FRANKLIN, Ind. – Playing in front of a nearly full house at Faught Stadium on homecoming afternoon, the Franklin football team put on a show for the paying audience on their way to their first home victory of the year.
The Grizzlies (3-3, 2-1 HCAC) racked up over 300 yards on the ground and 528 yards total, setting the tone for a 49-35 win over the Anderson Ravens (3-3, 1-2 HCAC). Seniors Austin Grunden and Payton Healy rushed for over 100 yards each for a Franklin offense that led by as many as 35 points and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
The game remained scoreless until late in the first quarter, when the Grizzlies broke through for the game's first touchdown. Franklin rolled 55 yards on six plays, ending with a nine-yard touchdown run from Braden Smith. The following drive saw JP Osafo force an Anderson fumble that the Grizzlies pounced on at the Ravens' 41, setting up a short field that led to an eight-yard TD run by Healy to make it a two-score game.
Franklin made it a three-score game on their next drive when Smith threw the first of three touchdown passes, finding Ian Seim on a 16-yard screen pass. Anderson got on the board on their next drive, but Franklin stretched the lead to 35-7 at the break with a one-yard run by Grunden and a 29-yard strike from Smith to Cole Daab right before the intermission.
The Grizzlies got the ball to open the second half and shaved almost eight minutes off the clock on their way to another touchdown. Franklin traveled 76 yards on 16 plays, converting three third-down conversions along the way. Smith capped the methodical drive with a three-yard pass to tight end Mickey Koczersut for the second touchdown of the sophomore's career.
But the Ravens refused to go away, scoring twice before the end of the period. But the Grizzlies put the game well out of reach on their first drive of the fourth, with Healy's second touchdown run of the day capping a 13-play, 73 yard drive that burned another six minutes off the clock.
Smith was dynamic all afternoon, racking up a combined 267 yards on the afternoon. The Mattoon, Ill.-native went 18-for-30 for 202 yards through the air and picked up another 65 yards on seven carries. Grunden set a career-high with 119 yards on 19 carries while catching four passes for 48 yards. Healy also had a career-best day on the ground, toting the ball 15 times for 101 yards and a pair of scores.
Joey SIderewicz hauled in a season-high five targets for 61 yards, both season-high totals. Defensively, Brayton Shannon had a team-high eight stops while sophomore Tanner Swindle racked up a pair of tackles for a loss, totaling 15 yards.
The Grizzlies look to make it three straight wins next Saturday (Oct. 19), when they welcome the Manchester Spartans to Faught Stadium. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.