16 career interceptions and has helped anchor a defense that posted three straight conference shutouts in 2012. The Franklin defense led the HCAC in scoring defense (21.6 ppg) and total defense (311.2 ypg) last fall.

Franklin fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs 63-17 at Mary Hardin-Baylor last November.  It was the second straight year FC fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The Grizzlies will begin the 2013 season at No. 1 ranked Mount Union on September 7.

Franklin Head Coach Mike Leonard

Hanover College finished in a tie for second in the conference standings in 2012, finishing the conference campaign with a 6-2 record and a 6-4 overall mark.  The Panthers will look to compete for a league title this fall and put an end to rival Franklin's reign.  Hanover ranked second in the HCAC in scoring offense (40.0 ppg) and total offense (450.9 ypg) during league play last season.  Junior running back Spencer Corrao (New Albany, Ind./Providence) returns to the fold after earning First Team All-HCAC honors as a sophomore.  Corrao rushed for 781 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Hanover offense.  Senior quarterback Dexter Britt (Louisville, Ky./Male) earned Second Team All-HCAC honors last fall.  Britt completed a conference-best 66.7% of his passes as a junior for 2,604 yards and 31 touchdowns.  Hanover will open the season at home against Illinois College on September 7.

Manchester University placed alongside Hanover in the league standings last fall with a 6-2 mark (6-4 overall).  The Spartans graduated four First-Team All-HCAC selections from a year ago.  The black and gold had the third ranked scoring offense (30.8 ppg) and fourth ranked scoring defense (21.9 ppg) during conference action last fall.  Senior quarterback Nick Williams (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Elmhurst) returns after earning a spot on the Second Team All-HCAC squad.  Williams led the Spartans in rushing and passing in 2012, tallying 829 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground and 1,216 yards and nine touchdowns through the air.  MU also returns five other First or Second Team All-HCAC selections from a year ago to help lead Coach Shannon Griffith's Spartans in a quest for a league crown.  Manchester will host Trine on Thursday, September 5 to open the season.

The College of Mount St. Joseph finished sixth in the standings last fall, finishing 3-5 in league action and 4-6 overall.  The Lions will look to replace HCAC Offensive Player of the Year James Clay on the offensive side of the football.  Clay led the NCAA in rushing with over 2,000 yards in 2012.  MSJ ranked fifth in the conference in offense (21.2 ppg/352.0 ypg) and second in scoring defense (19.9 ppg).  Junior linebacker Konnor Blevins (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West) and senior defensive back Tyler Elrod (Harrison, Ohio/H.S.) will look to anchor the MSJ defense in 2013.  Blevins tallied 63 tackles, three tackles for loss, and an interception last season, while Elrod hauled in a team-high three interceptions.  Mount St. Joseph will travel to Augustana (IL) on September 7 to open the season.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology finished in a tie for fourth in the HCAC with a 5-3 record and a 5-5 overall record.  The Engineers will look to improve upon last year's defense that ranked last overall in total defense (455.3 ypg).  RHIT returns First Team All-HCAC defensive lineman Dean Griffing (Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian) after a successful junior season.  Griffing ranked second in the HCAC in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (10) last fall, while adding 52 tackles and two forced fumbles.  On offense, the Engineers will turn to first year starter Ryan Landwehr (Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe) at quarterback and sophomore wide receiver Aaron Abbott (Lebanon, Ohio/H.S.). As a junior, Landwehr completed 11 of his 27 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, while Abbott led Rose with 49 receptions for 505 yards and six touchdowns.  The Engineers will kick off the season on September 7 at Kalamazoo.

Bluffton University finished alongside Rose-Hulman in the HCAC standings last fall with a 5-3 mark (6-4 overall).  Bluffton's offense finished the season ranked seventh in the HCAC in both scoring and total offense, scoring 19.4 points per game and compiling 325.2 yards per contest. BU returns First Team All-HCAC selection Shawn Frost (Edison, Ohio/Mt. Gilead) and Co-Freshman of the Year Calib Alexander (Ocala, Fla./St. John Lutheran) to the fold this fall. Frost, a senior wide receiver, led the team with 498 receiving yards and three touchdowns.  As a freshman, Alexander racked up 508 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.  The Beavers defense finished the 2012 season ranked third in scoring defense, surrendering only 21.5 points per game.  Senior linebacker Josh Runda (Lima, Ohio/Bath) led the Beavers with 98 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, and three sacks last fall, earning Second Team All-HCAC accolades. Bluffton will open the season at Ohio Wesleyan on September 7.

Defiance College finished seventh in the standings, finishing 2-6 in league action and 2-8 overall.  The Yellow Jackets return First-Team All-HCAC defensive lineman Andrew Leverenz (Clinton, Mich./H.S.) to the lineup this season.  Leverenz totaled 51 tackles with a HCAC-best 21 tackles for loss and 13 sacks last season. The Jackets ranked second in total defense during the conference season, allowing 308.1 yards per contest.  Defiance kicks off the 2013 season at Albion on September 7.

Earlham College placed eighth in the HCAC with a 1-7 mark (1-9 overall). The Quakers finished eighth in total offense (288.1 ypg) and total defense (446.1 ypg) last season.  Earlham earned the school's first win as a member of the HCAC, posting a 21-19 win over Anderson.  EC returns its top defensive player from a year ago.  Senior defensive back Kaleb Lingg (Dayton, Ohio/Northridge) led the team with 96 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks, earning Second Team All-HCAC honors.   Earlham will open the season at Denison September 7.

Anderson University finished 0-10 overall last season with a conference mark of 0-8.  The Ravens offense ranked last in the HCAC during the conference season in scoring offense (8.5 ppg) and total offense (216.4 ypg).  AU will look to improve upon those numbers and move up the league standings in 2013.  Anderson opens the season on the road against rival Taylor on September 7.

The first weekend of the 2013 season is on September 7 with the conference season slated to begin on September 21.

Players to Watch

 

Anderson

Keith Thomas

Senior

Wide Receiver

Merrillville, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Leon Williams

Senior

Wide Receiver

High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe

 

Willie Robinson

Junior

Wide Receiver

 
 

Nate Moser

Junior

Linebacker

Bremen, Ind./Penn

 
 

Tyler Ganus

Senior

Defensive Back

Buchanan, Mich./H.S.

 
 

Herman Pollard

Senior

Defensive Back

Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown

 
 

Jerrod Henderson

Sophomore

Offensive Line

Muncie, Ind./Yorktown

 
 

Jason Samuels

Junior

Defensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bluffton

Shawn Frost

Senior

Wide Receiver

Edison, Ohio/Mt. Gilead

 
 

Josh Runda

Senior

Linebacker

Lima, Ohio/Bath

 

C.J. Sewell

Senior

Running Back

Lima, Ohio/Shawnee

 

Marquis Brown

Senior

Offensive Line

University Heights, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Ryan Leopold

Junior

Defensive Line

Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf

 
 

Austin Sweeney

Senior

Kicker/Punter

Adrian, Mich./Whitmer

 
 

Calib Alexander

Sophomore

Running Back

Ocala, Fla./St. John Lutheran

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Defiance

Tony Sierra

Senior

Defensive Back

Warren, Mich./Cousino

 
 

Blaine McGowan

Senior

Linebacker

South Haven, Mich./H.S.

 

Garrett Teague

Senior

Quarterback

Webberville, Mich./H.S.

 

Brian Mircovich

Senior

Wide Receiver

Clearwater, Fla./East Lake

 
 

Andrew Leverenz

Senior

Defensive End

Clinton, Mich./H.S.

 
 

Jorry Matherson

Sophomore

Defensive Back

Columbia, Md./Atholton

 
 

Leroy Cheatham

Sophomore

Defensive Back

Richmond, Va./Meadowbrook

 
 

Rayon Calloway

Sophomore

Defensive Line

St. Augustine, Fla./H.S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Earlham

Nate McCormack

Senior

Defensive Line

Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Heights

 
 

Bryan James

Senior

Offensive Line

Upland, Ind./Eastbrook

 

Richard Martinez

Senior

Linebacker

Hialeah, Fla./Mater Academy

 

Ryan Hayes

Senior

Offensive Line

New Lebanon, Ohio/Dixie

 

Kaleb Lingg

Senior

Defensive Back

Dayton, Ohio/Northridge

 

Justin Darden

Senior

Defensive Back

Muncie, Ind./Central

 
 

Tre Stephens

Junior

Running Back

Terre Haute, Ind./South

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Franklin

Dominique Boyd

Senior

Defensive Line

Louisville, Ky./DeSales

 
 

Kyle Holzbog

Senior

Running Back

Huntingburg, Ind./Southridge

 

Colin Gallagher

Senior

Defensive Line

Valparaiso, Ind./Wheeler

 

LaDarrius Calvin

Senior

Defensive Back

Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central

 
 

Zack Corpe

Senior

Defensive Back

Granger, Ind./Elkhart Memorial

 
 

Kyle Linville

Senior

Wide Receiver

Speedway, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Scott Moore

Senior

Linebacker

Veedersburg, Ind./Fountain Central

 
 

Jonny West

Senior

Quarterback

Speedway, Ind./Speedway

 
 

Michael Parks

Senior

Punter

Shelbyville, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Jordan Segner

Senior

Linebacker

Anderson, Ind./Highland

 
 
 

Hanover

Spencer Corrao

Junior

Running Back

New Albany, Ind./Our Lady of Providence

 
 

Ryan Hahn

Junior

Offensive Line

Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands

 

Dexter Britt

Senior

Quarterback

Louisville, Ky./Male

 

Kevin Schlenker

Junior

Offensive Line

Anderson, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Brandon Foster

Senior

Linebacker

Haubstadt, Ind./Gibson Southern

 
 

Tom Call

Senior

Defensive Line

Spring, Tex./Klein Oak

 
 

Matt McConnell

Senior

Defensive Back

Buckner, Ky./Trinity

 
 

Justin Magaw

Junior

Linebacker

West Palm Beach, Fla./Kings Academy

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Manchester

Nick Williams

Senior

Quarterback

Ft. Wayne, Ind./Elmhurst

 
 

Eric Courter

Senior

Offensive Line

Carmel, Ind./H.S.

 

Adam Cantwell

Senior

Offensive Line

Elkhart, Ind./Concord

 

Dylin Kennedy

Senior

Linebacker

N. Manchester, Ind./Manchester

 
 

Cody Larimore

Senior

Offensive Line

Walton, Ind./Lewis-Cass

 
 

Tommy Webster

Senior

Offensive Line

Ft. Wayne, Ind./North Side

 
 

Jon Scribner

Junior

Defensive Line

Huntertown, Ind./Carroll

 
 

Zach Dashner

Senior

Linebacker

South Bend, Ind./Washington

 
 

Ryne Lehrman

Senior

Tight End

Hoagland, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Stephen Coble

Junior

Defensive Line

Edwardsburg, Mich./H.S.

 
 
 
 
 

The Mount

Tyler Elrod

Senior

Defensive Back

Harrison, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Adam Bigelow

Senior

Linebacker

Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson

 

Konnor Blevins

Junior

Linebacker

Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West

 

Russell Turner

Senior

Defensive Line

Fairfield, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

John Peters

Junior

Wide Receiver

West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West

 
 

Nick Kaminsky

Senior

Wide Receiver

Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield

 
 

Brandon Keller

Junior

Offensive Line

Flowery Branch, Ga./H.S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rose-Hulman

Aaron Abbott

Sophomore

Wide Receiver

Lebanon, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Eric Schaible

Senior

Punter

Findlay, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Connor Gerhart

Senior

Wide Receiver

La Mesa, Calif./La Jolla Country Day

 
 

Jacob Dye

Sophomore

Wide Receiver

Tipton, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Ryan Landwehr

Senior

Quarterback

Tipp City, Ohio/Tippecanoe

 
 

Dean Griffing

Senior

Defensive Line

Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian

 
 

Craig Voges

Senior

Linebacker

Huntingburg, Ind./Forest Park

 
 

Kie Bates

Senior

Offensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis

 










 

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