August 6, 2014

Franklin College Selected by Coaches to Win Fifth Straight HCAC Crown

2014 Schedule

GREENWOOD, IN – Franklin College claimed their sixth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football title last fall, sharing the title with Rose-Hulman after each posted a 7-1 league mark.   The Grizzlies have been selected as the favorite to win a fifth-straight league crown in 2014, according to a poll of the HCAC’s nine head coaches.

Franklin, who was 8-4 overall in 2013, held off Mount St. Joseph University in the preseason poll receiving 79 points and seven first place votes. Mount placed second in the voting with 65 points and the final two first place votes, while Hanover College finished third with 50 points.  Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (48), Defiance College (48), Bluffton University (43), Manchester University (34), Earlham College (26), and Anderson University (12) round out the poll.

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

The No. 25 ranked Grizzlies (D3football.com) return 12 starters, including nine on the offensive side of the ball. Senior quarterback Grant Welp (Ferdinand, Ind./Forest Park) will take over under center for the Grizzlies after losing Jonny West to graduation.  The Grizzlies will also look to replace All-American wide receiver Kyle Linville.  Senior wide receivers Zach Cole (Middletown, Ind./Shenandoah) and Jonny Hession (Speedway, Ind./H.S.) will look to replace the production from Linville.  Cole hauled in 46 passes for 518 yards and eight touchdowns last fall, while Hession added 44 receptions for 544 yards and five scores. Junior offensive lineman Austin Carlton (Evansville, Ind./F.J. Reitz) looks to anchor the offensive front and was named a D3football.com Preseason All-American last week.

Franklin's defense returns three starters, including 2013 honorable mention All-HCAC selection junior Nate Bryan (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam). Senior defensive back Jameson Brock (Noblesville, Ind./H.S.) has been a multiple-year starter. The Grizzlies ranked fourth nationally last season in rushing defense (72.9 yards per game).

Bryan tallied 59 tackles, including 15 stops in the backfield. Sophomore Keaton Lyons (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer Central) recorded 3.5 sacks and 42 tackles from the linebacker unit.

Franklin fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs 33-3 at Wisconsin-Whitewater last November.  It was the third straight year FC fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The Grizzlies will begin the 2014 season at Illinois Wesleyan on September 6.

 

Franklin Head Coach Mike Leonard

Around the HCAC...

Mount St. Joseph University finished third in the conference standings in 2013, finishing the conference campaign with a 6-2 record and a 6-4 overall mark.  The Lions will look to compete for a league title this fall and put an end to Franklin’s reign.  The Mount ranked third in the HCAC in total offense (376.2 ypg) and second in scoring offense (35.8 ppg) during league play last season.  Senior wide receiver Leonard Riston (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow) led the team with 58 receptions for 765 yards and four touchdowns last fall, earning first-team All-HCAC honors.  MSJ also returns first-team All-HCAC selections Brandon Keller (Flowery Branch, Ga./H.S.) and Shane Kelly (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin).  Keller was a first-team selection on the offensive line, while Kelly earned HCAC Special Teams MVP honors.  Kelly scored 68 points for the Lions last season, converting a school-record 11-of-13 field goals and 35-of-39 extra points. Mount St. Joseph will open the season at home against Augustana on September 6.

Hanover College placed fourth in the league standings last fall with a 5-3 mark (5-5 overall).  The Panthers return a first-team All-HCAC selection to the offensive and defensive side of the football in 2014.  Senior running back Spencer Corrao (New Albany, Ind./Our Lady of Providence) led the team with 684 yards and six touchdowns on 142 carries last fall to lead the offense.  Junior defensive lineman Jake Stilwell (Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights) enters 2014 as a D3football.com Preseason All-American.  As a sophomore, Stilwell totaled 50 tackles, 15 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles to lead the Panthers’ defensive unit.  Hanover will travel to Centre on Saturday, September 6 to open the season.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology earned the school’s first football conference title since 1988 last fall, finishing alongside Franklin with a 7-1record in HCAC contests (7-3 overall).  The Engineers will look to replace three first-team All-HCAC selections, including quarterback Ryan Landwehr, on the field this fall.  RHIT ranked second in the HCAC in total offense (426.1 ypg) a year ago.  Junior wide receivers Jacob Dye (Tipton, Ind./H.S.) and Aaron Abbott (Lebanon, Ohio/H.S.) led the team’s receiving efforts during the championship season.  Dye hauled in 47 passes for 501 yards and a touchdown, while Abbott added 40 receptions for 451 yards and seven scores. On defense, sophomore defensive back Kevin Nowak (Naperville, Ill./Central) returns after leading the team with 77 tackles and four interceptions, earning second-team All-HCAC honors as a freshman. Rose-Hulman will travel to Kalamazoo on September 6 to open the season.

Defiance College finished in a tie for sixth in the HCAC with a 3-5 record and a 3-7 overall record.  The Yellow Jackets defensive unit ranked second in the HCAC in both scoring (21.1 ppg) and total defense (266.5 ypg) during league play last fall.  DC will look to replace HCAC Defensive Player of the Year Tony Sierra.  Junior defensive back Andrew Feldhaus (Lutz, Fla./Steinbrenner) was a first-team All-HCAC selection as a sophomore, tallying 83 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and five interceptions.  The Jackets offense ranked fourth in yards and sixth in scoring during the 2013 season.  Sophomore quarterback Alex Larson (Highland, Mich./Milford) threw for 1,303 yards with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions as a freshman.  The Yellow Jackets will kick off the season at home on September 6 against Adrian.

Bluffton University finished fifth in the HCAC standings last fall with a 4-4 mark (4-6 overall).  The Beavers return three key pieces to the offensive unit in 2014.  Quarterback Nick Sheehan (Monroeville, Ind./Heritage), running back Eric Fox (Brunswick, Ohio/H.S.), and wide receiver Donovan Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian) all return for their senior season this fall.  Fox was a first-team All-HCAC selection as a kick returner last season, while Brown earned second-team honors after hauling in 44 passes for 676 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior linebacker Wyatt Herman (Edgerton, Ohio/H.S.) is the leading returning tackler for the Beavers after earning 56 stops with five tackles for loss a year ago. Bluffton will open the season at home against Ohio Wesleyan on September 6.

Manchester University finished alongside Defiance for sixth place in the standings, finishing 3-5 in league action and 3-7 overall.  The Spartans return HCAC Freshman of the Year Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind./Triton Central) to the lineup this season.  Nelson led the team in receiving with 56 catches for 582 yards and four scores as a freshman and totaled 1,260 all-purpose yards to lead the Spartans. Manchester kicks off the 2014 season on Friday, September 5 at home against Trine.

Earlham College placed eighth in the HCAC with a 1-7 mark (2-8 overall). The Quakers return its two top offensive players from the 2013 season.  Junior wide receiver Jalen Kenner (Reserve, La./East St. John) caught 73 passes for 979 yards and six touchdowns, earning first-team All-HCAC honors.  Senior running back Trey Stephens (Terre Haute, Ind./South) led the Quakers ground attack with 495 yards and three touchdowns on 120 carries.  Earlham will open the season at home against Denison September 6.

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 (12.6 ppg) and total offense (272.2 ypg).  AU will look to improve upon those numbers and move up the league standings in 2014.  Anderson opens the season at home against rival Taylor on September 6.

The first weekend of the 2014 season is on September 6 with the conference season slated to begin on September 20.

 

Players to Watch

 

Anderson

Johnell Wortham

Senior

Running Back

St. Rosa, La./Destreham

 
 

Willie Robinson

Junior

Wide Receiver

Flora, Miss./Madison Central

 

Marc Jones

Sophomore

Wide Receiver

Knoxville, Tenn./Proviso East

 

Sammy Faulkner

Junior

Linebacker

Dayton, Ohio/Vandalia

 
 

Nate Moser

Senior

Linebacker

Bremen, Ind./Penn

 
 

Jerrod Henderson

Junior

Offensive Line

Muncie, Ind./Yorktown

 
 

Jason Samuels

Senior

Defensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central

 
 

Drew Ponder

Sophomore

Defensive Line

Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bluffton

Nick Sheehan

Senior

Quarterback

Monroeville, Ind./Heritage

 
 

Donovan Brown

Senior

Wide Receiver

Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian

 

Eric Fox

Senior

Running Back

Brunswick, Ohio/H.S.

 

Wyatt Herman

Senior

Linebacker

Edgerton, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Ryan Leopold

Senior

Defensive Line

Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf

 
 

Travaun Reaves

Senior

Defensive Back

Berkley, Mich./H.S.

 
 

Ben Schamp

Senior

Defensive Line

St. Marys, Ohio/Memorial

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Defiance

Daniel Collins

Sophomore

Running Back

West Springfield, Va./H.S.

 
 

Andrew Feldhaus

Junior

Defensive Back

Lutz, Fla./Steinbrenner

 

Alex Larson

Sophomore

Quarterback

Highland, Mich./Milford

 

Josh Slayton

Senior

Defensive Back

Fort Wayne, Ind./North Side

 
 

Eric Strickland

Senior

Linebacker

West Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge

 
 

Garrett Teague

Senior

Quarterback

Webberville, Mich./H.S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Earlham

Jalen Kenner

Junior

Wide Receiver

Reserve, La./East St. John

 
 

Lajay Kelly

Sophomore

Defensive Line

Carson, Calif./Long Beach Polytechnic

 

Kollin Wheat

Senior

Defensive Line

Greenwood, Ind./Whiteland

 

Trey Stephens

Senior

Running Back

Terre Haute, Ind./South

 

Mike Alberts

Sophomore

Offensive Line

Folkston, Ga./Charlton Country

 

Kyle Wagner

Junior

Offensive Line

Ft. Wayne, Ind./Carroll

 
 

Junior Jean

Junior

Defensive Back

Miami, Fla./Mater Academy

 
 

Cody Miller

Senior

Fullback

Olympia, Wash./Whitworth

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Franklin

Jameson Brock

Senior

Defensive Back

Noblesville, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Zach Cole

Senior

Wide Receiver

Middletown, Ind./Shenandoah

 

Eric Drake

Senior

Defensive Line

Mooresville, Ind./Plainfield

 

Joe Green

Senior

Offensive Line

Brownsburg, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Johnny Hession

Senior

Wide Receiver

Speedway, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Dylan Jenney

Senior

Tight End

Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central

 
 

Sam Otley

Senior

Fullback

Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli

 
 

Joey Pasquale

Senior

Running Back

Noblesville, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Quinton Terrell

Senior

Offensive Line

Martinsville, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Grant Welp

Senior

Quarterback

Ferdinand, Ind./Forest Park

 
 
 

Hanover

Spencer Corrao

Senior

Running Back

New Albany, Ind./Our Lady of Providence

 
 

Ryan Hahn

Senior

Offensive Line

Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands

 

Kevin Schlenker

Senior

Offensive Line

Anderson, Ind./H.S.

 

Justin Magaw

Senior

Linebacker

West Palm Beach, Fla./Kings Academy

 
 

Jake Stilwell

Junior

Defensive Line

Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights

 
 

Vince Peiffer

Senior

Linebacker

Franklin, Ind./Indian Creek

 
 

Jamal Edwards

Senior

Defensive Back

Indianapolis, Ind./North Central

 
 

Robert Klotz

Senior

Wide Receiver

Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Manchester

Austin Adams

Senior

Running Back

Dowagiac, Mich./Union

 
 

Colin Huffine

Senior

Wide Receiver

Centerville, Ind./H.S.

 

Dakota Nelson

Sophomore

Wide Receiver

Fairland, Ind./Triton Central

 

Stephen Coble

Senior

Defensive Line

Edwardsburg, Mich./H.S.

 
 

Jon Scribner

Senior

Defensive Line

Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll

 
 

Taylor Anglemeyer

Junior

Defensive Back

Wakarusa, Ind./Northwood

 
 

D’Ante Dorsey

Junior

Offensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind./Arlington

 
 
 
 
 

The Mount

Brandon Keller

Senior

Offensive Line

Flowery Branch, Ga./H.S.

 
 

Leonard Riston

Senior

Wide Receiver

Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow

 

Konnor Blevins

Senior

Linebacker

Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West

 

Brent McCleerey

Senior

Linebacker

Mooresville, Ind./Monrovia

 
 

Denzel Norvell

Sophomore

Running Back

Dayton, Ohio/Thurgood Marshall

 
 

Marvin Draper

Junior

Defensive Back

Columbus, Ind./Whetstone

 
 

Shane Kelly

Junior

Kicker

Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rose-Hulman

Aaron Abbott

Junior

Wide Receiver

Lebanon, Ohio/H.S.

 
 

Jacob Dye

Junior

Wide Receiver

Tipton, Ind./H.S.

 
 

Greg Lee

Senior

Running Back

Christiansburg, Va./H.S.

 
 

Eric Taylor

Senior

Offensive Line

Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro

 
 

Zac Erba

Senior

Tight End

Winona Lake, Ind./Warsaw

 
 

Kevin Nowak

Sophomore

Defensive Back

Naperville, Ill./Central

 
 

Chris Sander

Junior

Defensive Back

Baileyville, Ill./Forreston

 
 

Josh Sonneberger

Senior

Defensive Line

Edon, Ohio/H.S.