Diplomats Down Mules

Diplomats Down Mules

LANCASTER, Pa. – Lamont Jackson rushed for 86 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 28-21 victory over Muhlenberg in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon.  The victory snaps Muhlenberg's two game win-streak as the Diplomats improved to 1-1, 1-0 CC.  

F&M jumped out to a 3-0 lead almost five minutes in the second quarter when Connor Ryan booted a 20-yard field goal. The kick capped an 18-play, 74-yard drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock. 

Muhlenberg (1-1, 0-1 CC) responded two series later when an interception by Chris Flynn gave the Mules the ball on the F&M 22. Two plays later Joe Carlucci found Cody Geyer for a 19-yard score that gave Muhlenberg a 7-3 lead with 3:05 left until halftime.  

The Diplomats countered on their next series when F&M marched 64-yards down the field in 2:46 to set up another Ryan field goal attempt. The freshmen made the best of the opportunity drilling the 31-yard kick to bring F&M within a point, 7-6, at halftime.  

F&M went up for good on the its second possession of the third quarter. E.J. Schneider went 6-of-6 for 46 yards to open the drive and Jackson rushed five times for 19 yards including a one-yard plunge on third and goal to make it 13-7. The Diplomats were successful on the two-point conversion when Schneider found Paul Koehler in the end zone, which gave F&M a 14-7 edge.  

Schneider made it 21-7 when his six-yard jaunt capped off a nine-play, 60-yard drive with 13:47 left in the game.  

The Mules quickly answered on their ensuing possession taking just three plays to go 71 yards. The drive ended with a 54-yard pitch and catch from Nick Palladino to Cody Geyer for a 21-14 score at 12:17. 

Two series later, Jackson scored his second touchdown of the game on 23-yard to make it 28-14. The series was set up by a fourth down stop by the F&M defense on the Mules previous possession. Muhlenberg attempted to convert a fourth-and-five, but Aaron Fant broke up the pass, giving F&M the ball on their own 48. 

Nick Pallaadino rushed in from six yards out for the Mules final score at 4:23 to make it 28-21. Muhlenberg had one more opportunity after forcing F&M to punt, but the Diplomats' defense again stepped up again and forced a turnover on downs.  

Schneider's two-yard pickup on third-and-one on the Diplomats next series secured the win as the Diplomats were able to run out the clock. 

F&M outgained Muhlenberg 456 to 239 yards on offense and held a 38:48 to 21:12 advantage in time of possession. 

Schneider completed 30-of-42 passes for 301 yards and became just the ninth Diplomat to toss over 4,000 career yards. The senior added 45 more on the ground.  

Jordan Zackery led all receivers with 127 yards on nine catches while Tim Muller hauled in 10 balls for 64 yards. Paul Koehler had 48 yards and Paul McGann finished with 46.  

Connor Ryan went 2-for-2 on PAT attempts and kicked two field goals for the Diplomats.  

Brendan Wengerter reached double-digit tackles for the second straight week with a team-high 10 stops, two went for a loss and one resulted in a sack. A.J. Koikoi had a sack and finished with five tackles, while Chris DeStefano had two pass breakups and four tackles.  

F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats travel to Ursinus for a 1:00 pm start.