LANCASTER, Pa. -- At the christening of the brand new Shadek Stadium, Franklin & Marshall sent the Homecoming crowd home with a dominating win over the Dickinson Red Devils 56-0. With the win, the Diplomats retain control of the Conestoga Wagon Trophy for the second straight year and improved their record to 6-1 overall, 5-1 in Centennial Conference (CC) play. The loss dropped Dickinson to 2-5, 2-4 CC.
F&M got started quickly, moving 58 yards on 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead when Tanner Erisman plunged in from four yards out for the first score of the ballgame. The Diplomats went on to score three more times before the end of the first quarter. Pietro Gaspari collected in an Erisman throw from the 8-yard line, before Erisman found paydirt on an 11-yard dash to make it 21-0. Jeff Leone jumped in front of Robert Greiss' pass to the flat and took the ball to the end zone on a 35-yard pick-six to make it 28-0 at the end of one quarter.
Taalib Gerald took over in the second quarter, scoring three touchdowns in the stanza, on runs of 19 and four yards, before capping off the half with a six-yard score through the air to make it 49-0, the most first-half points in Conference history.
Eric Harris added a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter for the only score of the second half, to close out the afternoon's festivities with a shutout.
Erisman went 10-of-17 for 161 yards and two scores through the air and chipped in with five rushes for 25 yards and two scores on the ground. Gerald led the way rushing with 96 yards on 16 carries and two rushing touchdowns.
K.J. Pretty finished the afternoon with 100 receiving yards on four grabs, including a game-high 50-yard catch on F&M's second offensive drive.
Defensively, F&M had a day for the ages. The unit held the Red Devil offense to just 11 total yards and four first downs, with an astonishing minus nine yards on the ground. The Diplomats racked up five sacks, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. They were led by Joe Granahan's seven total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jackson Hale picked up two sacks, while Jeff Leone and Vincent Moffett both recorded interceptions.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday when F&M travels to Moravian for a 1:00 p.m. game.