John Kaschak rushed for a season-high 161 yards and a touchdown to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 14-0 Centennial Conference (CC) win over Juniata. The Diplomats improved to 2-2 (1-1 CC) on the year, while the Eagles (0-4, 0-2 CC) remain winless.
Kaschak rushed 42 times, making him the second busiest back in a single-game in Franklin & Marshall history. He was one touch short of the record 43 rushes posted by John Seiber in 1979. His three-yard touchdown plunge midway through the third quarter eliminated any doubt about the outcome.
Ryan Murray gave F&M the only score it needed in the closing minute of the first half. His two-yard touchdown reception from John Harrison capped a 29-yard drive, cashing in on one of Juniata’s two lost fumbles in the game.
F&M dominated the clock, field position and offensive side of the stats posting 238 total yards on a muddy field, while holding the Juniata to 120 total yards and seven first downs. The Eagles converted on just two of its 13 third down attempts in the game.
Despite the one sided nature of the affair, Juniata remained within a single score well into the fourth quarter thanks in part to a brilliant goalline stand on the Diplomats’ first possession. After riding Kaschak’s back down to a first and goal from the five, Juniata stuffed the Diplomats advance, stacking up on their one yardline on both third and fourth down.
The field never tilted back in the contest with the Eagles average starting field position on their own 20. F&M, by contrast, needed to chew up 47 yards to paydirt on average, having started 10 of its 15 drives on Juniata’s side of the field.
The Diplomats defense recorded three take-aways in the game. Zach Romash and Jeffrey Liberatore each recovered a fumble. Mike Marcinek was credited with a forced fumble. Barry Lovett intercepted a pass and broke up an additional pair. James Freeman posted six tackles, while Romash recorded five stops. Safety-turned-lineman, Donald Wiezak, recorded four solo tackles, one for a loss, and broke up a pass.
Harrison completed 9-of-19 passes for 55 yards. George Eager was F&M's leading receiver with 29 yards on two catches. Kaschak and Murray each recorded a pair of receptions.
Juniata's Jay Leonard completed 9-of-29 pass attempts gaining 61 yards. Dan Fenton caught three passes for 20 yards.
F&M improved to 2-0 at home and is yet to surrender a point on Sponaugle-Williamson Field this season. Both of F&M’s home shutouts have been posted in the remnants of a tropical disturbance.
The Diplomats are idle next week, but return to action on
Homecoming Saturday, October 11, against Ursinus. Kickoff is set
for 1:30 p.m.
Note: The game was delayed by lightning for a half hour 1:25 second into the contest... The Eagles have made three visits to Lancaster since the series began in 1924, but are yet to score a point… F&M held onto the football for 38:04 of the game, marking the third time the Diplomats have controlled the clock for more than 35 minutes this season… F&M’s 58 rushing attempts marks the second most rushes in a game falling two short of the 60 rushing attempts against Swarthmore on October 28, 2000. The Diplomats have topped the 55-carries mark in both of their home games this season (56 vs. W&L)… F&M has not allowed a point on its own field this season. The back-to-back shutouts in games played at Sponaugle-Williamson marks the first time since 1985 that F&M went the first eight quarters at home without surrendering a point. The victims that season were Muhlenberg (24-0 in the season opener) and Juniata (21-0). F&M finished the 1985 season at 8-2-1… Through eight quarters, F&M has allowed just 98 rushing yards on Sponaugle-Williamson Field…