Franklin & Marshall vs. Juniata
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.
Series Record: F&M leads 14-1
Streak: F&M +12
First Meeting: Oct. 10, 1924 (F&M 27-0)
Last F&M Victory: 40-17, Sept. 8, 2018 - Huntingdon, Pa.
Last Juniata Victory: 21-11, Sept. 13, 1986 – Huntingdon, Pa.
Juniata (0-1) at Franklin & Marshall (1-0)
F&M and Juniata met for the first time in 1924, with the Diplomats dominating in a 27-0 home victory. The two teams wouldn't meet again until 61 years later, with F&M again shutting out the Eagles 21-0. Juniata pulled out its only victory in 15 matchups in 1986, with a 21-11 victory in Huntingdon, Pa. Another 21-year break in the action would come to find these old foes in the same conference.
Since then, the Diplomats have been lights out, rattling off a dozen straight victories against the Eagles, outscoring Juniata by a 457-186 margin. In eight of the last nine meetings, the Diplomats have scored at least 35 points, including at least 40 points in seven.
The Last Meeting
Franklin & Marshall picked up its first Centennial Conference victory of the 2018 season, scoring 33 unanswered points in the second half to snag a 40-17 victory over Juniata on the road.
Tanner Erisman completed 17-of-28 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown. He added another 35 yards on the ground on 10 carries with one touchdown. Keshon Farmer racked up 73 yards on 11 rushes with two scores while Joe Hartley-Vittoria picked up 70 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown and Kevin Lammers scored on a 17-yard run.
K.J. Pretty hauled in seven passes for 57 yards and one touchdown and Timothy Walter finished the day with 49 yards on eight grabs.
Vincent Speranza paced the defense with nine tackles including 1.5 sacks with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Joe Granahan had nine tackles with two sacks and a forced fumble and Bobby McDevitt along with Mekhi Holley finished with four tackles each. McDevitt added an interception return for 34 yards with two pass break-ups and Holley added a forced fumble. Stephan Smith along with Sebastian Silva-Muniz, Thomas Hourican and Frank McGlinchey all ended with three tackles each, while McGlinchey and Matt Hamby added a forced fumble for F&M.
F&M's Last Game
F&M opened its 2019 season on the road with a 35-20 victory against Lebanon Valley College. After conceding an 85-yard touchdown run on the Dutchmen's second play from scrimmage, the Diplomats rattled off a 28-6 run to take control for good. The victory was the Diplomats' sixth-straight opening-day win.
Diplomats' running back Keshon Farmer had himself a game, rumbling in for three touchdowns, finishing with 14 carries for 89 yards. Joe Hartley-Vittoria added another 87 yards on 17 touches, including a seven-yard score that gave F&M its first lead of the day at 14-7.
The Diplomats' defense was key in the season-opening victory, intercepting Dutchmen QB Kody Kegarise three times, leading to 21 points. All three picks gave F&M the ball back on the opponent's side of the field, and the Diplomat rushing attack punished the shortened field opportunities.
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.
Juniata's Last Game
Juniata battled an offensively adroit Grove City as the Eagles wound up falling, 49-28, Saturday afternoon at Knox Stadium.
Austin Montgomery completed 17-of-26 passes for 257 yards with Sean Owens leading the receivers with three grabs for 80 yards. Montgomery added another 100 yards of offense on 23 rushes.
Luke Salerno paced the defense with 14 tackles, while Parker Kilgore and Nik Grabiec end with eight apiece.
F&M junior Garrett Perschy pulled double duty against Lebanon Valley, starting at both quarterback and punter. Perschy finished 10-of-17 for 83 yards and a rushing touchdown on the offensive side of the ball but may have done his best work on special teams. None of his five punts were returned, and three pinned LVC inside its own 10-yard line to start drives. His average of 44.8 yards per punt ranks seventh in school history, and the best punting effort since Cody Hubbs boomed seven punts for an average of 46.7 yards at Dickinson on October 1, 2016.
Picks On Picks On Picks
The three interceptions for the Diplomats' defense have them ranked eighth in the nation after the first week of the season. The volume of picks also tied for fifth in school history, the most since F&M picked off three passes at Ursinus College on November 4, 2017.
F&M safety Thomas Downs' two picks currently rank him second in the nation, right behind Kalamazoo's Jake Sypniewski who recorded three.
Running Over The Dutchmen
The rushing portion of the F&M record book needed revising after Keshon Farmer's three-touchdown effort against LVC. Farmer's trio of scores added his name into the F&M single-game record book for rushing touchdowns scored (3; 4th), most touchdowns scored (3; 5th), and most points scored (18; 6th).
The combined five rushing touchdown effort of Farmer, Joe Hartley-Vittoria, and Garrett Perschy ranks tied for first in school history. It's the 11th time the feat has been accomplished, a mark that was matched twice in the 2018 season (at Juniata on Sept. 8; vs. Moravian on Oct. 27). The Diplomats have tied the same record six times since the 2016 season.