Football Runs Away from McDaniel Early in 35-3 Victory

Aaron Rascoe
Aaron Rascoe

WESTMINSTER, Md. – The Franklin & Marshall football team scored 21 unanswered points during the first quarter and never looked back in a 35-3 win at McDaniel to even its Centennial Conference record (2-1, 1-1 CC). Aaron Rascoe scored three touchdowns to lead the offense, while the defense has also scored touchdowns during each of the first two conference contests.

McDaniel's only scoring on the afternoon was a field goal at the end of the first half as the Diplomats held the Green Terror to just 72 yards rushing in their first conference defeat of the season. On the contrary, F&M racked up 221 yards on the ground, led by Rascoe's 112-yard day on 13 carries in addition to his pair of receptions.

Quotable – Head Coach Tom Blumenauer

"I thought the offensive line did a nice job all day against a defense that threw a lot of different fronts at us. They showed great composure and communicated well to help establish the run game. Aaron Rascoe played a great game with a well-rounded effort, finding the end zone on three occasions. I also thought Mitch Wagner did a nice job finding tough yards for us all day."

"It was also a great effort by our defense following a great week of practice. The unit did a great job stopping the run all day. They also capatilized on opportunities to take the football away from McDaniel. The defensive touchdown in the first quarter by Bobby Buchys certainly helped set the tone for that side of the ball. Overall, it was just a tremendous team effort to come away with a road victory."

First Quarter

Both defenses forced the opposition to go three-and-out on their opening drives but that was the only time that McDaniel could handle the Franklin & Marshall offense during the opening quarter. The second possession resulted in a 12 play, 80-yard drive that took over six minutes off the clock. Rascoe carried four times for 26 yards on that drive before Logan Clouse found him on a six yard completion out of the backfield for the early score. The second score would not take nearly as long as the F&M defense looked to be well on its way to another three-and-out, but Buchys had bigger plans in mind as he picked off the third down pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-0.

Franklin & Marshall's defense helped the team to a 14-0 advantage in points off of turnovers during the first 15 minutes as the ensuing Green Terror drive was stopped by Dante Medlar's interception that he returned 43 yards down to the McDaniel 18. With the short field, runs by Clouse and Rascoe put the ball on the one before Rascoe capped the drive with a plunge into the endzone. His score gave F&M a 21-0 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. F&M had the ball for nearly 10 minutes during the first 15 minutes of game action.

Second Quarter

Long drives helped to keep the F&M offense in check during the second quarter. The Diplomats forced a fumble at the end of the first quarter, but that loose ball was recovered by the Green Terror before that 14-play drive ended in a missed field goal. The Green Terror did convert on the special teams to close the half, hitting a 28-yard attempt in the closing seconds of the opening half to set the score at 21-3.

Third Quarter

The Diplomats were once again very strong right out of the locker room as the defense forced a three-and-out to give the offense a shorter field to work with. Back-to-back receptions from Jack Sutton got the ball into Green Terror territory before runs of 22 and eight yards from Rascoe led to his third touchdown of the afternoon. Reigning Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week Justin Gerhart came up with another interception in the quarter before the defense forced McDaniel into back-to-back three-and-outs as F&M carried its 28-3 lead into the fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter

Ty Tremba took over at quarterback during the Diplomats' fourth quarter touchdown drive. The Diplomats had to go just 17 yards after Jack Gilroy came up with a huge blocked punt on special teams to create the short field. Three straight carries from Mitch Wagner covered that distance and the Diplomats were leading 35-3 with just under 13 minutes remaining in the game. Even with the large lead, the F&M defense did not waver as it forced another pair of three-and-outs. The Green Terror recorded just one first down after the Diplomats went up 28-3 very early in the second half.

Top Performers

McDaniel gained just 71 yards of offense during the second half as F&M outgained its counterparts by a 292-234 edge in yards. After tying the school record interceptions as a team last week, the Diplomats picked off three more passes today. The team's nine interceptions in three games are more than double three other teams in the Centennial Conference who have picked up four passes to rank second in the league. Jeff Decker and Jacob Hille led the team with seven tackles each. Decker picked up a sack among his two tackles in the backfield.

Offensively, the Diplomats carried the ball 45 times for 221 yards to average 4.9 yards per attempt on the ground. That dynamic attack helped the offense hold onto the ball for over 32 minutes. Clouse needed to attempt just 15 passes through three quarters as his day was highlighted by the touchdown pass to Rascoe in addition to some nice scrambles outside the pocket. Those receptions went to three different players, led by Sutton's three catches. In addition to his presence on special teams, Gilroy caught one pass for 17 yards from Tremba. Laurence Miller was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day following each of F&M's touchdowns.

Up Next

After back-to-back road games to start Centennial Conference action, the Diplomats will return home with their winning record for the next two weeks before the bye. Up first will be next Saturday's 1 p.m. kickoff against Ursinus inside Shadek Stadium. That weekend will also give the team a chance to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the undefeated 1972 football team.