Diplomats Claim the Wagon
CARLISLE, Pa. – John Kaschak pounded out 129 yards and a
pair of touchdowns on 24 carries to lead Franklin & Marshall to
a 35-26 win at Dickinson Friday night. The Diplomats (2-1, 1-1 CC)
departed Carlisle with the Conestoga Wagon Trophy for the first
time since 2003.
The Red Devils (0-2, 0-1 CC) had a 17-14 lead and Kaschak only had 45-yards at the half, but Troxell kept the ball in his running back's hands. The decision allowed F&M to control the clock for 17:48 of the second half. Dickinson made it 20-14 on its first possession of the third quarter, but Kaschak got the first four touches of the new half to set the tone for the rest of the game. After a 14-yard reception, Kaschak broke off 15 more yards over the next three runs to set up a John Harrison to Jarrell Diggs 18-yard touchdown. Diggs' score put F&M up 21-20 and gave the Diplomats the lead for good.
On the next F&M possession, Harrison hit Deutch for the 52nd touchdown toss of his career. That tied the junior with Joe Coviello '77 for the F&M career touchdowns mark. Harrison completed 22 of 26 passes for 215 yards on the night. With 3:33 left, Kaschak punched into the Dickinson end zone for the second time on the evening to make it a two-possession game.
Dickinson managed another trip into the end zone, threatening to make it a one possession game with 1:46 left in the contest, but C.T. Marsh blocked the extra point to keep the game out of reach. The Diplomats recovered the ensuing onsides kick and once again turned to Kaschak to burn the Devils' timeouts.
While F&M relied on the run in the second half, the Diplomats established that pahse of the game early to open up the passing game. That paid off on the 14th play of F&M's second possession when John Harrison faked a handoff to Kaschak, drawing the entire defense to the offense's left. Jay Ridinger stood wide open on the right of the formation where Harrison hit him for a walk into the endzone. The 50th touchdown strike of Harrison's career, gave F&M a 7-0 lead.
That drive came after a wild opening to the game. F&M's first possession ended deep in Diplomat territory when a Harrison pass intended for Ridinger was ruled a lateral and fumble. Dickinson took over on F&M's 19, but the defense held forcing a field goal attempt that sailed wide left. It was the only field goal attempt Gordon Craig missed on the evening. He booted kicks from 40 and 47 yards on either side of the half.
After F&M opened the scoring, the Red Devils tried to even up, but a Ty Savastio interception in the end zone temporarily preserved the lead. Dickinson broke through on their next four possessions with two touchdowns and two field goals.
On his first possession following the Savastio pick, Red Devils' quarterback Ricky Martz marched Dickinson 50 yards and finished off a drive with a play fake that fooled the 4,000-plus in attendance. He found Nick Baller standing wide open behind the F&M defense for the easy 29-yard touchdown. Facing third and nine on the next possession, Martz delivered again hitting Craig Helfer up the hash marks for a 24-yard score to make it 14-7 in favor of Dickinson. Martz completed 17-of-30 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. Helfer had five catches and 90 yards. The Devils benefitted from Craig's kicks on the next two possessions before Kaschak and company took over.
Sam Massaro led the Diplomats' defense with 11 tackles, nine solo, and a sack. He also broke up a pass. Marsh recorded five stops and a sack. Kurt Rogers had five tackles and two of F&M's pass breakups.
The Diplomats return home next Saturday against Juniata. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m