WESTMINISTER, Md. – E.J. Schneider accounted for 323 yards and all four scores to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 28-9 victory over McDaniel in Centennial Conference (CC) football action. F&M's offensive line of Ryan Ignatovig, Chad Tothero, Matthew Pisarcik, Sam Dickinson and Frank Seitz played a major role in Schneider's production, giving up zero sacks and paving the way for a season-high 255 rushing yards.
F&M (4-2, 4-1 CC) appeared to take control early when Andrew Heird forced a McDaniel fumble on the opening kickoff and Tyler Pollick recovered on the McDaniel 21. However, the Diplomats were unable to come away with any points on ensuing possession and the Green Terror (1-5, 1-4 CC) answered with a six minute drive that ended when a 29-yard punt that was downed at the F&M one.
The Diplomats attempted to get some breathing room on their first play, but McDaniel stopped Scott LaValva in the end zone for the safety and an early two-point edge.
Both defenses stepped up and forced three-and-outs over the next few possessions with F&M taking over on the McDaniel 31 with 2:24 left in the first. Five plays later, Schneider took it in on a zone read to put the Diplomats up 7-0.
The Diplomats made it 14-2 on their second possession in the second quarter with a 10-play, 81-yard drive. The drive featured a good mixture of plays and ended when Schneider found Zackery for the 12-yard score and a 14-2 F&M advantage.
McDaniel answered on their next possession, moving the ball 65 yards in 14 plays to come within six, 14-9, with 22 seconds left in the first half.
F&M went up 21-9 on the opening series of the second half. Schneider rumbled for 54 yards on the first play of the drive and hooked up with Tim Muller a play later for the score.
Neither team could punch one in the remainder of the third quarter before the Diplomats put the final points on the board early in the fourth. Schneider again made the right decision on a zone read and capped off a 77-yard drive with a 24-yard jaunt to make it 28-9.
Schneider racked up 151 yards on 13 rushes with an 11.6 average and two scores. He added 172 more through the air, completing 15-for-24 passes and two more touchdowns.
LaValva finished with 61 yards on the ground and Brendan Daly added 25 on three rushes.
Brendan Wengerter continued his dominance on defense with a game-high 14 stops (9s). Wengerter added a sack and now leads the conference in both sacks and tackles. Ryan Young had an impressive 13 tackles (7s) and Brian Velasco ended with nine stops. Aaron Fant insured the top spot in the CC in interceptions with a pick on the afternoon and had five tackles for the Diplomats.
F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats travel to Moravian for a 12:05 p.m. kickoff.