BALTIMORE – Franklin & Marshall fell 45-24 to No. 8 Johns Hopkins in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. F&M dropped to 6-3, 5-3 CC while the Blue Jays remained undefeated at 9-0, 8-0 CC and clinched their seventh consecutive CC Title.
Johns Hopkins went on the board first when Bradley Munday hauled in a 37-yard pass to put the Blue Jays up 7-0. F&M answered on its next possession after taking advantage of a fumbled punt by the Blue Jays.
Dan Riordan recovered the fumble by Dan Johnson and gave the Diplomats new life on the JHU 25-yardline. Four plays later, Billy Zwicharowski connected on a 25-yard field goal to make it 7-3. Hopkins answered on its next possession and took a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Diplomats countered with their first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter. F&M took over on the JHU 49 after Nathan English and Luke Foukas sacked Jon Germano on fourth-and-two. Matt Magarity led the Diplomats on a five-play, 49-yard drive that was capped off with a 19-yard pass to Logan Lewis to bring F&M within four, 14-10, with around 10 minutes left in the second.
Hopkins answered with 14 straight points and went into the break with a 28-10 lead.
F&M made it a two-score game on its second possession in the third quarter. Andrew Heird put the Diplomats in great field position with a 34-yard punt return to the Hopkins' 25 and a penalty on the Blue Jays put the ball on the 12. Magarity made the best of the situation on the first play of the Diplomats' next possession when he found Dillon Alderfer on a 12-yard pass to make it 28-17.
JHU countered with another 14-point spurt and took a 42-17 lead in the fourth quarter. The Blue Jays made it 45-27 with a field goal midway through the fourth, before the Diplomats tacked on their final points when Tanner Erisman found Lewis for a 22-yard score.
Magarity completed 15-of-27 passes for 160 yards and two scores and Erisman added 42 on four completions.
English led the defense with 12 stops (5s), 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Vincent Moffett had nine stops while Foukas, Jon Naji, Ryan Feulner, Brendan Daly and Max Havlusch all had five stops each. Foukas had a half sack and Naji finished with a sack of his own.
F&M closes out the regular season next Saturday when the Diplomats host Gettysburg at 12:30 p.m. The Diplomats can earn a spot in the inaugural Centennial – MAC Bowl with a win and a Muhlenberg loss.