LANCASTER, Pa. – No. 7 Johns Hopkins defeated Franklin & Marshall 48-28 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon at Sponaugle-Williamson Field. F&M dropped to 6-3, 5-3 CC while the Blue Jays remained undefeated at 9-0, 8-0 CC and clinched their eighth consecutive CC Title.
The game marked the final regular season game on Sponaugle-Williamson Field for 22 seniors. The F&M Football Class of 2016 includes: Karsten Bratt-Pfotenhauer, Brendan Daly, Steven DeLosa, Andrew DeStefano, Steve Elf, Nathan English, Drew Farber, Luke Foukas, Craig Hamilton, Jamie Henzes, Matthew Hlavinka, Cody Hubbs, Bobby Keyes, Tom Lyster, Jon Naji, Mark Opaliski, Tyler Petri, Michael Realbuto, Dan Riordan, Dave Shellhammer, Joshua Young, Billy Zwicharowski.
Hopkins opened strong and took an early 14-0 lead toward the end of the first quarter. F&M answered with a 5-play, 60-yard drive to make it 14-7. Zachary Bradley found Bobby Keyes on an 11-yard strike to keep the drive going early in the series, before Tanner Erisman connected with K.J. Pretty for a 39-yard score two plays later. Zwicharowski's point after was good.
The Blue Jays responded with 21 points in the first 10 minutes of the second quarter to take a 35-7 edge with a little under five minutes left until the break. F&M countered on its next possession with a drive that took 4:35 and spanned 71 yards. Bradley picked up 12 yards on crucial fourth-and-five and later found Young for 10 yards on a third down to put F&M on the JHU 4-yardline. Erisman found Drew Farber on the next play and Zwicharowski's kick made it 35-14 at the break.
Johns Hopkins scored 13 points in the third quarter, with two field goals and one touchdown, to take a 48-14 lead into the final frame. F&M closed out the game strong with 14 unanswered points. Bradley connected with Andrew DeStefano for the first score with 6:27 left to play and later found Pretty on a 41-yard score for the final touchdown of the game.
Shellhammer led the ground game for F&M with 77 yards on 19 carries while Erisman and Bradley ended with 32 and 24 yards respectively. Bradley had the edge with 203 pass yards on 17 completions with two scores and Erisman ended the game with 43 yards and two scores.
Keyes hauled in five passes for 70 yards and Pretty finished with 90 yards on three grabs and two touchdowns.
Steve Elf paced the defense with 11 stops (5s), Brendan Daly had six stops and Vincent Moffett ended with five tackles for the Diplomats. Tyler Petri and Frank McGlinchey both had a tackle for a loss and Ben Okun ended the day with two pass break-ups.
F&M wraps up the regular season when the Diplomats travel to Gettysburg next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. contest.