Building blocks

Diego Weiner  2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Diego Weiner 2011 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Oliveto makes five catches for 124 and score

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Franklin & Marshall's defense held McDaniel to minus-1 yard of total offense in the first half while its offense built a 24-0 lead en route to a 31-14 Centennial Conference (CC) football victory on Saturday.

Mike Oliveto (Robesonia, Pa./Conrad Weiser) snagged five catches for the Green Terror (1-5, 1-4 CC), racking up a career-best 124 yards – 110 of which came in a second half in which the offense compiled 250 yards of total offense.

John Kaschak led the Diplomats (2-4, 2-3 CC) on the ground with 88 rushing yards. He also caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. Franklin & Marshall recorded 165 of its 254 offensive yards in the decisive first half.

Kaschak did the lion's share of the work on a methodical opening drive that ate up 8 minutes, 2 seconds and resulted in a Diplomat touchdown.

Kaschak capped the march with the longest play – a 23-yard screen pass from Harrison – of the possession, which covered 80 yards in 13 plays.

After a bad snap on a punt gave Franklin & Marshall the ball at the McDaniel 30 with 14:15 to play in the second quarter, E.J. Schneider ripped off a 14-yard run on a third-and-17 to set up fourth-and-3 from the 23.

Jordan Zachary broke an end-around rush for a touchdown and 14-0 lead with 12:29 on the clock.

After the Green Terror was pinned deep in its own end, Zachary brought back a punt that originated from the back line of the end zone to the McDaniel 12.

Back-to-back Kaschak six-yard runs on second and third down made it 21-0 game with 4:24 remaining in the first half.

Chris DeStefano added a 37-yard field goal with 1:28 on the clock.

Taking over at its own 28 with 4:47 showing in the third quarter, Nick Valori (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.), who was sacked eight times for losses of 52 yards on the day, was knocked for a six-yard loss before hitting Oliveto for a 30-yard pass play and first down near midfield.

After three short gains, Valori and Oliveto connected again – this time for a 35-yard scoring strike to break up the shutout with 1:47 to play.

Pass plays of 17 yards to Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) and 24 yards to Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) keyed a 10-play, 75-yard drive that Valori put the exclamation point on with a 12-yard strike to Butler in the corner of the end zone to pull the hosts within 24-14 with 2:00 to play.

The Green Terror recovered the ensuing on-side kick but one play later C.T. Marsh notched the Diplomats' eighth sack of the day. This time, he knocked the ball loose and scooped it up for a 24-yard touchdown return and the 31-14 final with 1:48 remaining.

Diego Weiner (Miami, Fla./Riverside Military Academy [Ga.]) and Bill Gerdes (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) finished with 10 tackles apiece to lead the McDaniel defense. Gerdes added 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) finished with 65 rushing yards on 17 carries, giving him 889 on the season.

McDaniel returns to action at Dickinson on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.