LANCASTER, Pa. --- The Moravian College football team had its three-game winning streak stopped Saturday as the Greyhounds fell to Franklin & Marshall College, 40-6, in Centennial Conference action in Lancaster.
"I'm very proud of this team from top to bottom," noted Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "We didn't play as well as we needed to in all three phases to beat a very good F&M team. We have a team that works extremely hard and has great leaders, so we will correct our mistakes tomorrow, move on, and get better."
The Hounds, now 5-3 on the season and 4-3 in Centennial Conference play, picked up 187 yards on 53 plays including 132 through the air. Freshman quarterback Christopher Mills was 13-for-26 for 116 yards with a touchdown, and he also ran five times for two yards while sophomore quarterback Doug Erney was 3-for-6 for 16 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros caught five passes for 24 yards as he became the 20th player in school history to reach 1,000 career receiving yards while freshman running back Eddie Olsen had three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Junior running back Roberto Diez led the Moravian rushing attack with 41 yards on 10 carries, and he caught four passes for eight yards while freshman running back Gerald Grube added 15 yards on four rushing attempts. Junior wide receiver Alex Pierce grabbed two passes for 57 yards while freshman wide receiver Cory Little had one catch for 13 yards and senior wideout James Pierce had one reception for five yards.
Petros was called on nine times to punt, and he averaged 39.7 yards thanks to a school record 74-yard punt in the first quarter. Little returned five kickoffs for 97 yards in the contest.
Senior linebacker Nick Zambelli led the Greyhounds' defense with 10 tackles while sophomore defensive back Justin McRae added eight stops. Senior linebackers Tanner Stokes and Dallas Owen and senior defensive back Jacob Kober each made six tackles with Kober adding a sack, one and a half tackles for loss and a pass break-up. Sophomore defensive lineman Shane Mastro contributed for tackles with one for loss while senior defensive lineman Nick Tone had three tackles with two for loss. Sophomore defensive back Jalen Richardson had two tackles, blocked an extra-point and returned one kickoff for 14 yards.
The Diplomats scored twice in the first quarter but missed both extra-point attempts to lead 12-0 after 15 minutes of action.
The Greyhounds would get onto the scoreboard with 14:13 left in the second quarter when Mills connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Olsen to cap a four-play, 64-yard drive that was started by a 46-yard connection from Mills to Alex Pierce. Junior Jon Miller thought he had cut the deficit to 12-7 but a penalty pushed the PAT back farther, and Miller extended up missing his second attempt, his first career PAT miss for the Hounds.
F&M scored twice more in the second quarter to head to the locker room with a 26-6 lead. The Diplomats would then add a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to finish off the scoring.
Moravian is scheduled to play its final Centennial Conference road game of the season on Saturday, November 3 when the squad heads to Dickinson College for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff in Carlisle.