LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall football team celebrated Senior Day in style with a 56-7 triumph over Moravian in the team's final home game of the regular season. The Diplomats scored multiple touchdowns during three of the four quarters while racking up a season-high 533 yards of total offense and holding the Greyhounds to just 122.
Ty Tremba had another strong day at quarterback, going 22-of-26 for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns while completing nearly 85% of his passes. Tremba also ran for another touchdown on the ground. Nine different Diplomats caught a pass from the first-year signal caller, who went over 300 yards pass for the third time in five starts. Aaron Rascoe added three touchdowns on the ground as he ran for 75 yards on 14 carries, adding a 56-yard reception to his 131 all-purpose yards.
First Quarter (Franklin & Marshall 21, Moravian 0)
The Diplomats scored on their first three offensive drives of the game to jump out to a lead that they never looked back from. After receiving the opening kick, F&M needed just three plays to cover 75 yards. The big play was the 56-yard catch and run from Rascoe before Tremba ran in a touchdown from 15 yards out to compliment his passing efforts. The Greyhounds lost two yards on their first drive before F&M went 10 plays and 54 yards, with Rascoe cashing in from a yard away. Rascoe also capped the third scoring drive of the first quarter with a four-yard touchdown run that was set up by respecitve 21 and 37 yard receptions from Jack Sutton and Jack O'Hearen.
Second Quarter (Franklin & Marshall 35, Moravian 0)
Franklin & Marshall added to its lead with Tremba finding Trey Glass for an eight-yard TD reception after the Diplomats got great field position following a punt return from Sutton that brought the ball into Greyhound territory. On the ensuing drive, Justin Gerhart picked off his eighth pass of the season in Moravian territory before Rascoe punched it in for the third time to put the hosts up 35-0 with 3:58 to play in the opening half.
Third Quarter (Franklin & Marshall 35, Moravian 0)
The third quarter was the only period in which the Diplomats did not recorded a touchdown on the afternoon. However, the stifling defense limited Moravian to just nine yards during the visitors three third quarter possessions that all went three-and-out.
Fourth Quarter (Franklin & Marshall 56, Moravian 7)
Although the next touchdown did not officially happen during the third quarter, the Diplomats were 10 already plays into their longest scoring drive of the day before Tremba found Will Higson for a seven-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the fourth quarter. Franklin & Marshall quickly made up for any lost time as they recovered a fumble on the kickoff. With Jake Fant making his return the field, the first-year was back in the end zone as he took a third-and-goal carry the final two yards for the 49-0 advantage. Even when Moravian did score its lone touchdown of the afternoon, the Diplomats immediately answered with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Nick Johnstone putting an exclamation on the eventual 56-7 final.
Key Statistics & Performers
Franklin & Marshall's offense ran the ball for 216 yards in addition to its very efficient passing attack. The Diplomats averaged 5.0 yards per carry on 43 rushing attempts while holding the ball for over 37 minutes. Tremba additionally ran for 55 yards while Dante Wilson had another solid outing as he averaged 6.2 yards per carry on six rushes for 37 yards. Sutton and Gary Lewis tied for the team lead with 62 receiving yards. In addition to the only kickoff return going for a touchdown, Sutton (3-38 yards) and Matt Hanna (2-29 yards) both averaged over 10 yards per punt return on special teams.
Although the offense grabbed most of the headlines with its strong afternoon, the defense certainly did not take a back seat as it allowed only a season-best 122 yards of offense to the Greyhounds. Moravian completed just 18 of 33 passes for 110 yards, while running the ball 17 times for a total of just 12 yards. F&M made seven tackles in the Moravian backfield, with senior Brian Lafty disrupting those plays for 1.5 tackles. Fellow senior Bobby Buchys registered the team's only sack, resulting in an eight yard loss for the visitors. Kell Hall led the defense with six tackles, including five solo stops. Simply put, the defense did their job early and didn't need to make an excessive number of tackles as 11 of Moravian's 14 drives ended after just three plays, while another ended before it started with a fumble on special teams.
Franklin & Marshall wraps up the regular season on the road next Saturday when the team travels to Gettysburg for a 1 p.m. kickoff on The Battlefield. Today's win solidified the Diplomats' fifth-place finish in the conference standings which keeps them alive for a potential Centennial-MAC Bowl Series appearance should the Centennial Conference once again send two teams to the NCAA Tournament.