LANCASTER, Pa. – Wide receiver Jarrell Diggs was responsible for three touchdowns, fueling Franklin & Marshall’s 51-13 homecoming win over Ursinus. Diggs rushed for a score, then threw and received a touchdown pass in the Centennial Conference (CC) win. The Diplomats moved to 3-2 (2-1 CC), while Ursinus fell to 2-3 (1-2 CC). All three of F&M’s wins have come at home.
The Diplomats wasted little time taking command. F&M marched 75-yards on six plays on its opening drive, which was finished by Diggs’ 15-yard end around run into the endzone to make it 6-0.
With his squad holding a 14-6 lead midway through the first quarter, the receiver faked another end around and found fellow wideout, George Eager, wide open down the right side of the field. Eager walked across the goalline on a 67-yard touchdown pass. Diggs later put one of the final nails in the coffin catching his first career touchdown, a 20-yard jump ball in the front left corner of the end zone on F&M’s first possession of the final quarter.
The first quarter was a wild affair. Ursinus went three-and-out on its first possession, but Michael Deutch blocked the Bears’ punt, setting the Diplomats up with a 24-yard field. F&M’s freshman quarterback, John Harrison, completed three passes with the third being a 13-yard strike to Matt Jenschke to give the Diplomats a two-score lead.
Ursinus answered with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that yielded the first opponent points scored on Sponaugle-Williamson field this season, a 45-yard touchdown pass to Shea Wisler from Nick Dye. The extra point failed making a 14-6 contest.
Diggs’ answered on the next possession with his strike to Eager. F&M traded a field goal for a touchdown in the second quarter to make it 24-13 at the half in the Diplomats’ favor.
The Bears’ second possession of the third quarter ended with an interception that Paul Sousa returned 29-yards to make it 31-13. Their next possession also ended on an interception, this one by James Gregory, setting up Diggs’ receiving touchdown. Gregory had two picks in the game. Nick Petrelli added F&M’s fourth of the contest, setting up a seven-yard Ryan Murray run into the endzone.
Eager was F&M’s leading receiver with 139 yards and a touchdown on six catches. His effort marks the first 100-yard receiving effort of the season for the Diplomats. Harrison completed half of his 30 pass attempts for 235 yards and his first career three-touchdown performance. He hit Diggs for what would have been his third of the day in the fourth quarter, save for a holding penalty. Diggs was 1-for-2 passing; just missing Eager on the same played that scored earlier in the game, early in the fourth quarter. F&M passed for 329 yards in the game and posted 452 yards of offense – its highest single-game performance this season.
The Diplomats return to action next week at Moravian.
Notes: Franklin & Marshall's 38-point margin of victory is the largest in a game since F&M defeated Swarthmore 41-0 on November 1, 1997. It also marks F&M's largest win over Ursinus since 1952's 68-19 victory in Lancaster... Paul Sousa's 29-yard interception return marks the first interception for a touchdown since Jeff Kellar returned an interception at Ursinus last year... Nick Petrelli recorded his first career interception and tacked on a 40-yard return, F&M's longest interception return of the season... George Eager's 139-yards mark a career high for the junior, surpassing the 137 yards he posted twice last year. It was Eager's first time crossing the 100-yard plateau this season and the fifth of his career... Michael Deutch caught his first career touchdown pass... F&M cashed in on five of its seven trips in the red zone on Saturday, scoring two TDs on land, two more through the air, and getting a 21 yard FG from Sousa. Entering the game, the Diplomats had scored only eight of its 17 trips inside of the opposition's 20.