SELINGSGROVE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall fell 24-17 to Susquehanna in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. Turnovers and unproductive trips in the red zone proved too much as the Diplomats dropped to 6-2, 5-2 CC on the season.
F&M started out strong as the defense held the Crusaders (4-4, 3-4 CC) to a three-and-out of their first possession and the Diplomat offense put together a 20-play, 93-yard drive on its ensuing possession. The series took 9:01 off the clock, but resulted in zero points as F&M failed to convert a fourth-and-goal from the three.
The Diplomats went up 7-0 on its next possession when E.J. Schneider found Frank Strumolo for a 16-yard touchdown just minutes into the second quarter. The score capped off a six-play, 81-yard drive and featured two passes over 25 yards.
Things looked headed in F&M's favor as the Diplomats moved the ball down the field on its next drive, setting up a second and goal on seven. Strumolo picked up five yards on the next play, but fumbled the ball into the end zone and SU recovered it.
Susquehanna made the best of the opportunity with a 39-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 1:51 left to the break.
F&M again looked to be moving the ball with ease, driving sixty yards down to the SU 15 yard line, but Schneider's pass was intercepted in the end zone, giving the Crusaders the ball with 1:09 left to halftime.
It took SU one play to make F&M pay as Taylor Kolmer found Mike Ritter for an 80-yard score to give the Crusaders a 10-7 halftime lead.
The teams traded possessions for most of the third quarter with F&M getting the ball at 4:12. Jordan Zackery returned a punt 42 yards to the SU 12 and seven plays later, Schneider found Muller on a five-yard slant to give F&M a 14-10 lead with 1:52 left in the third.
SU punted on its next possession and F&M received the ball on its own 28 as the third quarter came to an end. Two plays later, Nick Aigeldinger picked off Schneider and raced 28 yards for the go-ahead score to give Susquehanna 17-14 lead.
Kolmer found Ritter again on the Crusaders' next possession to end an 11-play, 68-yard drive that gave SU a 24-17 edge with 3:45 left to play.
F&M drove down the SU three on its next series, but had to settle for a field goal on fourth and goal to make it 24-17. The ensuing onside kick failed, and the Crusaders were able to let the clock run out to seal the victory.
F&M's defense held SU to 11 rushing yards and 213 passing yards while the Diplomats' offense finished with 561 total yards.
Schneider threw for a career-high 436 yards, the second most in school history, on 27-for-48 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Strumolo finished with 75 yards on 27 carries and added 126 more receiving yards to finish with a game-high 201 all-purpose yards.
Paul McGann hauled in seven catches for 150 yards, marking the first time at Diplomat receiver went over the 150-yard plateau since Jay Ridinger in 2010. Jordan Zackery finished with 64 yards on eight catches while Muller snatched six passes for 56 yards.
Zackery finished with 189 all-purpose yards with 90 coming from punt returns.
Sam Massaro paced the F&M defense with eight tackles (7s, 1a), three tackles for a loss and one sack. Brian Velasco had six tackles while C.T. Marsh finished with five stops (4s, 1a), 2.5 went for a loss and picked up half a sack.
Marsh is now a sack away from becoming the all-time sack leader in CC history.
F&M returns to action on Saturday when the Diplomats host No. 10 Johns Hopkins at 1:00 p.m.
Box Score (Final)
Franklin & Marshall vs Susquehanna (Oct 26, 2012 at Selinsgrove, Pa.)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Franklin & Marshall 0 7 7 3 17 Record: (6-2,5-2)
Susquehanna 0 10 0 14 24 Record: (4-4,3-4)
2nd 13:44 F&M Frank Strumolo 16 yd pass from E.J. Schneider (Chris DeStefano kick), 6-81 3:07, F&M 7 - SUS 0
01:51 SUS S. Hotaling 39 yd field goal, 13-55 5:31, F&M 7 - SUS 3
00:58 SUS Mike Ritter 80 yd pass from Taylor Kolmer (S. Hotaling kick), 1-80 0:11, F&M 7 - SUS 10
3rd 01:52 F&M Tim Muller 5 yd pass from E.J. Schneider (Chris DeStefano kick), 6-0 2:20, F&M 14 - SUS 10
4th 14:50 SUS N. Aigeldinger 28 yd interception return (S. Hotaling kick), , F&M 14 - SUS 17
03:45 SUS Mike Ritter 19 yd pass from Taylor Kolmer (S. Hotaling kick), 11-68 6:19, F&M 14 - SUS 24
00:50 F&M Chris DeStefano 20 yd field goal, 15-67 2:37, F&M 17 - SUS 24
RUSHING: Franklin & Marshall-Frank Strumolo 27-75; E.J. Schneider 6-36; Scott LaValva 5-12; Jordan Zackery 3-2; TEAM 1-0. Susquehanna-Connor McGrath 17-28; Tim Wade 5-5; TEAM 2-minus 2; Taylor Kolmer 4-minus 20.
PASSING: Franklin & Marshall-E.J. Schneider 27-48-2-362. Susquehanna-Taylor Kolmer 15-24-0-213.
RECEIVING: Franklin & Marshall-Jordan Zackery 8-64; Paul McGann 7-150; Tim Muller 6-56; Frank Strumolo 3-52; Devin Hunter 1-19; Hannibal Robinson 1-12; Paul Koehler 1-9. Susquehanna-Mike Ritter 10-168; Robbie Pryal 2-23; Ryan Lopes 2-22; Spenser Ercole 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Franklin & Marshall-None. Susquehanna-N. Aigeldinger 1-28; Will Dyson 1-0.
FUMBLES: Franklin & Marshall-Frank Strumolo 1-1. Susquehanna-None.
TACKLES (UA-A): Franklin & Marshall-Sam Massaro 7-1; Brian Velasco 6-0; C.T. Marsh 4-1; Chris DeStefano 3-0; John Gandolfo 3-0; Mike Shin 3-0; Ryan Feulner 2-1; Kenny Provost 2-1; A.J. Koikoi 1-2; Leo Chubinishvili 2-0; Aaron Fant 0-2; Jordan Studevan 1-0; Paul McGann 1-0; Nick Barbieri 1-0; Tyler Pollick 1-0. Susquehanna-Adrian Bernard 10-4; Jack McCarty 9-3; Will Dyson 9-1; Jared Minori 7-3; N. Aigeldinger 5-2; Mike Statuti 2-3; Aaron Inch 3-1; Ken Schetroma 3-1; Jalon Scott 2-1; Stephen Homan 2-0; Jeese Eggerton 2-0; Bill Mancini 1-0; Jim Barry 1-0; Ryan MacIver 1-0; Kyle Morosco 1-0; S. Hotaling 0-1.