Lime helps Ashland rout Springfield, clinch second place in MWL
ASHLAND — Ashland's offense was so productive and balanced through the Grizzlies' first six games, Franklin Lime didn't need to stand out.
On Friday, the athletic 6-foot-4 tight end showed how scary Ashland can be when he does.
Lime caught six passes for 159 yards, blocked two extra-points and even pinned Springfield at the 1-yard line with a punt for good measure, leading the Grizzlies to a 56-33 Midwestern League victory over the Millers at Walter A. Phillips Field.
The win, Ashland's fifth straight, clinched a second-place finish in the Midwestern for the Grizzlies (6-1, 5-1 MWL), who wrap up their regular season schedule against Eagle Point next week.
Top-ranked Marist, the only team to beat Ashland, secured the MWL league title with Thursday's win over Willamette. Regardless of what happens next week Ashland will head to the playoffs as the league's No. 2 representative.
Lime entered the game with 12 catches for 144 yards receiving on the season. He had 144 yards receiving by halftime Friday, including an 8-yard touchdown grab, a 57-yard reception that set up Ashland's first touchdown and a 42-yard catch that set up Ashland's third touchdown.
"I was actually surprised getting the ball," Lime said. "I really think it was the line's job. They did a great job this game. Danial got me the ball out in space and it was good."
He had plenty of help.
Ashland sophomore quarterback Danial White completed 12 of 15 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns, junior running back Jon Volz rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns and junior defensive back R.J. Atteberry returned an interception for a touchdown to complete the scoring in what turned out to be a dominating fourth quarter for the Grizzlies.
Springfield (2-5, 2-4) scored on the third play of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one point, 34-33, but it was all Ashland after that. Lime blocked the extra point and Ashland scored on its next play from scrimmage — a 65-yard pass play from White to Taylor Humphrey — to start a 22-0 game-ending run for the home team.
The rally included a clutch 71-yard drive capped by Volz's 20-yard touchdown run with 6:12 to go that may have finally put the Millers away.
"I knew we had heart in us, and on senior night I knew our guys were going to give it their all," said White, who also rushed for 76 yards. "Challenges come in life and you just have to fight through it. We certainly showed that we're capable of doing that."
Springfield showed some fight, too, gaining 509 yards of offense and overcoming a 27-13 deficit to tie the game at 27 midway through the third quarter. But the Millers simply could not stop the Grizzlies and their fast-paced offense in the second half.
Springfield quarterback Britton Auxier completed 26 of 38 passes for 362 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for three touchdowns to keep the Millers close through three quarters. Millers' receiver Taylor Travess caught six passes for 133 yards.
"I think (the Millers) are the best two and five team in the state now," Lime said. "They have size, speed. Their quarterback's great, their running back's good. They're an all around great team."