BALTIMORE, Md. - Franklin & Marshall upset No. 16 Johns Hopkins 20-17 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon in Baltimore. The Diplomats improved to 4-2, 3-2 CC, while the Blue Jays dropped to 4-2, 3-2 CC.
F&M stuffed Johns Hopkins on two separate goal-line stands from the one-yard line and intercepted the Blue Jays twice to grab the win. The victory was F&M's first against Johns Hopkins in six seasons, and the first loss the Blue Jays have suffered in the month of October since 2010.
First Quarter (F&M – 12 | JH – 7)
F&M hit paydirt on their second drive in the first quarter, with Keshon Farmer doing most of the heavy lifting. The five-play, 65-yard drive included rushes of 26 and 24 yards from Farmer before he finished off the drive with a six-yard plunge for the early lead. Jack Rodenberger's extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the Diplomats with a 6-0 advantage.
Johns Hopkins answered back immediately, with a four-play, 70-yard drive that only took 1:14 off the clock.
The Diplomats responded with a methodical drive to end the quarter, leading to another Farmer touchdown. The drive was highlighted by a 39-yard pass from Garrett Perschy to Brendan Dearing, which flipped the field to the Johns Hopkins 31 yard line. Keshon Farmer finished off the drive with a 14-yard scamper. F&M's two-point conversion attempt failed, giving the Diplomats a 12-7 lead.
Second Quarter (F&M – 12 | JH – 14)
Hopkins drove to the F&M 12 on the opening possession of the quarter, but Seb Silva-Muniz snared an interception at the three-yard line to end the Blue Jays' drive. The interception was Silva-Muniz's first of the season.
The Blue Jays took the lead going into halftime, going 84 yards in 2:33 to snag a 14-12 advantage at the break.
Third Quarter (F&M – 12 | JH – 14)
F&M took its time on a 10-play, 59-yard drive to begin the half, chewing 5:43 off the clock. The drive came to an end inside the red zone, as Perschey's fourth-down pass to Kevin Lammers came two yards short of converting.
The Blue Jays followed by rolling off a 15-play, 85-yard down to the Diplomat one. The F&M defense stood tall with its backs against the Diplomats' own goal line, stuffing two running attempts, then forcing an incompletion on fourth down to end the scoring threat. Seb Silva-Muniz came up large in the goal-line stand, coming up with both stops on the rushing attempts.
Fourth Quarter (F&M – 20 | JH – 17)
Following a Farmer fumble at the F&M 45-yard line on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, the Diplomat defense would bend and not break for a second time. A 52-yard completion to the Diplomats' three ended similarly as the last Blue Jays drive: two yards, no gain, no pain, no gain. Calvin Krippner came up with the clutch stop on fourth down for the Diplomats to force the turnover on downs.
Johns Hopkins finally broke through on its next drive, taking advantage of short field position to drive to the F&M four yard line, before settling for a field goal to extend its lead to 17-12.
F&M took the lead on the ensuing drive, with Joe Hartley-Vittoria rumbling 68 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Hartley-Vittoria punched it in for the two-point conversion for a 20-17 lead.
The Diplomats dashed any attempts at a comeback, forced a fluttered pass attempt from quarterback David Tammaro, right into the hands of Kevin Gault with 2:05 left. A huge 16-yard third-down completion from Perschy to Brendan Dearing allowed F&M to run out the clock, and topple the No. 16 Blue Jays.
The running back tandem of Keshon Farmer and Joe Hartley-Vittoria combined for 222 yards and three touchdowns to pace the offense. Farmer ran 21 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns, while Hartley-Vittoria rushed 12 times for 86 yards, and the game-winning 68-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Garrett Perschy finished 17-23 for 207 yards.
Thomas Downs led the defensive effort with eight stops (six solo), while Luke Strauss (4s, 1a), Peyton Snopek (3s, 2a), and Marlon Fenstermacher (2s, 3a) finished with five tackles. Seb Silva-Muniz added five tackles (4s, 1a), a sack, and his first interception of the season. Kevin Gault had four tackles (3s, 1a) and an interception. Dominic Bertone also had four stops (3s, 1a), with a sack included in his two tackles for loss.
F&M returns home for Homecoming & Family Weekend against Dickinson on Saturday, October 26th, for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.