Victory Bell battle for title and tourney berth

A shared Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and a berth in the NCAA III playoffs are on the line as Hanover College's football squad battles Franklin College in the 56th-annual battle for the Victory Bell.

The game, which marks the 82nd meeting between the schools, will be played at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, in Franklin, Ind.

Franklin, 7-0 in the league, has already earned at least a share of the Heartland Conference championship. Hanover, at 6-3 overall and 6-1 in the league, can grab a piece of the crown and the HCAC's automatic bid to the national tournament with a victory.

Live audio coverage available here / Victory Bell game notes here

Note: Tailgating for Hanover fans will be on the west side of Franklin's campus in front of their physical plant building. The cost is $10 and 40-50 spots will be available.

Hanover holds a 42-36-3 lead in the overall series. The Panthers have a 35-20 lead in Bell games.

Hanover captured the Victory Bell with victories in 15 of 16 seasons from 1989 through 2004. The stretch included a string of 11 consecutive wins from 1994 to 2004.

Franklin has won the past seven meetings. The Grizzlies notched a 40-15 triumph last season at L.S. Ayres Field.

A Heartland Conference title would be the first for Hanover since the 2003 campaign. Franklin has earned four of the past five HCAC titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011).

The Victory Bell has been awarded to the winner of the rivalry game since 1938. The idea for a trophy to an annual football game winner was presented by Hanover’s Bat Club, a non-athletic group of males that wanted to improve school spirit.

Then-Hanover president Albert Parker designated the 1938 game against the Grizzlies and sent a letter of interest to the Franklin president. The trophy idea was approved by the Franklin athletic board, student council and student body.