Diplomats Reclaim Wagon Trophy

Diplomats Reclaim Wagon Trophy
CARLISLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall defeated Dickinson 20-10 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon on a rain-soaked Biddle Field. The win gives F&M possession of the coveted Conestoga Wagon Trophy for the first time since 2013. One of the longest rivalries in Division III, the trophy is a model of the wagon that transported both teams to play each other in both meetings in 1889. 

Dickinson went on the board early on its opening possession of the game when Billy Burger found Jake Walbert for a 12-yard score on third down at 9:07. Both defenses stepped up the remainder of the quarter as both teams had two three-and-outs.

F&M answered early in the second quarter on a 9-play, 45-yard drive. Zachary Bradley found Bobby Keyes on an early third down to keep the drive going, and Taalib Gerald broke off a 25-yard run on third-and-15 to get the Diplomats within striking distance. Three plays later, Bradley found Dillon Alderfer for a 10-yard score and Billy Zwicharowski's kick tied the game at 7-7.

After the F&M defense forced a three-and-out, F&M put together a 12-play, 53-yard drive that took 6:25 off the clock and was capped off by a 27-yard field by Zwicharowski for a 10-7 lead.

Dickinson tied the game at 10-10 on its next series and had a chance to add more points at the end of the second quarter. The Red Devils had a first-and-goal on the F&M 6-yardline, but Steve Elf forced a fumble, and Dylan Jones came away with the ball to keep Dickinson off the board as the teams went into the break tied at 10-10.

The defenses were relentless in the third quarter as only one drive by both teams went over three plays. F&M took over on the Dickinson eight after Vincent Moffett picked off a Burger pass raced 27 yards to the eight. Four plays later, Zwicharowski connected on a 19-yard field goal to put the Diplomats ahead for good, 13-10.

F&M sealed the victory with a four-minute drive that started with 5:32 left in the fourth. The drive spanned 10 plays and 34 yards and Gerald raced in four yards out to put the game out of reach.

Bradley completed 12-of-21 passes for 81 yards with one score and two interceptions. Alderfer caught three passes for 29 and a score and Joshua Young had four grabs for 30 yards. Bobby Keyes finished the day with 23 yards on four catches.

Dave Shellhammer led the ground attack with 65 on 17 carries and Gerald racked up 31 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown.

With field position at a premium, Cody Hubbs did his part with a 46.7 average on seven punts with three placed inside the 10.

Vincent Moffett and Jon Naji led the defense with eight tackles each. Moffett had five solo stops, two pass break-ups, and one interception while Naji finished with 1.5 sacks. Steve Elf recorded seven stops with a sack; Jeff Leone had seven tackles and two pass break-ups and Luke Foukas ended the day with six stops. Joe Granahan was a disruptive force with 2.5 sacks on the day.

F&M is off next week and returns to action on Oct. 15 when the Diplomats host McDaniel on Homecoming.