Diplomats Soar Over Eagles
LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's defense caused four turnovers, and its offense had five different players hit paydirt, en route to a 40-14 Homecoming win over Juniata Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) football action. The defense held the Eagles to just 141 yards while keeping Juniata out of the end zone. The Eagles' two scores came on a punt and a kick off return.
F&M (1-3, 1-2 CC) struck first with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Jordan Zackery returned a punt 26 yards to set up a John Harrison 16-yard touchdown pass to Lamont Jackson to give the Diplomats a 7-0 lead.
Jonathan Struss intercepted a Ward Udinski pass and raced 70 yards down the home sideline for the score to put F&M up 14-0 with 11:11 remaining in the first half.
The Eagles finally lit the scoreboard late in the second quarter. Nicholas Stubbs returned a punt 64 yards to make it 14-7 with 5:34 remaining before halftime.
The Diplomats got one more across the goal line before the break. John Kaschakcapped of a five-play, 50-yard drive, on a one-yard plunge with 30 seconds remaining in the half. E.J. Schneider went 3 for 4 with 45 yards in the 1:59 scoring drive.
Tim Muller got the scoring started in the second half on his first touchdown of season with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter. Zackery put the Diplomats in great field position, again, with a 44-yard punt return, setting the Diplomats up on the Juniata 31. Eight plays later, Muller hauled in a one-yard pass from John Harrison (19 for 26, 143 yards). F&M failed on the PAT, with the score standing a 27-7.
Juniata responded when Nicholas Stubbs took the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to the house to cut F&M's lead at 27-14.
F&M countered with two scores over a two-minute span to put the game out of reach. Scott LaValva scored on a six-yard jaunt at 14:33 and Joe Goggin hauled in a 34-yard pass from Schnieder (9 for 15, 153 yards) for the final score of the contest.
Dominch Hezekiah finished with a game-high 40 yards rushing. John Kaschak tallied 31 and LaValva finished 26 yards on the ground. Mueller caught seven balls for 93 yards while Jackson finished with 30 reception yards.
F&M returns to the gridiron next Saturday when the Diplomats host Dickinson for the Battle of Wagon. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.