Diplomats Dismantle Dutchmen in Season Opener

Diplomats Dismantle Dutchmen in Season Opener

ANNVILLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall picked up a decisive 48-7 opening-day victory over Lebanon Valley in football action on Saturday afternoon. The win is the fourth straight over the Dutchmen since the series revival in 2014 for F&M as the Diplomats improved to 1-0 while LVC fell to 0-1. 

F&M struck on its first possession with an 8-play, 57-yard drive. The Diplomats took over on their own 43 and quickly marched down the field and went on the board when Tanner Erisman found K.J. Pretty for a 23-yard touchdown at 9:06. F&M tacked on seven more on its next series when Erisman found Dillon Alderfer on a 26-yard strike on the first play of the series to give F&M a 14-0 edge heading into the second quarter.

Erisman called his own number early in the second on a 3-yard jaunt for a 21-0 F&M lead just five seconds into the second frame. F&M's defense forced another three-and-out and the Diplomats capitalized on a 9-play, 54-yard drive that was capped off when Erisman found Pretty on a four-yard strike to put F&M out front 28-0 with 9:34 left in the second. The Diplomats struck again when Kevin Lammers scored on a 4-yard pass and took a 35-0 lead into the break.

The Diplomats continued to control the game in the second half and Taalib Gerald hit paydirt on a 4-yard run at 10:45 that gave F&M a 41-0 lead. F&M put its final points on the board when K.J. Boston picked off the ball and raced 90 yards for the score and Harley Wedholm's point-after made it 48-0. The Dutchmen managed a score early in the fourth for the final points of the contest.

F&M finished with 333 yards while its defense limited the Dutchmen to just 121 yards of offense.

Erisman completed 20-of-24 passes for 212 yards and four scores. He added another 55 yards on nine rushes with one score. K.J. Pretty hauled in six passes for 108 yards and two scores while Dillon Alderfer ended the day with 69 yards on eight grabs with one touchdown. Taalib Gerald netted 37 yards on 11 touches with one touchdown for the Diplomats.

Joe Granahan paced the defense with five stops, including two sacks and a forced fumble. Stevie Gerovasilis, Vincent Speranza and Kevin Gault all finished the day with four solo stops apiece.

F&M opens Centennial action next week in the home opener against Juniata at 1:00 p.m.