��� Franklin College is Coaches' Favorite to Repeat as HCAC Football Champions | INDIANA SPORTS PAGE Football | iHigh.com

CONTENTS

SPORTS

OTHER

MEDIA

IHIGH LINKS

Home » Football News

Franklin College is Coaches' Favorite to Repeat as HCAC Football Champions

August 1, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



GREENWOOD, IN - Franklin College claimed their fourth Heartland Collegiate
Athletic Conference football title last fall, boasting an 8-0 conference
mark for the second straight season.   The Grizzlies have been selected as
the favorite to win a third-straight league crown in 2012, according to a
poll of the HCAC's nine head coaches.




2012 HCAC Preseason Poll




Team

Points


1.Franklin 79 (7)

2. Mount St. Joseph 67 (2)

3. Hanover 62

4. Bluffton 48

5.Defiance 41

6.Rose-Hulman 38

7. Manchester 34

8. Anderson  21

9. Earlham  15

Franklin, who was 10-2 overall in 2011, held off Mount St. Joseph in the
preseason poll receiving 79 points and seven first place votes.



The College of Mount St. Joseph placed second in the voting with 67 points
and the final two first place votes, while Hanover College finished third
with 62 points.  Bluffton University (48), Defiance College (41),
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (38), Manchester University (34),
Anderson University (21), and Earlham College (15) round out the poll.



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



The No. 13 ranked Grizzlies (D3football.com) will be directed on offense by
HCAC Offensive Most Valuable Player Jonny West (Avon, Ind./Speedway).  The
junior quarterback earned Second-Team All-North Region honors from
D3football.com as a sophomore and will look for bigger and better things
this fall.  West led the HCAC in completion percentage (60.8%), touchdowns
(32), and passing yards per game (298.4) last fall.  The Grizzlies also
return their top receiver from last season as Kyle Linville (Speedway,
Ind./H.S.) comes back for his junior season.  Linville led the league with
84 receptions, 11 touchdown grabs, and 1,226 receiving yards as a sophomore.
The blue and gold offensive attack was the most feared in the HCAC last
season, averaging 38.5 points and 449.0 yards per game.



Franklin's defense will try to replace the 2011 HCAC Defensive Most Valuable
Player David O'Rourke.  The senior led the HCAC in sacks and anchored the
Grizzlies defensive line.  This fall, junior defensive back Zack Corpe
(Granger, Ind./Elkhart) returns after earning First-Team All-HCAC honors as
a sophomore.  Corpe tallied 30 tackles, an interception, and two forced
fumbles last fall.  In conference play, the Franklin defense led the HCAC in
scoring defense (17.9 ppg) and ranked fourth in total defense (332.1 ypg).



Franklin fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs 41-14 at
eventual national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater last November. 



FC will begin the 2012 season at home against No. 2 ranked Mount Union on
September 1.



Mount St. Joseph finished in a tie for second in the conference standings in
2011, finishing the conference campaign with a 5-3 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.  Senior running back James Clay (Louisville,
Ky./Manual Dupont) returns to lead the Mount offense after a great junior
season.  Clay averaged 113.2 yards per game on the ground and led the HCAC
with 16 rushing touchdowns and 7.9 yards per carry.  On the defensive side
of the ball the Lions return a pair of Second-Team All-HCAC selections.
Junior Russell Turner II (Fairfield, Ohio/H.S.) and senior Sean Brooks
(Englewood, Ohio/Northmont) come back to anchor the defensive line.  Turner
II posted 47 tackles with 11.5 tackles for loss and two sacks last fall,
while Brooks added 39 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and an
interception.  Mount St. Joseph will open the season at home against
Wilmington (OH) on September 1.



Hanover College finished second alongside Mount St. Joseph, Rose-Hulman, and
Bluffton in the conference last season with a 5-3 conference record,
finishing 5-5 overall.  The Panthers ranked second in the HCAC in scoring
offense (36.8 ppg), total offense (429.2 ypg), scoring defense (19.0 ppg),
and led the league in total defense (293.0 ypg) during league play last
fall.  Hanover will receive a boost offensively as Preseason D3football.com
All-American wide receiver Daniel Passafiume (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier)
returns after missing last season due to illness.  Alongside Passafiume will
be 2011 First-Team All-HCAC selection Dwayne Eubanks (Mitchell, Ind./H.S.).
The junior receiver averaged 76.6 yards per game and racked up 10 touchdowns
last fall.  Senior linebacker Andy Dalton (Guilford, Ind./East Central) will
look to lead the Panthers defense after earning First-Team All-HCAC honors
as a junior.  Dalton led the team with 107 tackles while adding 6.5 tackles
for loss, three sacks, and three interceptions from the linebacker position.
New head coach Steve Baudendistel and the Panthers open the season on
September 1 at Illinois College.



Bluffton University also finished second in the league standings last fall
with a 5-3 mark (5-5 overall).  The Beavers offense ranked fifth in the HCAC
during the 2011 campaign, averaging 347.9 yards per game.  BU will look to
replace all seven First and Second-Team All-HCAC selections from last fall.
Senior Tyler Wright (Troy, Ohio/H.S.) will take over full time duty as
quarterback of the Beavers after splitting time with Christopher Byrd last
season.  Wright completed 60.5% of his passes for 579 yards and five
touchdowns, while adding 39.3 yards per game and six touchdowns via the
ground game.  The Bluffton defense ranked sixth in the HCAC during league
play last year, allowing 369.2 yards per game.  Senior defensive back Justin
Hahn (Rocky River, Ohio/H.S.) is the leading returning tackler after racking
up 54 stops with five tackles for loss and two interceptions in 2011.
Bluffton will open the season at home against Kenyon on September 1.



Defiance College finished sixth in the standings last fall, finishing 4-4 in
league action and 4-6 overall.  The Yellow Jackets, under the direction of
new head coach Brian Sheehan, return a pair of First-Team All-HCAC players
to the defensive side of the football. Senior defensive lineman Gregg
Pickett (Cincinnati, Ohio/Glen Este) returns after totaling 52 tackles with
10 tackles for loss, five sacks, and an interception as a junior.  Senior
defensive back Tony Sierra (Warren, Mich./Cousino) also totaled 52 tackles
with a pair of interceptions.  The Jackets ranked third in total defense
during the conference season, allowing 330.5 yards per contest.  Defiance
kicks off the 2012 season at home against Albion on September 1.



Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology finished in a tie for second in the HCAC
with a 5-3 record and a 5-5 overall record.  The Engineers will look to
improve upon last year's defense that ranked eighth overall in total defense
(380.2 ypg).  RHIT returns All-HCAC Second-Team linebacker Ryan Gallagher
(Greenwood, Ind./H.S.) after a successful junior season.  Gallagher totaled
72 tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks last fall.  Rose-Hulman
returns the main cog of the offensive unit that ranked fourth in the league
in scoring (25.8 ppg) and total offense (358.4 ypg) during league play last
season.  Senior running back Kyle Kovach (Munster, Ind./Andrean) finished
the 2011 season with 1,213 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns.  The
First-Team All-HCAC running back earned a spot on the SI.com/Associated
Press Little All-America Team, becoming the first Rose-Hulman player chosen
to the squad since Carl Herakovich in 1958.  The Engineers will kick off the
season on September 1 at home against Kalamazoo.



Manchester University finished 4-6 overall last season with a conference
mark of 3-5.  The Spartans finished the conference season ranked seventh
among HCAC schools in scoring offense (22.0 ppg) and fourth in scoring
defense (25.0 ppg).  MU returns a pair of First-Team All-HCAC members to the
squad this fall.  Senior wide receiver Kurt Monix (Crown Point, Ind./Lowell)
led the black and gold as a junior with 52 receptions for 544 yards and four
touchdowns.  Senior kicker Kyle Evans (Winamac, Ind./West Central) earned
the HCAC Special Teams Most Valuable Player award last fall, scoring 59
points for the Spartans.  Evans connected on 12 of his 18 field goals,
ranking 15th nationally.  Manchester will travel to Trine on Thursday,
August 30 to open the season.



Anderson University placed eighth in the HCAC with a 1-7 mark (1-9 overall).
The Ravens defense ranked last in the HCAC during the conference season in
scoring defense (35.1 ppg) and total defense (417.6 ypg).  First year head
coach Bobby Ladner will look to improve on those numbers this fall as AU
attempts to move up the standings.  Offensively, junior running back Marcus
Spann (Fishers, Ind.) returns after earning Second-Team All-HCAC honors last
fall.  Spann ranked third in the HCAC last season, averaging 104.3 yards per
game on the ground with seven touchdowns.  Anderson opens the season at home
against rival Taylor on September 1.



Earlham College finished 0-10 overall last season with a conference mark of
0-8.  The Quakers offense ranked last in the HCAC in scoring (7.1 ppg) and
total offense (193.6 ypg).  New head coach Neil Kazmierczak will look to
improve upon those numbers this fall and earn the school's first win as a
member of the HCAC.  Earlham will open the season at home against Oberlin
September 1.



The first weekend of the 2012 season is on September 1 with the conference
season slated to begin on September 15.



Players to Watch




Anderson

Keith Thomas

Junior

Wide Receiver

Merrillville, Ind./H.S.

         



Mike Burel

Senior

Quarterback

Carmel, Ind.

         

Marcus Spann

Junior

Running Back

Fishers, Ind.

         

Walter Wheeler

Junior

Wide Receiver

Indianapolis, Ind.

         



Tyler Ganus

Junior

Linebacker

Buchanan, Mich.

         



Herman Pollard

Junior

Defensive Back

Elkhart, Ind.

         



Mitch Tuttle

Junior

Defensive Back

Greensburg, Ind.

         



Jason Samuels

Sophomore

Defensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind.

         











         

Bluffton

Tyler Wright

Senior

Quarterback

Troy, Ohio/H.S.

         



Ben Kaufman

Senior

Linebacker

Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa Glandorf

         

Ryan Sabin

Senior

Wide Receiver

Canal Winchester, Ohio/H.S.

         

Thomas Gingrich

Senior

Offensive Line

Goshen, Ind./H.S.

         



Justin Hahn

Senior

Defensive Back

Rocky River, Ohio/H.S.

         



Austin Sweeney

Junior

Kicker

Adrian, Mich./Whitmer

         



Jason Brown

Senior

Running Back

Napoleon, Ohio/H.S.

         



Preston Huddleston

Senior

Defensive Line

Benton Harbor, Mich./Eau Claire

         











         

Defiance

Tony Sierra

Senior

Defensive Back

Warren, Mich./Cousino

         

 

Gregg Pickett

Senior

Defensive Line

Cincinnati, Ohio/Glen Este

         

Hunter Robertson

Senior

Linebacker

Howell, Mich./H.S.

         

Jon Carrabino

Senior

Wide Receiver

Monroe, Mich./H.S.

         



Andrew Leverenz

Junior

Defensive End

Clinton, Mich./H.S.

         



Tanner Engle

Sophomore

Offensive Line

Harrod, Ohio/Allen East

         



Josh Slayton

Sophomore

Defensive Back

Ft. Wayne, Ind./North Side

         











         

Earlham

Dakota McElley

Senior

Defensive Back

Lawrenceburg, Ind./H.S.

         


Jaysn Murphy

Senior

Wide Receiver

Winchester, Ind./H.S.

         

T.J. Sanders

Senior

Offensive Line

Depauw, Ind./North Harrison

         

Ryan Hayes

Junior

Offensive Line

New Lebanon, Ohio/Dixie

         

Kaleb Lingg

Junior

Defensive Back

Dayton, Ohio/Northridge

         

Justin Darden

Junior

Defensive Back

Muncie, Ind./Central

         











         

Franklin

Josh Bales

Senior

Defensive End

Morgantown, Ind./Indian Creek

         

 

Luke Hamm

Senior

Running Back

New Castle, Ind./Shenandoah

         

Cole Richards

Senior

Kicker

Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyds Central

         

Nick Schultz

Senior

Offensive Line

Lowell, Ind./H.S.

         



Zack Corpe

Junior

Defensive Back

Granger, Ind./Elkhart Memorial

         



Kyle Linville

Junior

Wide Receiver

Speedway, Ind./H.S.

         



Scott Moore

Junior

Linebacker

Veedersburg, Ind./Fountain Central

         



Jonny West

Junior

Quarterback

Avon, Ind./Speedway

         



Michael Parks

Sophomore

Punter

Shelbyville, Ind./H.S.

         



         

Hanover

Daniel Passafiume

Senior

Wide Receiver

Louisville, Ky.

         

 

Andy Dalton

Senior

Linebacker

Guilford, Ind./East Central

         

Dexter Britt

Junior

Quarterback

Louisville, Ky./Male

         

Dwayne Eubanks

Junior

Wide Receiver

Mitchell, Ind./H.S.

         



Ajani Jones

Junior

Defensive Line

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Pompano Beach

         



Colton Zeck

Senior

Wide Receiver

Galveston, Ind./Lewis Cass

         



Matt McConnell

Junior

Defensive Back

Buckner, Ky./Trinity

         



Ryan Hahn

Sophomore

Offensive Line

Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands

         











         

Manchester

Kurt Monix

Senior

Wide Receiver

Crown Point, Ind./Lowell

         

  

Kyle Evans

Senior

Kicker

Winamac, Ind./West Central

         

Matt Frieden

Senior

Defensive Back

Wabash, Ind./Northfield

         

Dylin Kennedy

Junior

Linebacker

N. Manchester, Ind./Manchester

         



Jake Butler

Senior

Defensive Back

South Bend, Ind./St. Joseph's

         



Dante Dinkins

Senior

Running Back

East Chicago, Ind./East Chicago Central

         



Jon Scribner

Sophomore

Defensive Line

Huntertown, Ind./Carroll

         



Zach Dashner

Junior

Linebacker

South Bend, Ind./Washington

         










The Mount

James Clay

Senior

Running Back

Louisville, Ky./Manual Dupont

         

  

Rob Blundred

Senior

Tight End

Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills

         

Konnor Blevins

Sophomore

Linebacker

Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West

         

Russell Turner II

Junior

Defensive Line

Fairfield, Ohio/H.S.

         



Sean Brooks

Senior

Defensive Line

Englewood, Ohio/Northmont

         



Samuel Fowler

Junior

Defensive Back

Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest

         



Tyler Breh

Junior

Offensive Line

Trenton, Ohio/Edgewood

         



Tyler Feine

Junior

Wide Receiver

Amelia, Ohio/H.S.

         











         

Rose-Hulman

Kyle Kovach

Senior

Running Back

Munster, Ind./Andrean

         

            

Eric Schaible

Junior

Punter

Findlay, Ohio/H.S.

         



Jordan Martin

Senior

Defensive Back

Shelbyville, Ind./Triton Central

         



Eric Taylor

Sophomore

Offensive Line

Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro

         



Grant DePalma

Sophomore

Linebacker

Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect

         



Dean Griffing

Junior

Defensive Line

Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian

         



Ryan Gallagher

Senior

Linebacker

Greenwood, Ind./H.S.

         



Kie Bates

Junior

Offensive Line

Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis


Tags INDIANA SPORTS PAGE • Publisher
Rate This Article
Thanks for rating this article!
Share This Article  
Facebook
Google
» Be the first to leave a comment
Comments (0)

Announcements

Partner


Partner