BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College football team dropped a 36-14 decision to visiting Franklin & Marshall College at Rocco Calvo Field Saturday afternoon.
"F&M is a good football team and what we saw on tape is what we got, a team that efficient on offense, and a team that pressures you on defense," stated Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "That being said, we did hurt ourselves by not being able to get off the field on defense on third and fourth downs and failing to convert those opportunities on offense. There are things that we can improve on but we also did some good things today too. The one thing that has been very constant with this group that I'm very proud of is there effort and being coachable, and that says a lot about their character."
Freshman quarterback Doug Erney completed 13-of-19 passes for 106 yards, and he ran 15 times for 54 yards and a touchdown while helping the Greyhounds to a total of 191 yards on 48 plays. Senior quarterback Kordell Theadford was 2-for-2 for 11 yards and a touchdown, and he added 15 yards on two rushing attempts.
Junior running back Eli Redmond contributed 19 yards on seven attempts and one catch for 12 yards while senior wide receiver Aaron Hudson caught a team-high seven passes for 31 yards as Hudson moved into seventh in Moravian's record books with 117 career receptions, and he is 14th with 1,381 yards. Freshman wide receiver Ricky Tate caught two passes for 37 yards while senior tight end Aaron Brown added two receptions for 14 yards. Senior wide receiver Kyle Ferryman and freshman wideout Nick Petros each had one reception for eight yards while junior running back Frank Dangello had one catch for seven yards and a score to go with one rushing attempt for a yard.
Junior linebacker Steve Ewald led the Moravian defense with ten tackles while senior linebacker Owen Perih added nine tackles and a pass break-up. Freshman defensive back Jackson Buskirk, sophomore defensive back Andrew Nieves and freshman defensive lineman Shane Mastro each had seven tackles with Mastro adding a half a tackle for loss and Nieves picking up a rushing attempt for 10 yards after scooping up a blocked punt.
Junior defensive back Nick Zambelli made six tackles while senior defensive back Justice Anderson added four stops with a pair of pass break-up and a half a tackle for loss. Senior linebacker La-Ron Smith, senior defensive lineman Vinny Caporrino and junior defensive lineman Vincent Pianoforte all had four tackles with Caporrino adding a half a tackle for loss. Junior defensive back Jacob Kober had a pair of tackles with one for loss and partially blocked a punt in the game.
Moravian received the opening kickoff and would punt on its opening possession. The Diplomats would drive into the red zone and have a pair of chances from the two-yard line but an incomplete pass and a pass breakup by freshman defensive back Jalen Richardson in the end zone on fourth down gave Moravian possession of the ball.
The Greyhounds would punt again but a muffed fair catch by F&M was received by Richardson as Moravian retained possession. Brown had his punt blocked after the Blue and Grey were unable to get a first down with Nieves grabbing the ball but coming up short of the line to make.
The Diplomats would get onto the scoreboard three plays into the second quarter, and F&M scored on their next possession as well to take a 14-0 lead with 7:17 lead left in the second quarter.
The Blue and Grey needed just three plays to cut the deficit in half with Erney running up the middle and then cutting to the far sideline for a 61-yard touchdown run, his longest rush of the season and third touchdown scamper of longer than 50 yards this fall. Junior Jon Miller kicked the extra-point to make the score 14-7 with 6:07 before the intermission.
F&M added a field goal with 1:03 before halftime to send the teams to the locker room with the Diplomats holding a 17-7 advantage.
Franklin & Marshall opened the second half with the ball and scored a touchdown to extend the lead to 24-7. Moravian's next drive ended with a snap on fourth down sailing over the head of Petros and eventually rolling out the end zone for a safety, and F&M took the free kick down the field for another touchdown drive to extend its lead to 33-7 with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter.
The Diplomats added a field goal in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 36-7 with 11:07 remaining.
The Greyhounds final possession of the afternoon began at the F&M 41-yard line with just over two minutes remaining and ended with Theadford finding Dangello with a seven-yard touchdown pass with just eight seconds remaining. Miller drilled the PAT to set the final score at 36-14.
Moravian is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, November 4 when the Greyhounds host Dickinson College in a Centennial Conference game kicking off at 1:00 p.m. at Rocco Calvo Field as the Hounds celebrate Senior Day.