With the seventh postseason appearance in the last 10 years and the most wins across a two-year span in program history with 18, Franklin & Marshall football's continued success in 2018 helped to sustain one of the most successful runs by a Diplomat team. F&M ended its year with an 8-3 record and won its second-straight Centennial-MAC Bowl. Seven Diplomats were named All-Conference and senior defensive end Joe Granahan '19 reset the Centennial Conference (CC) and F&M career sack records.
Click here to watch the highlights from the 2018 season.
F&M started out the year with four straight victories, with dominating wins over Lebanon Valley (44-21) and Juniata (40-17). The next two were hard-fought seven-point victories over McDaniel (21-14) and a 14-7 overtime thriller against Susquehanna.
Two midseason setbacks had F&M sitting at 4-2 heading into the final stretch. The Diplomats took care of Dickinson on Oct. 20 by a 35-14 score to retain the Wagon Trophy and thrashed Moravian 40-6 on Homecoming Weekend. A final-second field goal lifted Ursinus over F&M on Nov. 3 and the Diplomats finished out the regular season with a 34-10 win over Gettysburg to keep possession of the Lincoln Trophy.
A 7-3 regular season record secured F&M a spot in Centennial-MAC Bowl for the third straight year, the most out of any team in either conference, and set up a matchup with Lycoming on Nov. 17. A back-and-forth affair came down to the final seconds when Brendan Kilkenny '19 blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt with 13 ticks on the clock to secure a 21-20 victory over the Warriors and a second consecutive bowl win for F&M.
Seven members earned All-CC accolades. Two first-team honors came on offense with K.J. Pretty '19 and Brian Denoncour '20 earning spots. Two more came on defense as Joe Granahan '19 and Sebastian Silva-Muniz '20 were honored and Kevin Lammers '20 was honored as a first team specialist. Brendan Kilkenny '19 was a second-team selection and Phillip Weiser '20 received honorable mention. Granahan became just the 46th player in CC history to be named to the First Team in three consecutive seasons.
Granahan went on to be named to the D3football.com All-South Region Third Team. The honor was the second consecutive All-Region selection for Granahan. He reset both the Centennial and program career record with 36 career sacks. He started in all 11 games, and recorded 31 solo tackles and assisted on 25 more. Granahan had 13.5 tackles for a loss, including 10.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in 2018.
For the second consecutive year, Drew Tomlinson '20 and Kevin Lammers '20 were each named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 4 Football Team. The CoSIDA Academic All-America Program requires that nominees are at least a sophomore with a 3.30 or higher cumulative grade point average and are starters or significant reserves on their team.
Brendan Kilkenny '19 was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's 2018 William V. Campbell Trophy. He was one of just 41 semifinalists from an NCAA Division III program and one of four from the Centennial to receive the honor. The candidates for the award must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of playing eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Twelve players were named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll. To make the Academic Honor Roll list, student-athletes must be a sophomore or higher in standing and have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or above following the 2018 spring semester. Jake Barr '21, Dom Bertone '21, Brian Denoncour '20, Stevie Gerovasilis '19, Matt Hamby '20, Brendan Kilkenny '19, Derek Kleinman '20, Kevin Lammers '20, Garrett Perschy '21, Tyler Schubert '19, Drew Tomlinson '20, and Phillip Weiser '20 all made the list.