Franklin, Ind. - Two of the three undefeated football teams in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play are set to clash on Saturday, October 3, when Franklin College hosts Manchester University, starting at 1:30 p.m. from Faught Stadium.
Both teams enter the contest with 2-0 HCAC records after recording double-digit victories in the first two weeks of the league season. Franklin (2-2 for the season) is coming off a 49-31 win at Bluffton University last Saturday, while Manchester (2-1) picked up a 44-31 home victory against Mount St. Joseph University last week.
Adding more interest in the game is the fact that the Spartans gave Franklin its toughest challenge of the 2014 HCAC season, a 29-28 comeback victory, when the Grizzlies went undefeated in league play for their fifth straight championship. The team successfully converted a two-point conversion following a touchdown with 1:55 left in the game. Then, a potential game-winning field goal by Manchester was tipped by Franklin defenders at the line of scrimmage in the final seconds.
This year, Franklin once again has a potent offensive attack, which has averaged 52.5 points in the team's two league victories. Sophomore quarterback Chase Burton (Corydon, Ind./Corydon Central) is the reigning HCAC Offensive Player of the Week, after setting career highs with six touchdowns and 382 passing yards against Bluffton. He has thrown for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
Sophomore wingback Lee Wroblewski (Salem, Ind./Paoli) has caught a team-high 27 passes for 287 yards. He also is tops on the team with three touchdowns.
Senior wingback Kendal Butler (Toledo, Ill./Cumberland), who threw last year's successful two-point conversion pass, and senior split Mason Deal (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian) each have 17 receptions and two touchdowns this season.
Sophomore split end Darrell Crenshaw (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) has added 16 catches.
The running game is an added arsenal to the Grizzlies' offense this season, with the team rushing for over 150 yards per game in the past two games. Junior running back Ty'Ronte Files (Ocala, Fla./Vanguard) became the first Franklin running back to carry for over 100 yards in a game this season, gaining 107 yards on 12 rushing attempts at Bluffton last week. He leads the team with 242 yards and a 5.9 average per carry. Junior running back Kole Stogner (Greenwood, Idn./Greenwood) has gained 176 yards on the ground this fall.
Defensively, senior linebacker Jeremiah Windell (Corydon, Ind./Corydon Central) is tops on the team with 40 tackles. Senior linebacker Austin Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Decatur Central) has recorded 20 tackles, including five tackles for loss. Sophomore defensive lineman Dmitri Wilson (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) leads the team with 6.5 tackles for loss.
Sophomore defensive back Ryan Conner (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) has recorded a team-best two interceptions.
Franklin has won its last 22 HCAC home games, and the team has scored 40 or more points in its last five conference games – all victories.
Live video and statistics of Saturday's game will be available. In-game updates will also be available on Twitter (@FCAthletics). Like the Grizzlies on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinCollegeAthletics), on Instagram (@fcgrizzlies).