Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College football team will open the 2015 season with a home game against Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday, September 5, at 1:30 p.m. from Faught Stadium on Service Tribute Day.
For the second consecutive season, the football program will honor local and statewide military personnel, police officers, and firefighters during a pregame ceremony.
Franklin enters the fall campaign ranked No. 23 in the Lindy's Sports and The Sporting News preseason polls, while also receiving votes in the D3football.com Top 25 poll.
The Grizzlies return six offensive, eight defensive, and two special teams' starters from last season's squad that had an 8-3 record, won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship (fifth straight), and played in the NCAA Division III playoffs (seven of the last eight seasons).
Senior split end Mason Deal (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) leads a balanced receivers' unit after catching 39 passes for 632 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. Senior wing back Kendal Butler (Toledo, Ill./Cumberland) had 35 receptions and four touchdowns.
Redshirt senior tight end Dylan Jenney (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) averaged 17.8 yards per catch last season, and had two touchdowns before an injury ended his 2014 campaign. One of those touchdowns came against Illinois Wesleyan last fall.
Defensively, senior linebacker Jeremiah Windell (Corydon, Ind./Corydon Central) posted a team-high 111 tackles last season. Junior cornerback Taylor Christensen (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) had a team-best four interceptions. Christensen also made 48 tackles. Senior lineman Nate Bryan (Greencastle, Ind./North Putnam) registered a team-high 12 tackles for loss in 2014.
Saturday's contest marks the second-ever meeting between the two schools. Illinois Wesleyan picked up a 42-35 victory in both teams' 2014 season opener.
Live statistics and video of the game will be available. In-game updates will be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics). Like the Grizzlies on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics) and on Instagram (@fcgrizzlies).