Diplomats Trump Terror

Diplomats Trump Terror

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Franklin & Marshall defeated McDaniel 31-14 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. The Diplomats picked up their eighth straight victory against the Green Terror and improved to 2-4, 2-3 CC on this season.

F&M came out of the gate strong, opening up with 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive that spanned at little over eight minutes. The drive featured John Kaschak, who touched the ball nine times, with seven rushes for 31 yards and two catches for 28. The senior capped off the drive with a 23-yard screen pass from John Harrison for the first score of the game.

F&M's defense held McDaniel to minus 15 yards in the next two series and a muffed punt on fourth and 26 set up F&M's second score of the game.

Jordan Zackery finished a four-play, 30-yard drive with a 23-yard scoring jaunt at 12:23 to give the Diplomats a 14-0 lead.

The defense stepped up again, forcing a three and out on one series and then pinning McDaniel down to its one inch line on the next series.  The Green Terror started for its own nine after a 54-yard punt from Devin Hunter and soon found themselves on the inch line courtesy of a sack by John Gandolfo and Leo Chubinishvili. McDaniel was forced to punt and Zackery returned the ball 24 yards to the McDaniel 12, which set up a John Harrison six-yard scoring run three plays later to give F&M a 21-0 lead.

Chris DeStefano drilled a 37-yard field with 1:28 remaining in the second half to put F&M up 24-0 at the break.

F&M limited McDaniel to minus one yard of total offense in the first half.

It was all McDaniel in the second half at its offense racked up 248 yards while its defense limited the Diplomats to 65 yards of total offense and no scores. The Green Terror were able to covert two drives into scores.

Nick Valori hooked up with Mike Oliveto for a 35-yard strike for the Green Terror's first score of the game with 1:47 left in the third. McDaniel struck again on a 12-yard strike with two minutes remaining in the game that capped off a 75-yard drive. The Green Terror recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff as the momentum appeared to shift. 

On McDaniel's first play, C.T. Marsh produced the Diplomats' eighth sack of the day, stripped the ball in the process, scooped it up and raced to paydirt on a 24-yard run to ice the win for F&M.

Marsh finished with four tackles and two sacks. He is 1.5 sacks shy from tying the school's career sack record of 25.5 set by Matt DeChamps '92

Brendan Wengerter recorded a team-high seven stops while Kenny Provost finished with six, three of which were for a loss. Donald Wiezik (5 solo, 1 assist), Brian Velasco (4s, 1a), Jonathan Struss (3s, 2a) and Ty Savastio (3s, 2a) all came up big for the Diplomats. Wengerter and Wiezik both had interceptions.

McDaniel's Joe Rollins came into the game leading the nation with 164.8 rushing per game. He finished with 65 yards, with only five in the first half.

Harrison (12 for 22 passing, 108 yards) found six different receivers on the afternoon. Kaschak hauled in four for 50 yards while Paul McGann finished with three catches for 23 yards.

Kaschak added 88 yards on 25 rushes to lead the team with 138 all-purpose yards.

The offensive line, led by Nick Gerace, Chad Tothero, Nick Tucciarone, Sami Caygoz and Sam Wojciechowski, made the way for 137 rushing yards and gave up only three sacks.

F&M returns to action Oct. 22 when the Diplomats travel to Moravian for a 1 p.m. game.