Whatever problems the Franklin College football team experienced in its first two games appear to be fixed.
And the Grizzlies’ timing couldn’t be better.
After opening the season with lopsided non-conference losses against Mount Union and Butler, Franklin has been unstoppable in its first two Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference games.
The defending conference champion Grizzlies (2-2) improved to 2-0 in the HCAC with Saturday’s 70-20 homecoming rout of Earlham.
The 70 points were the most scored by Franklin in its 112-year history. The Grizzlies’ previous high was 69 points during a 2010 victory at Anderson.
Franklin, which was coming off a 48-27 win at Manchester, wasted no time getting its offense uncorked.
On the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Jonny West hit junior wide receiver Kyle Linville with a 69-yard touchdown. It was all Grizzlies after that.
Taking advantage of favorable field position most of the day, thanks largely to five Earlham fumbles, Franklin raced to a 49-0 halftime lead, paving the way for reserves to play much of the rest of the way.
Franklin coach Mike Leonard pulled most of the starters in the second half and watched as the back-ups built on the first-half momentum.
By game’s end, the Grizzlies had amassed 554 yards of total offense — 380 on the ground and 174 through the air — compared to Earlham’s 320 yards.
West, one of NCAA Division III’s top passers, completed 10 of 13 attempts for 160 yards and three touchdowns before giving way to backup Grant Welp before the first half expired. The Grizzlies’ offense didn’t miss a beat.
Welp ran for two touchdowns, 14 and 58 yards, in the first half.
The victory marked the sixth straight year that Franklin has won its homecoming game.
Franklin (2-2, 2-0 HCAC) has a bye week this week and plays again Oct. 6 at Mount St. Joseph.