Quarterback makes athletic history at Franklin College

Senior quarterback Chase Burton finished his career at Franklin College by setting new athletic records. Burton passed Franklin College alum Jonny West’s passing touchdowns and passing yards records. Photo by Zoie Richey.

Senior Chase Burton surpasses touchdown, passing yard records

Senior quarterback Chase Burton finished his career at Franklin College by breaking records. 

Alumnus Jonny West held the record for career passing touchdowns, with 105 touchdowns, and the all-time passing yards record, with 10,653 yards when he graduated in 2014. 

In the game against Mt. St. Joseph University Oct. 28, Burton broke West’s passing touchdown record.

Burton said he knew he was close to West’s passing yards record but didn’t know how close he actually was. 

Around the end of the first half, as Burton was jogging off the field, Steve McClure, the game announcer, informed the audience Burton had just broken West’s all-time passing yard record. But Burton didn’t even hear McClure make the announcement.

“When he said that, I really didn’t even hear it, but the fans started cheering and other players started to congratulate me,” Burton said. “It was kind of a nice moment to share with all of my teammates and family afterwards.”

Burton finished his collegiate career with a total of 11,579 passing yard, 121 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns.

Burton played football and baseball at Corydon Central High School, where he was a two-time All-Mid Southern Conference selection in football and was named the 2012 football team’s Most Valuable Player.

After graduating from high school, he was originally recruited to play baseball at Bellarmine University. But he was hurt while playing in the fall baseball season. 

After he got hurt at Bellarmine, he started to miss playing football. A friend convinced him to transfer to Franklin College.

“I stayed in touch with him and with the coaching staff here,” Burton said. “After about a year of sitting around not playing baseball made me miss football even more.”

Burton transferred to Franklin in 2014 to play football and became a reserve quarterback. After that season, he became the starting quarterback.

Head Football Coach Mike Leonard said Burton helped the team with not only the passing game but the running game as well.

“We are happy that we are throwing the ball, like we always have, but we are also running the ball really well,” Leonard said. “That is attributed to him at times getting us in the right play and handing it off instead of passing it.”

Leonard said there is one game he will always remember. During Burton’s sophomore year, Franklin was losing to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Burton received a bloody mouth during the game, but overcame and led the team to a victory.

During his time on the team, Burton led the team to two spots in the Division III championship tournament and was the recipient of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. 

To Burton, every game he has played in was special to him. The games he remembers the most are the Victory Bell Classic games, where he has gone undefeated against Hanover College. 

During his time at Franklin College, Burton learned is a player needs to know everyone on the team. He said a lot of his teammates at Franklin were players that he had played against in high school. 

“I wasn’t too fond of them back then, but now I am friends with them and even live with some of them,” Burton said. 

Burton plans on playing football after he graduates this spring. He currently has opportunities lined up overseas to play in Germany or in Finland. 

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About Brandon Barger 9 Articles
Brandon Barger is a sports writer for The Franklin majoring in multimedia journalism. He enjoys playing video games, reading, and watching sporting events His dream is to work at NBC Sports and become a broadcaster at the Olympics, preferably the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games, and at the Super Bowl, hopefully at one the Colts are playing in. This is Brandon's first year on The Franklin staff.

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