Franklin & Marshall at Moravian
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Series Record: F&M 23-8
In Bethlehem: F&M 7-6
Streak: F&M +3
First Meeting: Sept. 24, 1932 (F&M 21-7)
Last F&M Victory: 40-6, Oct. 27, 2018 - Lancaster, Pa.
Last Moravian Victory: Oct. 24, 2015 - Bethlehem, Pa.
The Diplomats hold the upper hand against the Greyhounds, winning 23-of-31 meetings between the two sides. F&M has emerged victorious in six of the last eight matchups, including the last three. Moravian has proved to be a tough game on the road, as six of F&M's eight losses to the Greyhounds have come in Bethlehem.
The Last Meeting
Franklin & Marshall thumped Moravian 40-6 last season, using four consecutive Keshon Farmer touchdowns to coast to an easy victory. The four rushing touchdowns from Farmer ranks second in school history for rushing touchdowns in a game, and tied for third in touchdowns scored.
Joe Hartley-Vittoria led all rushers with 130 yards on 21 carries and a score. Keshon Farmer racked up 94 yards on 18 carries with four touchdowns. Tanner Erisman completed 9-of-15 passes for 192 yards and a score and K.J. Pretty hauled in three catches for 71 yards with one touchdown. Erisman's 21.3 yards per completion ranks sixth in school history for a single game.
Sebastian Silva-Muniz led the defense with six stops, Shawn Levondosky, and Bobby McDevitt had five tackles each and Vincent Speranza ended with four tackles, including 1.5 sacks. Thomas Downs had four stops with two pass breakups, while Joe Granahan ended with three tackles, including 1.5 for a loss and a sack.
Franklin & Marshall lost to Dickinson 17-10 in double overtime in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon in Lancaster. The Diplomats fell to 4-3, 3-3 CC, while the Red Devils improved to 4-3, 3-3 CC.
After struggling to find paydirt through 60 minutes of play, both sides scored touchdowns on their first play from scrimmage in the first overtime. Dickinson scored on its second drive, and stopped F&M on its next drive to seal the victory.
Garrett Perschy led the Diplomats offense with 214 net yards (204 passing, 10 rushing) and a touchdown.
The defense was led by Calvin Krippner with eight tackles (5s, 3a), including a tackle for loss. Seb Silva-Muniz continued his stretch of strong play with six tackles (5s, 1a), and was responsible for the key forced fumble in the fourth quarter. Marlen Fenstermacher (5s, 1a) and Kell Hall (4s, 2a) each finished with six tackles. Hall also finished with the lone Diplomat interception.
Scouting the Greyhounds
Moravian enters this matchup on a positive note, winning two of its last three Centennial tilts (33-16 at Gettysburg; 32-28 at Juniata). Moravian's victory against Juniata saw the Greyhounds rally from an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to steal a four-point victory on the road.
While neither the Greyhound offense (9th in CC) or defense (8th in CC) will open many eyes, they have had a knack for keeping things close against unranked opponents, as four of the five matchups against unranked foes have ended by margins of seven or fewer points. Moravian's two games against ranked opponents have been lopsided, to the tune of being outscored 72-7 by Johns Hopkins and Susquehanna.
The Greyhounds attack is spearheaded by senior running back Roberto Diez, who rumbled for three touchdowns last week, giving him seven on the year (1st in CC). He also ranks in the top 50 nationally in rushing yards per game (42nd with 95.7) and rushing yards (43rd with 670). Their passing attack is coordinated by Christopher Mills, who has tossed for 1205 yards and eight TDs, which seats him squarely in the middle of the pack in Centennial Conference signal-callers.
Moravian's defense is led by linebacker Tanner Barr, who has pulled down 53 tackles (28s, 25a) on the year. The front four is led by the combo of Shane Mastro and Austin Heisler, who have combined for seven sacks and 72 tackles. Jackson Buskirk headlines the defensive backfield with 49 tackles (33s, 16a) and four pass break-ups.
Going For It
The Diplomats went four of five on fourth downs against Dickinson, improving their conversion rate to 63 percent. That's good enough for 14th in all of Division III, behind nation-leading Linfield who has gone 7-9 on its attempts, good for 77.8 percent.
This week's matchup against Moravian showcases two of the least penalized teams in the entire nation. F&M ranks 12th in the land in fewest penalties per game (4 per) and 14th in fewest penalties (28) - both good enough for first in the Conference. The Diplomats also rank 23rd nationally in fewest penalty yards per game (39.71) and 27th in fewest penalty yards (278) - both good enough for third in the CC.
Moravian, on the other hand, ranks 16th in fewest penalties per game (4.14) and 17th in fewest penalties (29) - good for second place in the Centennial behind the Diplomats. The Greyhounds also rank 14th in fewest penalty yards (259) and 15th in fewest penalty yards per game (37) - both tops in the Conference.
Shutting It Down
The Diplomats' defense has been historically stingy in stopping the run this year with three games remaining. Only five touchdowns have been scored on the ground against F&M, which currently ranks third in school history. If it stands, it would be the best mark since 1968, when the Diplomats only allowed four rushing touchdowns.