Diplomats Fly by Eagles
LANCASTER, Pa. – Jordan Zackery finished with 344 all-purpose yards to help lead Franklin & Marshall to 46-16 victory over Juniata Saturday afternoon in Centennial Conference (CC) football action. F&M moved to 2-2, 2-1 CC while the Eagles suffered their first loss of the year and dropped to 3-1, 2-1 CC.
E.J. Schneider got things started for the Diplomats when he called his own number on third-and-eight and scored on a 32-yard keeper to cap off a 6-play, 59-yard drive at 9:11 in the first quarter. The Diplomats defense forced Juniata to a three-and-out on the next series and Zackery made the Eagles pay as the took the punt and went 66 yards down the field to give F&M a 14-0 edge at 7:39.
The Eagles put three on the board early in the second before Connor Ryan drilled a 30-yard field goal for F&M to make it 17-3 with 7:43 left to the break. Juniata countered with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that ended when Ward Udinski found DaVon Mitchell on an eight-yard pass to bring the Eagles within seven, 17-10, with 3:03 left in the second.
F&M responded with a Schneider-led drive that took 10 plays to move 64 yards. Schneider accounted for every yard in the drive and finished it off with three-yard strike to Zackery, which gave F&M a 23-10 lead at the break.
The Diplomats came out of the break and dominated the next two quarters, scoring 29 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Schneider found Tim Muller for a one-yard score to start things off and Ryan hit another field goal 50 seconds into the final stanza to give F&M a 33-10 lead.
Schneider picked up his second score on the ground with a seven-yard plunge at 12:58 in the fourth and Anthony Carlucci found Tim Leone for a 13-yard score to put F&M up 46-10. Juniata managed to score at 10:06 in the fourth, but F&M kept the Eagles out the end zone for the remaining 10:06 of play to seal the win.
Zackery finished with 291 return yards, 123 on kick returns and 168 on punt returns, and scored twice. He added another 46 on five catches for the Diplomats.
Schneider completed 23-of-36 passes for 249 yards and two scores and added another 80 on the ground with two more scores. He had two punts go for 102 yards and both landed inside the 20.
Brendan Wengerter was all over the field and finished the game with a game-high 13 tackles (6s, 7a). Wengerter had 4 sacks, four tackles for a loss and forced a fumble as the Diplomats defense limited Juniata to just 255 yards, its lowest production of the year.
John Stark had nine tackles (4s, 5a) and forced a fumble while Aaron Fant and Jordan Blair each came away with an interception. Brian Velasco had seven stops and Troy Harrison picked up half a sack and finished with three tackles.
F&M returns to action next Saturday when the Diplomats host Dickinson in the Battle for the Wagon. The game will highlight Homecoming weekend and will kickoff at 1:30 p.m.