ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Muhlenberg defeated No. 23 Franklin & Marshall 42-21 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. The loss is the first for F&M this season as the Diplomats fall to 4-1, 3-1 CC while the Mules improved to 4-0, 4-0 CC.
Muhlenberg went ahead early with a 78-yard drive midway through the first quarter for a 7-0 lead, before the Diplomats countered on their next possession and tied the game at 7-7. F&M marched 68 yards on five plays and Tanner Erisman connected with K.J. Pretty on a 25-yard pass to make it 7-7 with 5:49 left in the first.
After two quick series, the Mules started a 21-0 run with a touchdown with 57 ticks left in the first for a 14-7 lead. Muhlenberg added on seven more before the break to make it 21-7 at halftime and tacked on another touchdown on their first possession after halftime for a 28-7 lead at 12:18 in the third quarter.
The Diplomats answered with a 9-play, 85-yard scoring drive that took 5:03 off the clock. Kevin Lammers pulled down a 27-yard pass from Erisman to cap off the drive and Drew Tomlinson's point after brought F&M within 14, 28-14, with 7:09 left in the third.
Muhlenberg answered with back-to-back touchdowns in a 3-minute span and took a 42-14 edge into the final frame. The Diplomats tacked on seven more late in the fourth when Jack Donaghy found Zachary Bross on 16-yard pass for the 42-21 final.
Tanner Erisman completed 17-of-24 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns and threw four interceptions on the afternoon. Joe Hartley-Vittoria had 37 yards on 11 rushes and Eric Harris picked 35 yards on five carries. Timothy Walter led all receivers with 76 yards on five catches, K.J. Pretty had four receptions for 68 yards with a touchdown and Kevin Lammers ended with 54 yards on three grabs and a score.
Marlen Fenstermacher, Sebastian Silva-Muniz and Joe Granahan all ended with six tackles. Bobby McDevitt and Dom Bertone each had five tackles and Frank McGlinchey finished with four stops, including one for a loss.
The Diplomats return home next Saturday when F&M hosts Johns Hopkins at 1:00 p.m.