Franklin & Marshall finished the 2015 campaign with a 6-4 overall mark, including a 5-4 record in the Centennial Conference (CC). The year marked the fifth season in the last seven years F&M has finished with a winning record.
Click here to watch a highlight video of the 2015 F&M football team.
More impressively, the class of 2016 ended their four-year career without posting a losing record, made two postseason appearances, upset two top-25 teams and won an ECAC Bowl game.
F&M started the year by winning four straight games, opening the season with three victories coming by five points or less. F&M downed Lebanon Valley 42-37 to kickoff the season with a fourth-down pass break up in the final seconds by Brendan Daly '17. Up next was No. 23 Muhlenberg for the home opener on Sept. 12. The Diplomats took advantage of a forced fumble by Vincent Moffett '18 and Matt Magarity '16 found Bobby Keyes '17 with 1:01 on the clock for the game-winning score.
The following week, the defense stepped up again. A goal line stand in the third quarter combined with another stand inside the 10-yardline, led F&M a 17-13 win over Ursinus. F&M finished off its streak with a 24-7 win over Juniata on Sept. 26 to mark the program's best start since 1989. The Diplomats also picked up victories over McDaniel (30-28) and Susquehanna (16-7) throughout the season.
F&M ranked in the top five in multiple categories throughout the CC. The Diplomats were the least penalized team in the league, gave up the third fewest sacks and excelled in multiple special teams categories. Moffett (25.6 ypr) and Andrew DeStefano '17 (24.9 ypr) held the top two spots in kick return averages while Billy Zwichawoski's '17 87.5 field goal percentage was second conference wide.
Five members earned six spots on the All-CC Football Team. Ryan Ignatovig '16 and Jonathan Cox '16 landed on the first team and A.J. Koikoi '16 along with Moffett earned second team accolades. Mark Opaliski '17 received honorable mention and Moffett also earned honorable mention recognition as a kick returner.
Seniors Tre Henderson '16, Ignatovig and Koikoi were selected to participate in postseason senior all-star games. Ignatovig and Koikoi both played in the D3 Senior Classic while Ignatovig also participated in the National Bowl and the Dream Bowl and Henderson will see action in the Tropic Bowl.
Ignatovig helped anchor a line that paved the way for 1,687 yards on the ground and finished seven games with giving up one sack or less and finished the year with a 91-percent blocking percentage and 52 knockdowns. Koikoi had 28 stops with 1.5 sacks and three tackles for a loss (TFL). Henderson started in all 10 contests in 2015. He finished with 25 tackles, six pass breakups to go along with two forced fumbles and two interceptions from his cornerback position.