LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall football team put a scare into No. 8 Johns Hopkins during a 43-26 final at Shadek Stadium on Saturday. The Diplomats scored 10 unanswered points during the third quarter to pull within a 20-17 score before Johns Hopkins scored 23 points during the fourth quarter to stave off any further comeback attempts.
Even against a tough defense, F&M had one of its most productive days of the season on offense with 410 yards of total offense. Ty Tremba threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns during his first career start as both Trey Glass and Aaron Rascoe went over the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time this season. Rascoe also ran for 62 yards on the ground, giving him 168 all-purpose yards.
First Quarter (Johns Hopkins 7, Franklin & Marshall 0)
The Blue Jays only points of the opening quarter came on their first drive as a strong punt return gave the visitors the ball out around midfield. Running back Danny Wolf continued to be a thorn in the F&M side as he carried four times on the drive – including two carries of 10-plus yards – before punching it in from a yard out. The Diplomats did get the ball into JHU territory once in the opening quarter before that drive stalled around midfield.
Second Quarter (Johns Hopkins 20, Franklin & Marshall 7)
Franklin & Marshall was able to tie the game on its first possession of the second quarter. The first play of the drive completely flipped the field position as the Diplomats took over at their own 32 before a 39 yard pass from Tremba to Glass had 15 yards tacked on for roughing the passer. Tim Walters capped the drive just three plays later on a 12-yard touchdown reception with 12:22 remaining in the half. The Blue Jays seemed to be picking up momentum late in the half as they scored on their final three possessions, resulting in two field goals and an 18-yard touchdown reception.
Third Quarter (Johns Hopkins 20, Franklin & Marshall 17)
The Diplomats began to mount their charge during the third quarter as they had the ball out near midfield on their first drive of the half before back-to-back false starts halted that momentum. As has been the case all season, the defensive once again came up huge as Matt Scully picked off a pass at the F&M one yard lline and returned it out to near midfield. The Diplomats would lose about half of that yardage on the return after a contested block in the back call by the home sideline. That turnover eventually did lead to three points as F&M got the ball down to the JHU nine on a 28-yard reception from Glass. Laurence Miller ended up converting a 25-yard field goal to set the score at 20-10.
Johns Hopkins had the ball in F&M territory again during the ensuing drive, but a huge pass breakup from Matt Scully on fourth-and-five from the F&M 13 ended that threat. Taking over with 1:19 in the quarter, the Diplomats needed just just 14 seconds of that time as Rascoe went undetected out of the backfield and caught an 87 yard touchdown for the sixth-longest pass play in school history. Most of those yards came after the catch as he turned around and saw nothing but green on his way down the field.
Fourth Quarter (Johns Hopkins 43, Franklin & Marshall 26)
The teams traded scoring drives for the first three possessions of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, two of those three drives belonged to Johns Hopkins as it scored a 49-yard touchdown to answer F&M's strike and later converted a 43-yard field. Another big play from Rascoe – a 40-yard gain on the ground this time – got F&M into enemy territory before Miller converted a 26-yard field to finish a perfect 2-for-2 on the afternoon in his field goal attempts. That was in addition to two more PATs as he scored eight points with his leg. With F&M trailing 30-20, the Johns Hopkins defense got a three-and-out on the next drive before Artie Collins caught his second touchdown of the afternoon with 6:41 to play in regulation. Another sack by the JHU defense – of which they recorded 11 on the afternoon – had F&M backed up inside its own 20, but a 15-yard completion to Glass that was followed by 28 and 8-yard catches by Jack Sutton got the Diplomats out of that hole. Glass later hauled in a 22-yard pass to get his team down to the one yardline before Jack O'Hearen caught a one-yard touchdown during his first game back in the lineup.
As F&M was still down 36-26 after a failed two-point conversion, the Blue Jays were also able to recover the onside kick with 3:04 to play in the game. Needing a big play to stay in the game, it was JHU that provided that moment as Danny Wolf took off for a 41-yard touchdown run to deny any further thoughts of an F&M comeback.
Tremba finished with 368 passing yards during his first collegiate start, racking up the ninth most passing yards by a quarterback at F&M. That was the highest mark since E.J. Schneider threw for 369 yards at Moravian during the 2013 season. F&M's two receivers going over 100 yards in the same game marks the first time that has happened since the 2017 season when K.J. Pretty (162 yds.) and Dillon Alderfer (100 yds.) both accomplished that feat against Gettysburg.
In addition to his interception, Scully led the defense with three pass break ups while also recording nine tackles. Jacob Hille led the defense with 11 tackles, with Kevonte Beard adding nine more stops on the afternoon. Beard and Brian Lafty combined on the Diplomats only sack of the game while JHU got to the quarterback 11 times and registered 14 total tackles behind the line of scrimmage. F&M threw for 22 more yards than the top passing attack in the conference coming into the contest, but the Blue Jays also ran for 194 yards on their way to 540 yards of total offense.
At the halfway point of the regular season, the Diplomats will now have a bye week upcoming before they travel to Juniata on Saturday, October 15. All the remaining games in the regular season are scheduled for 1 p.m. kickoffs. The Diplomats will be at home twice during those final five games. The next home game will feature a rivalry matchup versus Dickinson during True Blue Weekend.