Diplomats score final 11 to hand McDaniel
LANCASTER, Pa. – Chris DeStefano hit a pair of field goals in the final 3:57 to help Franklin & Marshall overcome a nine-point deficit and defeat McDaniel 31-28 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday.
John Harrison completed 42 of 60 attempts for the Diplomats (6-2, 5-2 CC) for a program-record 447 yards to go with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Jerrell Diggs caught 10 of those passes for 139 yards while Michael Deutch hauled in seven passes for 120 yards.
Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) caught six passes for the Green Terror (4-4, 3-4 CC), including a touchdown, for 39 yards to match Teron Powell's program record with 145 career receptions.
Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) ran for a career-high 124 yards on 13 carries to notch McDaniel's second 100-yard rushing day of the season.
Trailing 28-19 after Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, Pa./Seneca) found Cahill in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown with 12:39 remaining one play after connecting with CJ Billera (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus) for 56 yards – the Green Terror's longest pass play of the season, Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) intercepted Harrison at the McDaniel 1 to thwart a drive that had moved to the Green Terror 35.
After McDaniel's seventh three-and-out of the day, Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) unfurled a 56-yard punt but Diggs returned it 35 yards to the Green Terror 35.
Two plays later, Harrison found John Kaschak for a 15-yard touchdown. Chris Kolb (Keymar, Md./Francis Scott Key) blocked the ensuing PAT to keep it a three-point game with 7:54 to play.
A botched snap on a fake-punt attempt gave the ball back to the Diplomats at the McDaniel 37 with 6:44 on the clock.
Facing fourth-and-7 at the 20, Franklin & Marshall elected for the field goal and DeStefano split the uprights to even the game with 3:57 on the clock.
Another McDaniel three-and-out gave the ball back to McDaniel before the two quarterbacks exchanged interceptions.
The Diplomats took over at their own 27 with 38 seconds on the clock. Kaschak ripped off a 19-yard run to open the march. A pass interference call moved the ball to the McDaniel 39 and two plays later Harrison hit Deutch for 25 yards to the 14-yard line.
With 10 seconds on the clock, Franklin & Marshall trotted the field-goal team on the field and DeStefano hit the 30-yarder for the win.
A 9-play, 44-yard drive midway through the first quarter capped by Harrison's first career rushing touchdown staked the Diplomats to a 6-0 lead.
Massucci found Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) for a 12-yard touchdown nearly three minutes into the second quarter and Nichols hit the extra point for a 7-6 lead.
A Harrison-to-Tim Muller 39-yard catch and run on fourth-and-2 gave Franklin & Marshall a 13-7 lead with 3:55 to play in the first half.
Slaughter picked off Harrison and jaunted 62 yards to set up the offense at the Diplomat 4 with 58 seconds on the clock. Three plays later, Massucci kept it himself from the one-yard line for the junior quarterback's first career rushing score and a 14-13 halftime advantage.
One play into the second half, Rollins ripped off a 48-yard run to push the lead to 21-13.
Slaughter entered the day with one career interception before making two of the Green Terror's four picks on Saturday. Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) made one and Bill Gerdes (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) made his first career interception when Bradley Akers (Wilmington, Del./John Dickinson) hit Harrison as he released the ball.
Paul Smith (Woodlawn, Md./Western Tech) made a career-high 12 tackles to go with two pass breakups.
The Green Terror returns to action at home against Gettysburg on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.