LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall defeated Widener 21-7 in the Centennial-MAC Bowl on a rain-soaked Tom Gilburg Field at Shadek Stadium on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the 2017 football squad became just the second team in program history to finish with 10 wins as F&M improved to 10-1 this season. Widener dropped to 7-4.
On Widener's second possession of the game, Joe Granahan came away with a strip sack and recovery that gave F&M the ball on the Widener 14. On the next play, Tanner Erisman found K.J. Pretty for the score and the early 7-0 lead for F&M.
The teams traded field position for the majority of the first quarter, before the Pride scored on a fumble recovery and tied the game at 7-7 early in the second. Two series later, F&M put together a 13-play, 69-yard drive and took the lead for good. The Diplomats picked up two third downs in the series, before Erisman dove in from a yard out to put the Diplomats out in front 14-7.
It was all ball possession in the second half, as F&M chewed up half the quarter in their opening drive of the third. The defense came up with key third down stops to keep the Pride off the board, and the Diplomats tallied the final points in the fourth when Alderfer raced 84 yards to the house to make it 21-7 with 4:28 left in the game.
F&M outgained Widener 373-151 yards and held a 41:18-18:42 edge in time of possession.
Erisman completed 13-of-22 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Alderfer was his leading target with five grabs for 133 yards and one score. Pretty had seven catches for 64 yards and a score. Gerald led the way on the ground with 130 yards on 33 rushes for the Diplomats.
Dylan Jones paced the defense with six tackles (5s) with a tackle for a loss (TFL), Vincent Moffett had five stops (4s) and Sebastian Silva Muniz ended with four solo tackles, including a TFL. Joe Granahan had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery, while Bobby McDevitt and Frank McGlinchey were both in on a sack.