LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall held No. 8 Johns Hopkins to its lowest offensive production of the season, but a were unable to overcome a combination of missed opportunities and turnovers, falling 33-14 to the Blue Jays.
Hopkins (9-0, 8-0 CC) took an early lead after Bradley Munday took the opening kickoff 80 yards and Brandon Cherry scored two plays for a 7-0 lead. F&M (5-4, 4-4 CC) drove 20 yards on its next series, before the punting the ball and Brendan Daly picked off a Braden Anderson pass on the Blue Jays' next possession, giving the Diplomats the ball back on the Hopkins' 46.
F&M made the most of the opportunity, marching 43 yards in nine plays and converting on three third downs to set up a first-and-goal on the JHU one. Two plays later, Scott LaValva dove in from a yard out to the tie game at 7-7 with 3:53 left in the first quarter.
The teams traded possessions for most of the second quarter as F&M's defense made important plays in key situations. The defense forced two three-and-outs and Aaron Fant picked off Anderson early in the second quarter.
With 50 seconds left in the second quarter, a short punt set Hopkins up on the F&M 28 and the Blue Jays took the ball to F&M seven, before Jamie Sullivan connected on a 24-yard field goal to give JHU a 10-7 lead at the break.
The Diplomats came out of the half strong and opened up the second half with a 12-play, 79-yard scoring drive that took 7:11 off the clock. Matt Magarity was responsible for 72 yards in the drive, running for 26 and tossing for 46 more. Magarity connected with Drew Martinez on a 13-yard pass, setting the Diplomats up on the one and LaValva took it home two plays later to put F&M up 14-10.
After two short drives by both teams, Hopkins took over on their own 29 and two plays later Anderson found Munday over the middle for a 59-yard score to put the Blue Jays up for good, 17-14.
A short punt on F&M's next possession, gave Hopkins the ball on their own 28 and three plays later, Anderson raced 54 yards on quarterback draw for a 24-14 lead at the end of the third.
The Blue Jays' defense stepped it up in the fourth quarter, forcing two turnovers on F&M's first two drives and picked up a safety on the Diplomats final possession of the fourth. Hopkins added seven points midway through the fourth on a 28-yard run from Stuart Walters, and the safety at the end made it 33-14.
Magarity had a game-high 90 rushing yards on 15 carries while LaValva finished with 71 on 31 carries and two scores. Magarity added another 105 through the air, completing 9-of-18 passes.
Jordan Zackery hauled in four passes for 37 yards and is six receptions shy of the setting the all-time conference record in receptions.
Brian Velasco led the defense with seven stops (5 solo) along with Jon Naji who also had seven stops with one going for a loss. Ryan Young had six tackles and Fant finished with five tackles and an interception. Nicolaas Drapanas had two pass break ups and Daly finished with an interception and two pass break ups.
F&M returns to action on Saturday when the Diplomats take on Gettysburg for the 100th meeting all time between the two institutions. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.