Franklin, Ind. - The Franklin College football team lost its 2015 season opener 34-24 to Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday at Faught Stadium.
The game featured over a three-hour weather delay following the first half, and the teams combining for 49 points and 535 offensive yards. However, both teams accounted for only three field goals and 275 yards on offense after the lengthy intermission.
Franklin jumped out to a quick start, taking a 7-0 lead when redshirt senior tight end Dylan Jenney (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Chase Burton (Corydon, Ind./Corydon Central). It marked the 22nd consecutive game that the Grizzlies have scored a touchdown on their opening drive of a contest.
Illinois Wesleyan answered with touchdown passes covering 25 and 33 yards from quarterback Jack Warner to take a 14-7 lead with 14:16 left in the first half.
Franklin tied the game, 14-14, with a 12-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a two-yard touchdown run by junior Ty'Ronte Files (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard).
The visiting Titans took the lead for good on a five-yard scoring run by Anfernee Roberts, before another touchdown pass by Warner gave the team a 28-14 lead with 1:39 remaining in the first half.
However, a lengthy return on the ensuing kickoff by sophomore Tanner Kameda (Paoli, Ind./Paoli) set up a scoring drive just before halftime. Burton finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run with five second remaining, trimming the deficit to 28-21 before the break caused by lighting being prevalent in the area.
In the second half, Illinois Wesleyan placekicker Michael Kelley successfully converted 22-and 35-yard field goals, while Franklin sophomore kicker Stephen Colligan (Fort Wayne, Ind./Fort Wayne Dwenger) made a 25-yard field.
Individually, Burton completed 35 passes and threw for 324 yards in his first collegiate start. Senior split end Mason Deal (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) caught nine passes for 67 yards. Files had six receptions, while sophomore wing back Lee Wroblewski (Salem, Ind./Paoli) had five catches.
Franklin returns to action on Saturday, September 12, at 6:30 p.m. when it travels to Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Live statistics of the game will be available. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics). Like the Grizzlies on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics), and on Instagram (@fcgrizzlies).