LANCASTER, Pa. -- Franklin & Marshall knocked off McDaniel 31-7 in a Centennial Conference (CC) football game Saturday afternoon. The win puts the Diplomats in an elite group of institutions, as F&M became just the eighth program to win 600 games.
In their 127th year, the Diplomats joined Mount Union, Wittenberg, Washington & Jefferson, Widener, Williams, Wabash and Amherst – all of which have also been playing football for more than century -- in the exclusive 600-win club.
F&M (3-3, 2-3 CC) struck first early in the second quarter when Taalib Gerald capped off a four-play, 85-yard drive with an 11 yard score at 9:44 to put the Diplomats up 7-0. Both teams struggled on the offensive side of the ball the remainder of the first half, as neither team was able to put together a sustainable drive.
McDaniel (1-5, 0-5 CC) tied the game on its first possession of the third quarter. Duane Lucas picked off a Zach Bradley pass and it returned it to the F&M 35-yardline and John Chamberlin took it to the house of the Green Terror's first play of the ensuing possession to tie the game at 7-7.
F&M countered with 24 unanswered points. Connor Ryan put the Diplomats up for good on F&M's next drive when he connected on a 27-yard field goal to make it 10-7 at 9:03. Gerald picked up his second score with just under four minutes to play in the third quarter for a 17-7 F&M advantage.
F&M's defense forced a three-and-out on the Green Terror's next drive and a bad punt set the Diplomats up on the McDaniel 32. Five plays later, Gerald took it in from two yards out for a 24-7 F&M lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Diplomats tacked on seven more points when Scott LaValva dove into the end zone from two yards out for the final points of the contest with 6:59 left in the game.
F&M outgained McDaniel 430-267 yards on offense and held a 36:10-23:50 edge in time of possession.
Ryan Ignatovig, Vincent Acosta, Mark Opaliski, Lou Moeller and Frank Seitz did not allow a sack all afternoon and helped Gerald rack up 122 yards on 21 rushes and three scores while Matt Magarity finished with 44 yards on six rushes.
A.J. Koikoi paced the defense with five tackles, including one sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Brendan Daly had five stops and Jon Naji finished the game with three tackles for a loss, including two sacks.
F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats host Moravian at 1:00 p.m. for Homecoming.