LANCASTER, Pa. – No. 24 Franklin & Marshall picked up its fifth-straight opening day victory over Lebanon Valley with a 44-21 win over the Dutchmen in the 2018 season opener for both teams. The Diplomats improved to 1-0, while LVC dropped to 0-1.
LVC struck first on its opening possession when Kody Kegarise raced 44 yards into the end zone to cap off a 7-play, 75-yard drive for an early 7-0 edge. F&M answered two drives later with an 11-play, 51-yard drive. The series featured three, third-down pickups and one-fourth down conversion that ended when Tanner Erisman found Kevin Lammers on a four-yard toss for the score and tied the game at 7-7 as time expired in the first.
The Diplomats dominated the second quarter with 17 unanswered points. The first score came off a 66-yard bomb from Erisman to K.J. Pretty early in the second and three more came off a 26-yard field goal from Drew Tomlinson with 7:10 left to play. Erisman made it 24-7 with a 6-yard run to finish off an 8-play, 82-yard drive at the end of the second.
F&M opened the second with 14 points in the first seven minutes of action. It took the Diplomats just one play to go up 31-7 when Erisman and Pretty hooked up for another 60-yard score at 12:14. The Diplomats tacked on seven more when Erisman found Timothy Walter for a 31-yard touchdown midway through the third.
LVC made it 38-14 with a score at 6:26 and the Diplomats countered 22 seconds later when Keshon Farmer broke off a 62-yard run to make it 44-14. The Dutchmen put the last points on the board with a score late in the third.
F&M outgained LVC 509-235 yards on offense and held a 37:09-22:39 edge in time of possession.
Tanner Erisman finished the day completing 15-of-20 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns. He added another 28 with one score on the ground. Keshon Farmer led all rushers with 96 yards on eight runs and score.
K.J. Pretty had a game-high 175 receiving yards on five grabs with two scores of 60 and 66 yards. Timothy Walter had 71 yards on five catches with a touchdown and Kevin Lammers ended with four catches and 30 yards.
Sebastian Silva-Muniz paced the defense with five stops while Steven Levondosky and Dylan Jones had four tackles and one sack each. Brendan Kilkenny, Mekhi Holley and Marlen Fenstermacher all had three stops. Kevin Gault added a sack and Thomas Hourican, along with Fenstermacher, each came away with half a sack.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday when F&M travels to Juniata for the Centennial opener at 1:00 p.m.