ANNAPOLIS, Md. (September 30, 2017) – Playing seven hours from home and with heavy hearts, the Franklin Pierce University sprint football team kept things close through one quarter on Saturday afternoon at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Ultimately though, Navy would use 14 second-quarter points to open up the lead on the way to a 33-0 win in Collegiate Sprint Football League play. Junior quarterback Brandon Coleman threw for 144 yards and a score to key at 215-yard passing attack for Navy in the victory.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 1-2, while Navy improves to 3-0. For Franklin Pierce, the game marked a return to the field after the tragic passing of assistant coach Nick Seymour in a car accident on Wednesday afternoon.
The only first-quarter points came courtesy of a pair of blocked punts. Franklin Pierce went three-and-out on its first series of the game, after which sophomore lineman Troy Monroe got loose to block the ensuing punt. The punt block allowed Navy to take over with first-and-goal at the Franklin Pierce 7-yard line.
However, the defense stood tall. The Ravens stuffed two runs, with a Coleman incompletion sandwiched in between, to force a 23-yard field goal attempt, which sophomore Jared Swenson hit to open the scoring just 3:49 into the proceedings.
Franklin Pierce would punt on each of its next two drives as well, and the second one was blocked, with junior linebacker Dean Rye doing the honors this time. The second punt block of the quarter again set Navy up with first-and-goal, this time from the Franklin Pierce 8-yard line. Again the defense stood tall, again with a run stop on either side of a Coleman incompletion, to again force a field goal attempt. Swenson connected from 25 yards out this time to double the lead to 6-0 for the Midshipmen.
Navy would find the end zone on its first drive of the second quarter. The Midshipmen rattled off 60 yards on nine plays, including a trio of plays for significant gain. Coleman hit junior tight end Dane Livengood for 20 yards and found senior wideout Sam Shaunak for 22 yards, before the drive boiled down to third-and-15 from the Franklin Pierce 19-yard line. Coleman converted from there, as he found sophomore wide receiver J.T. Thompson for the 19-yard touchdown to push the lead out to 13-0, after Swenson added the point-after.
Navy scored on its final series of the half as well, which was an extended march down the field from its own 29-yard line. A 22-yard pass from Coleman to sophomore tight end Jay Cooke was one of only two double-digit gains on the drive, which also saw a Franklin Pierce interception negated by a penalty. Junior running back Brian McLaughlin ultimately capped the 14-play, 71-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to push the lead out to 20-0.
In the second half, Navy got a four-yard touchdown rush from McLaughlin in the third quarter and a two-yard score from freshman Braydan Chmiel on a quarterback keeper in the fourth quarter to push the final score out to 33-0.
For the second straight week, Franklin Pierce faced a smothering defensive effort, and the Ravens were able to manage just 82 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Freshman quarterback Jared Lubas (Salem, Mass.) finished 6-for-11 for 23 yards and was sacked once. Freshman running back Tionne Brown (Turners Falls, Mass.) carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards (3.3 yards/rush) to finish as the team’s leading rusher, while freshman wideout Sekou Veillard (Davie, Fla.) hauled in three catches for 17 yards to lead the receiving corps.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Bailee Johns (Fitzwilliam, N.H.) piled up 13 tackles (eight solo), including two tackles for loss, to lead the effort on the other side of the ball. Senior linebacker Demitri Moreno (Alhambra, Calif.) reached double digits as well, with 10 tackles on the day (six solo). The Ravens’ defense finished with eight tackles for loss.
For Navy, Coleman finished 10-for-17 for 144 yards and the one touchdown, while Chmiel added 71 yards on 5-for-8 passing. The Midshipmen also chalked up 132 yards on the ground, with McLaughlin’s 40 yards on 11 carries (3.6 yards/rush) and two scores leading a balanced rushing attack. Cooke pulled down three receptions for 73 yards to finish as the team’s leading receiver.
Defensively, Navy was led by junior linebacker Sheppard Wilson, who posted eight tackles (seven solo).
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, Oct. 7, when they travel to Post for a CSFL North Division contest. Opening kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at LaMoy Field in Waterbury, Conn.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics’ official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce football apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics’ online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).