Diplomats Top Bullets in Battle for Lincoln Trophy

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GETTYSBURG, Pa.  – Franklin & Marshall College held Gettysburg College scoreless over the final 43 minutes on the way to capturing the Lincoln Trophy with a 34-10 decision on a chilly and breezy Saturday afternoon at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium.
In the 104th all-time meeting between the two schools, Gettysburg (1-9, 1-8 CC) trailed 14-10 following a 21-yard field goal by junior Justin Geisel (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) with 13:42 left in the second quarter. Franklin & Marshall (7-3, 6-3 CC) only allowed one more drive by the Bullets to reach their side of the field over the remaining time.
Prior to the game, Gettysburg recognized its 16 seniors: Logan Aikey (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg), Donovan Bennett (Vineland, N.J./Vineland), Chris Chick (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery), Johnny Davis(Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah), Chase Fee (Spotswood, N.J./Spotswood), Matt Graziano (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley), Ryan Krouse (Phoenix, Ariz./Paradise Valley), Alex Martinez (Bordentown, N.J./Notre Dame), Mike McKnight (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin), John Morris (Brielle, N.J./Manasquan), Matt Randall (Massapequa, N.Y./Saint Anthony's), Nick Rella(Denville, N.J./Morristown-Beard), Nick Rollo (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial),  Trent Seibert (Cape May Court House, N.J./St. Augustine Prep), Jake Skinner (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), and Matt Yoder (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal). 
Rella ended his career with a strong effort at tailback, rushing for 87 yards on 12 carries. His career-long rush of 46 yards on the team's first possession set up Gettysburg's opening score. Rella added a 35-yard rush later in the first quarter that set the stage for Geisel's field goal.
Sophomore cornerback Joey LaMore (Millersville, Md./Archbishop Spalding) led the Gettysburg defense with a career-high 10 tackles. Junior Cole Keyes (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape) added eight stops and a sack, while senior Jake Skinner (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) posted six tackles and finished as the team's leading tackler for the third year in a row. Skinner closed his career with 297 tackles.
Sophomore punter Evan Tannenbaum (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) averaged 43.2 yards on eight punts with a long of 58.
Franklin & Marshall put Gettysburg on its heels early as Tanner Erisman found K.J. Pretty for a 71-yard touchdown on the opening play of the game. The Bullets responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive highlighted by Rella's career-long rush up the middle. Sophomore Ryan Finlay (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) found freshman tight end Andrew Lusardi (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) for a short touchdown toss to even the score with just over 10 minutes to go in the first quarter.
The Diplomats came right back with their own sustained drive, churning up the field for 69 yards. Joe Hartley-Vitt scored on a 13-yard run to push the advantage to 14-7.
A strong defensive stop and a short punt set Gettysburg on Franklin & Marshall's side of the field at the end of the quarter. Another long rush by Rella put the hosts inside the red zone, but the Diplomat line held and pushed the Bullets back. Geisel converted his career-high 10th field goal of the season to cut the deficit to 14-10.
The Bullets committed their only turnover on their next possession in the second quarter as Tannenbaum fumbled on the punt attempt and K.J. Boston scooped up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone for a 21-7 Diplomat lead.
A scoreless third quarter featured seven punts combined by the two teams. Pretty added two more touchdown receptions in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.
Erisman finished 13-of-28 for 233 yards and three downs. All of his touchdown tosses went to Pretty, who finished with six receptions for 146 yards. Hartley-Vitt led the Diplomat rushing attack with 90 yards on 22 carries. Bobby McDevitt tallied eight tackles, including three for a loss, while Joe Granahan picked up six stops, two tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.

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