LANCASTER, Pa. - Franklin & Marshall absorbed two Bullets' touchdowns in rapid succession and then held Gettysburg's offense without a point for almost 48 minutes. While the defense held the Bullets' (3-7, 3-5 CC) potent offense in check, the Diplomats (8-2, 6-2 CC) spread the ball judiciously to rally for a 33-23 Centennial Conference (CC) win.
The game appeared destined to become a shootout with the first three possessions of the game resulting in touchdowns and a 14-7 Gettysburg lead. Gettysburg needed only three plays and 53 seconds to get out in front. Jamel Mutunga sprung a 68-yard run before Barry Lovett pushed him out of bounds at the two. The first of Lovett's three touchdown saving tackles on the day was for naught. Mutunga plunged in on the next play to put his team ahead 7-0.
F&M responded with a methodical 60-yard drive over 10 plays. John Kaschak did the bulk of the work, accounting for 28 of the yards on six carries and one reception. His final touch of the drive ended in Gettysburg's end zone to knot it at 7-7.
Starting on their own 35, Gettysburg once again struck quickly. Matt Flynn hooked up with Charles Curcio for a 61-yard catch and run, ended by Lovett at the F&M 4. Ricky Manigat took over from there, finishing the drive on the second play, 24 seconds after it started, putting Gettysburg back in front 14-7.
The Diplomats defense held Gettysburg scoreless on its next ten possessions including five punts and two interceptions. The first stop came on downs, ending Gettysburg's third possession. The series began on the Gettysburg 1-yardline and traversed 73 yards to F&M's 26, but three consecutive incomplete passes led to a turnover on downs. F&M went right back down the field in the other direction and finished the drive with a 5-yard Kaschak run into the endzone making it 14-14.
Kaschak finished the rushing portion of his day with 102-yards, and two touchdowns. He is the only Diplomat rusher in F&M's pass-oriented offense to reach 100-yards this season. So pass oriented is F&M's offense that Kaschak got a chance to throw one in for a score as well. Facing second and goal at the Bullets' 2-yardline, Kaschak faked a dive, pulled up at the line and popped a high-arcing basketball pass to Mike Deutch, alone in the back of the endzone. Deutch then hauled in his second two-point conversion pass to make it 30-16.
Deutch caught a two-point conversion pass from Colton Weaver on a PAT fake following F&M's first touchdown in the second half. An 18-yard pass and run from John Harrison to Ryan Murray gave F&M its first lead of the day, 22-16, with 2:40 left in the third quarter. It was the game's first score in nearly 20 minutes. The Bullets' Tim Widdoes sacked John Harrison in the end zone to give his team a 16-14 lead.
Both of Franklin & Marshall's interception came in the fourth quarter. Playing their final regular season game, Jeff Kellar and Frank DiMattia, came up with the picks. Kellar's stopped a drive on the Diplomats' side of the field, while DiMattia's pick and 41-yard return set up Mike Shin's 23-yard insurance field goal.
Everyone had a hand in F&M's offense. Three players completed passes, five gained yards over land and eight different receivers caught at least one pass. Harrison completed 23 of 33 attempts for 213 yards and a touchdown. He became the Centennial Conference's single-season record holder for passing yards and completions in the process. He now sits at 2,865 yards, supplanting Ursinus' Frank Vecchio, who threw for 2,709 yards in 1999. Harrison's 247 completions move him in front of Brian Van Deusen's 224 at Western Maryland in 1995.
His primary target, George Eager, racked up 10 catches and 162-yards to become the third Diplomat with 200 career catches. Eager also reset the school's career mark for all-purpose yards. Dale Amos had held the mark at 3,896, Eager now owns 3,986 all-purpose yards.
Murray, Jarrell Diggs and Jay Ridinger each had three catches apiece. Diggs completed two passes for 52 yards and rushed for 26 yards on four direct snaps.
Matt Flynn completed 18 of 39 passes for 263 yards for the Bullets. None of his completions ended in the end zone, though three of them set up Bullets' touchdowns. Curcio was Gettysburg's leading receiver with six catches for 98 yards.
In addition to his interception, Jeff Kellar recorded six tackles and three pass breakups. Jeff Liberatore also had six tackles and three pass breakups. Mark Surma was F&M's leading tackler with seven stops.
Gettysburg got a game-high 11 tackles from Wes Taylor and Joe Delaney. Rob Panella broked up three Harrison pass attempts.
With the win, F&M closes the regular season at 8-2 (6-2 CC), the best season since the 2004 8-2 regular season campaign that ended with an ECAC bid and an 8-3 overall record. F&M will await word from the ECAC with regards to a bid for 2009, and a chance at becoming the first nine win team at F&M since the 1996 Diplomats.
Franklin & Marshall's Football Class of 2010
Gettysburg vs Franklin & Marshall
Score by Quarters 1
2 3 4
Gettysburg 14 2 0 7 23 Record: (3-7,3-5)
Franklin & Marshall 7 7 8 11 33 Record: (8-2,6-2)
14:07 GC Jamel Mutunga 2 yd run (Mike Barrett kick), 3-73 0:53, GC 7 - F&M 0
8:03 F&M John Kaschak 2 yd run (Mike Shin kick), 10-60 5:57, GC 7 - F&M 7
7:33 GC Ricky Manigat 4 yd run (Mike Barrett kick), 2-65 0:24, GC 14 - F&M 7
13:00 F&M John Kaschak 5 yd run (Mike Shin kick), 8-74 3:37, GC 14 - F&M 14
11:17 GC Tim Widdoes safety, , GC 16 - F&M 14
2:40 F&M Ryan Murray 18 yd pass from John Harrison (Michael Deutch pass from Colton Weaver), 7-68 3:11, GC 16 - F&M 22
6:42 F&M Michael Deutch 2 yd pass from John Kaschak (Michael Deutch pass from John Harrison), 4-32 1:56, GC 16 - F&M 30
5:10 F&M Mike Shin 23 yd field goal, 4-2 0:57, GC 16 - F&M 33
4:21 GC Ricky Manigat 5 yd run (Mike Barrett kick), 4-56 0:41, GC 23 - F&M 33
FIRST DOWNS 18 23
RUSHES-YARDS (NET) 32-183 39-163
PASSING YDS (NET) 263 267
Passes Att-Comp-Int 39-18-2 36-26-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS 71-446 75-430
Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards 1-0 3-16
Kickoff Returns-Yards 6-79 4-44
Interception Returns-Yards 0-0 2-41
Punts (Number-Avg) 5-32.4 4-39.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-75 7-61
Possession Time 20:28 35:23
Third-Down Conversions 8 of 16 6 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 2 1 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 3-3 5-7
Sacks By: Number-Yards 1-5 1-6
RUSHING: Gettysburg-Jamel Mutunga 16-103; Matt Flynn 5-36; Ricky Manigat 4 20;Anthony DeSalva 5-19; Charles Curcio 2-5. Franklin & Marshall-John Kaschak 25-102; Jarrell Diggs 4-26; Ryan Murray 4-26; George Eager 1-11; Alan Williams 2-9; TEAM 1-minus 2; John Harrison 2-minus 9.
PASSING: Gettysburg-Matt Flynn 18-39-2-263. Franklin & Marshall-John Harrison 23-33-0-213; Jarrell Diggs 2-2-0-52; John Kaschak 1-1-0-2.
RECEIVING: Gettysburg-Charles Curcio 6-98; Brian Betley 3-61; Jamel Mutunga 3-32; A.J. Perrotti 3-13; Ricky Manigat 2-7; Kyle Davis 1-52. Franklin & Marshall-George Eager 10-162; Ryan Murray 3-30; Jarrell Diggs 3-28; Jay Ridinger 3-13; John Kaschak 3-12; Michael Deutch 2-16; John Harrison 1-8; Alan Williams 1-minus 2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Gettysburg-None. Franklin & Marshall-Frank DiMattia 1-41; Jeff Kellar 1-0.
FUMBLES: Gettysburg-None. Franklin & Marshall-None.
SACKS (UA-A): Gettysburg-Tim Widdoes 1-0. Franklin & Marshall-C.T. Marsh 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Gettysburg-Wes Taylor 8-3; Joe Delaney 7-4; Bryan DiSabato 9-1; Tim Widdoes 4-5; Rob Pennella 6-2; Peter Hak 5-3; Sebastian Sullivan 2-3; Tairi Mobley 4-0; TEAM 2-0; Mark Covington 2-0; Chad Bucur 2-0; Jamel Mutunga 1-0; Matt Coffey 1-0; Andrew Stout 1-0; Sean Beirne 0-1. Franklin & Marshall-Mark Surma 4-3; Barry Lovett 6-0; Jeffrey Liberatore 5-1; Jeff Kellar 4-2; C.T. Marsh 4-2; Shane Gray 5-0; Kyle Wengerter 2-2; Frank DiMattia 3-0; James Freeman 2-0; Michael Deutch 2-0; Ty Savastio 1-1; Kenny Provost 1-0; T.J. Tynan 1-0; TEAM 1-0; Devin Hunter 0-1; Alan Williams 0-1; Scott Williams 0-1; Drew Hutcheon 0-1; Jay Ridinger 0-1.