Strong First Half Leads Mules over Diplomats

Strong First Half Leads Mules over Diplomats

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Muhlenberg scored 28 unanswered points in the first half enroute to a 35-19 victory over Franklin & Marshall in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. The Mules improved to 2-0, 1-0 CC while F&M fell to 1-1, 0-1 CC.

The Mules scored on their opening drive for an early 7-0 edge and tacked on seven more towards the end of the first quarter for a 14-0 lead heading into the second. Muhlenberg made it 21-0 at the start of the second quarter and struck again with just 25 ticks on the clock for a 28-0 lead at the break. 

F&M put its first points on the board with a 14-play, 75-yard drive to open the third quarter. Tanner Erisman led the drive with 39 yards through the air and another 21 on the ground. The Diplomats faced a fourth-and-goal on the two at 8:16 b before Erisman found Bobby Keyes on a two-yard score to make 28-6 midway through the third. 

Muhlenberg countered on their next series with a 75-yard drive to make it 35-6 with a little under five minutes to play in the third. 

The Diplomats responded on their ensuing possession with a 65-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard rush from Dave Shellhammer to make 35-12 at 1:46. F&M put its final points on the board after taking over on the Muhlenberg 30 when Jeff Leone forced a fumble that Michael Sullivan recovered for the Diplomats. Taalib Gerald took the ball down to the 15 on the first play and Erisman found Dillon Alderfer for a 15-yard score for the 35-19 final. 

Erisman finished with 119 yards (14-for-28) with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He added another 37 on the ground. 

Gerald picked up 77 on 18 carries while Shellhammer had four carries for 44 yards and one score for the Diplomats. Andrew DeStefano led the receivers with 47 yards on seven grabs while Keyes ended with 27 yards on three catches and a score. 

Steve Elf led the defense with eight stops including one sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Brendan Daly had eight tackles (6 solo) while Joe Granahan recorded eight solo tackles with one sack and two tackles for a loss. Luke Foukas and Vincent Moffett both had seven tackles for F&M. 

F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats host Ursinus at 1:00 p.m.