HUNTINGDON, Pa. - George Eager caught six passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 34-7 win over Juniata in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday. Eager did all of his dirty work in a 34-0 first half, before joining the starters on the bench for the second half.
Eager's third reception of the day was a 65-yard catch and run through two defenders. He dropped three defenders on a sprint to the endzone to move into third in career receptions at F&M. His second touchdown, a 29 yard pass was caught 15 yards out, but several open field moves got him in for the score. That touchdown reception moved him into the top five in career yards. His third touchdown made it 34-0 just before the half. The catch was a picture of concentration. He reversed directions on a perfectly placed post route that was just out of the reach of two defenders in the back of the endzone.
The Diplomats' starting signal caller, John Harrison, did not take a snap in the second half. He still managed to post his third consecutive 300-yard day. He racked up 317 yards and three touchdowns on a 19-of-26 afternoon.
While the big play took the bow, it was the short passing game that set the stage. F&M made a living working short passes to running backs in flats throughout the first half. A 19-yard play to Kaschak in the flat on third down saw several moves that set up first and goal at the Juniata six-yardline. Kaschak finished the drive on an option from five yards out to make it 14-0. It was Kaschak that opened the day's scoring with the only touchdown of the first quarter. He broke three tackles at the line squirted to the right sideline, cut back middle through several defenders to score from 15-yards out.
Kaschak rushed for 29 yards on six carries and added 60 reception yards on three catches for F&M, which rolled up 418 yards of offense on the afternoon. The Eagles managed 164 yards.
Juniata recorded its first first down with 10 minutes in remaining second quarter. On the next play, Savastio sacked Snyder on a corner blitz for a loss of 11 yards to snuff that drive. F&M limited the Eagles recorded two first downs in the first half. F&M posted 380 yards in the first half while limiting the Eagles to just 34.
The Diplomats started ticking off Eagles yards on Juniata's first possession of the second half. Barry Lovett and Mark Surma recorded back-to-back sacks to set the Eagles back further. F&M recorded five sacks for 40 yards of losses on the afternoon.
F&M is now 5-1 in games against Juniata. Saturday's win marks the third straight victory over the Eagles. Juniata had two cracks at the endzone late in the fourth quarter, including a first and goal from the four, but the Diplomats defensive reserves held on both counts. The Eagles finally broke through on their third try with 2.7 seconds showing on the scoreboard.
F&M heads into its bye week 3-1 (1-1 CC), while Juniata drops to 0-4 (0-2 CC). The Diplomats return to action on October 10 at Ursinus.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Franklin & Marshall 7 27 0 0 34 Record: (3-1,1-1)
Juniata 0 0 0 7 7 Record: (0-4,0-2)
1st 06:09 F&M John Kaschak 15 yd run (Mike Shin kick), 13-75 6:00, F&M 7 - JUN 0
2nd 11:42 F&M John Kaschak 5 yd run (Mike Shin kick), 8-57 3:06, F&M 14 - JUN 0
07:42 F&M George Eager 65 yd pass from John Harrison (Mike Shin kick), 2-55 0:46, F&M 21 - JUN 0
02:15 F&M George Eager 29 yd pass from John Harrison (Mike Shin kick), 7-73 3:30, F&M 28 - JUN 0
00:26 F&M George Eager 24 yd pass from John Harrison (Colton Weaver pass failed), 3-64 0:44, F&M 34 - JUN 0
4th 00:02 JUN Abram Mellinger 15 yd pass from Mike DeTemple (Scott Andrews kick), 7-43 0:51, F&M 34 - JUN 7
RUSHING: Franklin & Marshall-John Kaschak 6-29; Alan Williams 6-25; Jacob Kelly 8-14; Ryan Murray 7-13; John Harrison 1-2; Colton Weaver 2-minus 7. Juniata-Derek Kramer 12-43; Mike DeTemple 3-15; Tyler Sasala 2-10; De'Sean Popley 7-6; TEAM 1-minus 2; Q Christian 5-minus 5; Alex Snyder 7-minus 24.
PASSING: Franklin & Marshall-John Harrison 19-26-0-317; Colton Weaver 2-4-0-25. Juniata-Mike DeTemple 6-23-0-62; Alex Snyder 6-8-0-59.
RECEIVING: Franklin & Marshall-George Eager 6-141; Ryan Murray 4-47; John Kaschak 3-60; Jay Ridinger 3-30; Jarrell Diggs 2-31; Michael Deutch 2-25; Peter Gumas 1-8. Juniata-Abram Mellinger 3-41; Q Christian 2-24; Cory Waltman 2-19; Ronnie Shrift 1-10; Tyler Sasala 1-9; Kevin Campbell 1-8; J Valdiserri 1-6; Ryan Kane 1-4.
INTERCEPTIONS: Franklin & Marshall-None. Juniata-None.
FUMBLES: Franklin & Marshall-Alan Williams 1-1; Colton Weaver 1-1. Juniata-None.
SACKS (UA-A): Franklin & Marshall-Mark Surma 1-1; Lewie Briggs 0-1; Ty Savastio 1-0; Barry Lovett 1-0; Kyle Wengerter 0-1; Kenny Provost 0-1. Juniata-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): Franklin & Marshall-James Freeman 6-1; Sam Massaro 6-0; Kurt Rogers 4-1; Lewie Briggs 3-2; Kenny Provost 3-1; Donald Wiezik 3-1; Frank DiMattia 3-0; TEAM 3-0; Mark Surma 2-1; Kyle Wengerter 1-2; Drew Hutcheon 2-0; Kevin Sonnet 2-0; Lipton Thompson 2-0; Shane Gray 2-0; Ty Savastio 1-1; Michael Marcinek 1-0; Jordan Studevan 1-0; Nick Barbieri 1-0; Barry Lovett 1-0; John Gandolfo 0-1; Jeffrey Liberatore 0-1. Juniata-Jason Marquis 2-4; Matthew Walton 1-5; Kyle McKechnie 4-1; Michael Casper 2-3; Beau Ryan 4-0; Brett Shippey 2-1; Edward Cooney 2-1; Chris Stephens 1-2; Dan Kraft 1-2; Chris Eccles 0-3; TEAM 2-0; Andy Miller 2-0; Andrew Masullo 2-0; James McGuire 1-1; Brandon Spayd 1-1; Mark Berguson 1-1; Tyler Sasala 0-2; Matt Dunker 1-0; Justin Miller 1-0; J Valdiserri 1-0; Noah Walstrom 1-0; C Jones 1-0; Ryan Blanchette 0-1.