- Franklin & Marshall 21, Widener 7 [Box Score]
LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall defeated Widener 21-7 in the Centennial-MAC Bowl on a rain-soaked Tom Gilburg Field at Shadek Stadium on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the 2017 football squad became just the second team in program history to finish with 10 wins as F&M improved to 10-1 this season. Widener dropped to 7-4.
On Widener's second possession of the game, Joe Granahan came away with a strip sack and recovery that gave F&M the ball on the Widener 14. On the next play, Tanner Erisman found K.J. Pretty for the score and the early 7-0 lead for F&M.
The teams traded field position for the majority of the first quarter, before the Pride scored on a fumble recovery and tied the game at 7-7 early in the second. Two series later, F&M put together a 13-play, 69-yard drive and took the lead for good. The Diplomats picked up two third downs in the series, before Erisman dove in from a yard out to put the Diplomats out in front 14-7.
It was all ball possession in the second half, as F&M chewed up half the quarter in their opening drive of the third. The defense came up with key third down stops to keep the Pride off the board, and the Diplomats tallied the final points in the fourth when Alderfer raced 84 yards to the house to make it 21-7 with 4:28 left in the game.
F&M outgained Widener 373-151 yards and held a 41:18-18:42 edge in time of possession.
Erisman completed 13-of-22 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Alderfer was his leading target with five grabs for 133 yards and one score. Pretty had seven catches for 64 yards and a score. Gerald led the way on the ground with 130 yards on 33 rushes for the Diplomats.
Dylan Jones paced the defense with six tackles (5s) with a tackle for a loss (TFL), Vincent Moffett had five stops (4s) and Sebastian Silva Muniz ended with four solo tackles, including a TFL. Joe Granahan had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery, while Bobby McDevitt and Frank McGlinchey were both in on a sack.
- Susquehanna 28, Albright 9 [Box Score]
READING, Pa. - Connor Thompson made 10 tackles, including eight solo stops and forced one of the five fumbles on the day as the Susquehanna University Football team scored a dominating defensive victory with a 28-9 win over Albright College in one of the two Centennial-MAC Bowl Series games Saturday afternoon at Shirk Stadium in Reading.
The two teams played exchanged touchdowns in the first half with Cameron Ott scoring on a seven-yard run for Susquehanna (8-3) and Albright (8-3) adding a TD pass with less than a minute left in the first half.
The River Hawks defense dominated the entire second half of action as Albright was limited to just five second half drives with three ending with fumbles, one ending with an interception and the other moving just seven yards on a three-and-out.
On the first drive of the second half, Susquehanna marched 75 yards on five plays including a 46-yard pass from Nick Crusco to Mikah Christian. The very next play was a 25-yard pass play to Tommy Blujthat moved the ball inside the 10-yard line and Crusco finished the drive with a 4-yard scoring run.
On the ensuing drive, Albright accounted for two of its three second half first downs but on the sixth play of the drive, Thompson forced a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Ganard just outside the Susquehanna end zone. The Lions did manage a safety on the first play of the drive to trim the lead to 13-9.
After the free kick, the Susquehanna defense forced a three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense.
Crusco and Ott engineered a 13-play, 70-yard drive that consumed nearly seven minutes of time off the clock and finished with a three-yard Ott scoring run. Mitch Carsley completed a pass to Crusco for the two-point conversion to give Susquehanna a 21-9 lead.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Ganard forced another turnover with his team-leading fourth interception of the year.
The following Susquehanna drive nearly stalled but a pooch punt by Crusco was fumbled by the deep back and Carsley recovered the ball setting up a short scoring drive for the River Hawks as Crusco pushed in a two-yard run TD run for a 28-9 lead.
Albright took over and put together a short drive that including the only other first down of the half for the Lions but after a 51-yard pass play, the receiver fumbled the ball and Jason Brougham recovered to stop another Albright drive.
After a short Susquehanna drive, the Lions took over near midfield but still could not move the ball.
An incomplete pass started the drive followed by a Ganard sack on a blitz setting up a third-and-long situation. On the next play, Jeremy Kozich strip sacked the quarterback and Tucker Garner recovered the ball setting up the final drive as Crusco engineered a final drive that consumed the remaining five minutes of the game.
Crusco finished the day 16-for-24 for 217 yards giving him a school-record 8,318 career passing yards. His 2,501 yards for the season is second on the all-time season record list. Crusco finishes his career with school records for career pass attempts, completions and yards as well as total offense yards.
Ott finished with 86 yards and two touchdowns as he eclipsed the 1,000 yard rushing total for the season to become the eighth 1,000-yard rusher in school history.
The River Hawks finish the season with eight wins for the first time since 2009 when Susquehanna was also 8-3 with a Liberty League Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
LANCASTER, Pa. – The Centennial Conference and the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) announced the four participating teams in the 2017 Third Annual Centennial-MAC Bowl Series. The Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats and the Susquehanna University River Hawks from the Centennial Conference, and the Albright College Lions and the Widener University Pride from the MAC will take part in the third year of the Bowl Series.
Albright and Franklin & Marshall are both making their second-straight appearance in the annual Bowl Series. Susquehanna and Widener will both be making their first appearance.
The Franklin & Marshall Diplomats (9-1) earned the top-seed in the Centennial Conference and will host the MAC's second-seeded Widener Pride (7-3) on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Shadek Stadium in Lancaster, Pa.
The Albright Lions (8-2) earned the top-seed in the MAC and will host the Centennial's second- seeded Susquehanna River Hawks (7-3) on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Gene L Shirk Stadium in Reading, Pa.
The kickoff times of both game will be decided in a conference call with the participating institutions on Monday (Nov. 13) morning. Game times will be posted at the Bowl Series central page by Monday afternoon.
The two conferences will support the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partnership with Special Olympics by donating 25 percent of ticket revenue generated during the Bowl Series to the organization. Giving back to local and regional communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III, but also provides a venue for passion and service.
"The Centennial-MAC Bowl Series has been a tremendous success in its first two seasons and we hope for even better things in 2017," said Steve Ulrich, Executive Director of the Centennial Conference. "Our conferences have set a high bar with these postseason games that other Division III conferences are attempting to emulate. The Centennial is happy to continue our partnership with our friends in the MAC."
"In the third year of the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series, we anticipate two highly contested games on November 18," said Ken Andrews, Executive Director of the MAC. "Many other conferences have followed our lead and now sponsor similar postseason challenges. As this format becomes more prevalent in Division III, our games will experience even greater support and excitement.
NCAA rules permit a conference-sponsored postseason tournament – one between teams that are not identified until the end of the preceding regular season – not to exceed one contest for any one institution.