LANCASTER, Pa. -- George Eager hauled in seven passes for 138 yards and a touchdown as Franklin & Marshall shutout McDaniel 20-0 on Sponaugle-Williamson Field in Centennial Conference (CC) football on Saturday. The shutout was F&M's (4-4, 3-3 CC) third of the season, leaving the Diplomats unbeaten at home through four games on their turf.
Eager's score was the second touchdown for the Diplomats in the first quarter. Fellow receiver, Jarrell Diggs took the option to pass on reverse, end-around, and found the F&M junior 15-yards beyond the McDaniel (2-6, 1-5 CC) secondary for a 65-yard touchdown pass. The play was two yards shorter than F&M's longest play of the season that the same pair combined for during F&M's last home game, three weeks ago.
Eager had one reception for 28-yards on F&M's first scoring drive, a 12-play, 86-yard effort that made it 7-0 with 5:40 left in the first quarter. It was the first of two 28-yard strikes on the drive for freshman quarterback, John Harrison, who threw six passes of 20 yards or more in the game. Jay Ridinger was on the receiving end of the other getting F&M onto the McDaniel side of the field. Harrison ended the decisive drive with a three-yard pop pass to tight end, Matt Jenschke.
Harrison finished the game 12-of-22 with 175 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Seven different Diplomats caught at least a pass. Eager crossed the 100-yard plateau for the ninth time in his career. 256 of F&M's 335 yards of total offense came through the air. The Diplomats' ground committee netted just 79 yards.
Working off of the bench, McDaniel freshman, Thomas Massucci completed 14-of-33 passes for 144 yards. He threw an interception to Jeff Kellar who weaved through traffic down the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown late in the first half. It was the second interception return for a touchdown of the junior's career, and the second of the season for F&M.
Massucci did string together several solid drives finding wideout, Matt Cahill, four times for 82 yards and back, Raymond O'Hara three times for 39 yards. Massucci led the Green Terror to 201 yards of offense, but his unit was plagued by sacks. Alex Pastore became the first Diplomat since 2004 to record two sacks in a single game. Zach Romash and James Gregory led the defense with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively. Each posted a sack as did Powis Forjoe, who got the first of his career.
Mike Ford recorded two sacks for losses of 18 yards for McDaniel.
With the win, the Diplomats move back to .500 on the season and in league play. F&M returns to Sponaugle-Williamson for the final time in 2008 next week when the Diplomats host Johns Hopkins at 1:00 p.m.
Notes: Saturday’s win marked the 565th victory in Franklin & Marshall’s history… Jarrell Diggs (Fr./WR/Baltimore/Gilman) may have the world’s top passer rating checking in at 656.27. The freshman receiver has completed two of three passes this season for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The number would have been significantly higher had he had about three more feet on his only incompletion this season. It fell about a foot short of Eager, who caught the other two for a 67 and 65-yard touchdown… James Gregory (Sr./ILB/Rockville, MD/ Winston Churchill) continues to make the most of the last of his time. Gregory flew around the field all day finishing with 12 tackles (6 solo), a sack, and a pass breakup. He has topped the ten-tackle mark in each of his past three games… F&M has shutout three opponents on Sponaugle-Williamson Field this season and is 4-0 on its own turf. The Diplomats are yet to yield a second-half point at home this season. The last time F&M went undefeated at home in a season was in 1992. The Diplomats finished that campaign 5-5, unbeaten at home and winless on the road. The Diplomats are currently 4-4, unbeaten at home and winless on the road. The final two opponents in ’92 were Hopkins at home, and Gettysburg away, the same schedule that this version of the Diplomats face. F&M has gone unbeaten at home in 30 seasons since first taking the field in 1887. 11 teams have pulled the feat with five or more home games with the school’s record standing at six home wins. The Diplomats have been 6-0 six times, a record that remains safe unless F&M was somehow able to manage a postseason home game…