LANCASTER, Pa. – Sophomore running back Lamont Jackson scored on a 9-yard run with 0:15 left in the game to lift the Franklin & Marshall football team to a 35-28 victory over Washington and Lee on Saturday at Williamson-Sponaugle Field.
The Generals (0-1) knotted the game at 28-28 with 2:40 remaining when junior quarterback Nick Lombardo (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on fourth down.
W&L held a 21-14 lead at halftime, but committed two costly turnovers in the third quarter, allowing the Diplomats to capture a 28-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Senior safety Jake Pelton (Charlottesville, Va./Monticello) picked off F&M junior quarterback E.J. Schneider on the Diplomats' first play of the second half, returning the ball to the F&M 25-yardline. However, W&L fumbled a pitch on the next play and the Diplomats recovered to remain within one score.
Jackson capped a 10-play, 62-yard drive to tie the score at 21-21 when he scored from 1-yard out with 2:14 left in the third quarter. W&L senior running back Luke Heinsohn (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant) rumbled 58 yards to the F&M 27-yardline on the next possession, but senior running back Brett Murray (Lookout Mountain, Tenn./Baylor) coughed up the ball following a 12-yard run to the Diplomats' 15-yardline on the next play and the score remained tied at 21-21.
Franklin & Marshall pushed out to a 28-21 advantage with 9:44 left in the game as Schneider engineered a 13-play, 93-yard drive that ate 6:44 off the game clock. The signal-caller's 6-yard touchdown run capped the drive for the Diplomats, setting up the game-ending dramatics.
The W&L offense gained 366 yards (331 on the ground) led by Heinsohn, who carried 15 times for 130 yards and one touchdown. Murray rushed 11 times for 85 yards and two scores, while Lombardo rushed 17 times for 47 yards and one touchdown, and completed 3-of-6 passes for 35 yards. Pelton paced the W&L defense with nine tackles and a career-high three interceptions, including a pair inside the W&L 5-yardline in the final minute of the second half (one was fumbled back to the F&M offense).
The Diplomats (1-0) gained 444 yards of offense, due in part to the play of Schneider, who completed 26-of-39 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns (3 INTs) and rushed 12 times for 110 yards and one touchdown. Jackson rushed 14 times for 42 yards and two scores, while sophomore wide receiver Jordan Zackery hauled in 11 passes for 93 yards. Junior defensive back Chris DeStefano led the F&M defense with nine tackles and a forced fumble.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Saturday as it travels to Sewanee for a 1:30 pm contest (central time) against the Tigers.