ANNVILLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall converted three first-half interceptions into 21 points and earned its sixth-straight opening day win with a 35-20 victory over Lebanon Valley in non-conference football action Saturday afternoon. The Diplomats improved to 1-0, while the Dutchmen fall to 0-1.
First Quarter (F&M - 14 | LVC – 7)
Lebanon Valley struck first on their opening drive for an early 7-0 lead, but the lead did not last long as F&M countered with 14 straight to take the lead for the good. A Thomas Downs interception gave F&M the ball on the LVC 46 and four plays later Keshon Farmer scored on a 33-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 7:08 on the clock.
Another Downs interception on the Dutchmen's next series set the Diplomats up on the LVC 33 and Joe Hartley-Vittoria picked up 33 yards on two rushes and capped off the drive with a seven-yard sprint for a 14-7 lead.
Second Quarter (F&M - 21 | LVC – 13)
LVC ended a first-quarter drive early in the second with a score four seconds into the quarter, but a missed extra point kept F&M up one, 14-13. Two series later, the Diplomats put together a 12-play, 56-yard drive, that featured two third-down pick-ups and a fourth-down conversion and ended with a one-yard plunge by Garrett Perschy to give F&M a 21-13 lead heading into the break.
Third Quarter (F&M - 28 | LVC – 20)
F&M took advantage of another interception, this one by Marlen Fenstermacher at the LVC 18. Farmer did all the work on the drive with three rushes, the last was a one-yard score, to put the Diplomats up 28-13 at 10:11. LVC countered later in the quarter with a touchdown to come within eight, 28-20, with 6:08 on the clock.
Fourth Quarter (F&M - 35 | LVC – 20)
The Diplomats put their final points on the board by finishing off an 11-play, 75-yard drive that started in the third and ended with a 10-yard Farmer scored six seconds into the final frame. F&M's defense kept the Dutchmen outside the red zone the remainder of the game to secure the win.
Kevonte Beard paced the defense with eight tackles (4 solo), while Marlen Fenstermacher ended the day with seven stops (4s), an interception and a pass break up. Matt Hamby totaled five stops, Thomas Downs came away with two interceptions and Isaiah Chery ended with two pass breakups.
F&M hosts Juniata next Saturday for the Diplomats' home-opener and to start Centennial Conference action. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.