Diplomats Edge McDaniel

Diplomats Edge McDaniel

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall escaped Westminster with a 30-28 victory over McDaniel Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) football action. F&M improved to 5-1, 4-1 CC while the Green Terror remained winless at 0-6, 0-5 CC. 

F&M started out strong and scored on its first three possessions of the game to take a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter. Matt Magarity and Dave Shellhammer combined for 55 yards on the ground on the Diplomats first possession and Magarity finished off the drive with a 14-yard run just three minutes into the game for a 7-0 lead.

The Diplomats took over on their own 30-yardline two minutes later and marched 70 yards down the field in six minutes. F&M converted on three third downs in the series and Magarity found Shellhammer for an eight-yard score to give the Diplomats a 13-0 lead with 4:20 left in the first.

McDaniel managed five plays on the ensuing possession before punting the ball back to F&M. With 2:43 left in the first, the Diplomats started on their nineteen and moved to 34-yardline, setting up a fourth-and-three. F&M sent out its punt team, but the ball was snapped to Max Havlusch on fake put punt and Havlusch raced forty yards to the McDaniel fifteen. Four plays later, Shellhammer dove in from a yard out for 20-0 F&M lead.

McDaniel answered midway through the second with a 13-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off with a one-yard pass to make it 20-7 with 2:28 left in the half.

F&M countered and marched 47 yards on six plays on its next series and set up for a 37-yard field goal attempt with 19 ticks on the clock. Billy Zwicharowski's kick was true, giving the Diplomats a 23-7 lead at the break. 

The teams traded possessions in the early minutes of the third, before the Green Terror put seven points on the board with a 92-yard drive and came within nine, 23-14, on a four-yard rush from Perry Stefanielli.

Andrew DeStefano took the ensuing kickoff 47 yards down the field to the McDaniel 37 and Tanner Erisman found Bobby Keyes on the next play for a 37-yard bomb in the end zone to put F&M up 30-14.

McDaniel answer with 14 straight points with the last score occurring with 1:03 left, but the Green Terror were unsuccessful on the onside kick, securing the win for F&M.

F&M outgained McDaniel 389-357 on offense, and held a 37:54-22:06 edge in time of possession.

DeStefano hauled in eight passes for a team-high 130 yards and Keyes finished with two grabs for 41 yards and one score.

Shellhammer picked up 72 yards on the ground on 14 attempts and Magarity added 63 yards on six rushes.

Erisman completed seven passes for 142 yards and a score while Magarity picked up 57 yards before leaving the game with an injury.

A.J. Koikoi and Brendan Daly paced the defense with seven stops each while Luke Foukas and Jon Naji both had six tackles for the Diplomats while Ryan Feulner and Nathan English each had five stops.

F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats travel to Moravian for a 1:05 kickoff, before returning home on Oct. 31 against Susquehanna.