Franklin & Marshall 38, Delaware Valley 14
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Senior quarterback E.J. Schneider threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns while fellow senior Frank Strumolo rushed for 156 yards and two scores as Franklin & Marshall College captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southeast Bowl with a 38-14 victory at Delaware Valley College.
Both teams ended its 2013 seasons with 7-4 records. For the Diplomats, it was their fifth overall ECAC title and their first since 2009.
Schneider was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Southeast Bowl as his final collegiate game saw him complete 22 of 25 passes and scoring tosses of 67, 29 and seven yards. He also rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries.
Meanwhile, Strumolo netted his yardage on 33 carries and he had touchdown runs of 15 and eight yards. The Diplomat offense dominated the contest by gaining 456 yards (224 rushing, 232 passing), notching 27 first downs and holding the ball for more than 42 minutes (42:03). They also scored on six of their first seven possessions.
F&M took the opening kickoff and went 71 yards on 13 plays as it took more than eight minutes off the clock. The Diplomats converted a fourth-and-one early in the drive and finished it off when Strumolo, who had 39 yards on the possession, found the end zone from 15 yards out. Connor Ryan added the extra-point for the 7-0 lead.
Delaware Valley went three-and-out and F&M went on another long scoring drive, this time a 10-play, 57-yard that used up nearly six minutes. The drive ended on the first play of the second quarter when Strumolo bulled his way over an Aggie defender for an eight-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 advantage.
Delaware Valley quickly moved deep into Diplomat territory, but stalled at the eight-yard line and Brandon Snyder's 30-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Aggies got the ball back at the F&M 39 just five plays later as Danny Wynne forced a fumble and Brian Carter recovered.
However, Delaware Valley turned the ball back over to the Diplomats when Brian Velasco intercepted an Aaron Wilmer pass. On the very next play, Schneider went deep to a wide-open Paul Koehler for a 67-yard touchdown pass and a 21-0 F&M lead with 6:01 remaining in the half.
The Diplomats added to their lead in the closing seconds of the stanza as their eight-play, 88-yard scoring drive culminated with a 29-yard scoring pass from Schneider to Jack Gallagher with just 13 second left.
Schneider tossed his third touchdown pass of the game on the team's first possession of the second half when he found Tim Muller from seven yards out. The Aggies got on the board on the first play of the ensuing possession as senior tailback Kyle Schuberth raced to a 61-yard touchdown with 7:43 left in the third.
Ryan added a 28-yard field goal on the last play of the third quarter for the F&M while Schuberth ended the scoring and his standout career with a four-yard touchdown run with 48 seconds left for the 38-14 final.
Schuberth carried the ball 12 times for 96 yards and the two touchdowns. The three-time all-Middle Atlantic Conference honoree finished the year 1,336 yards and 16 touchdowns and placed second on the school's single-season list in both categories despite missing the first two games of the year with an injury. He also finished second all-time with 3,764 rushing yards, 45 rushing touchdowns and 46 overall touchdowns.
Wilmer completed just 12 of 26 passes for 170 yards and was intercepted two times. Rasheed Bailey had five catches for 62 yards. Wynne led the defensive effort with 11 tackles.
In addition to Schneider and Strumolo's heroics, Jordan Zackery caught 11 passes for 57 yards while Muller finished with six grabs for 56 yards and one score. The F&M defense was led by Ryan Young as he had five tackles, two sacks and an interception. Brendan Wengerter added seven tackles and one sack.