New Hampshire Football Report

Zech carries Franklin Pierce

MANSFIELD, Pa. – Sophomore running back Tyler Zech finished with 96 yards on 19 carries to lead a 232-yard rushing attack on Saturday afternoon, as the Franklin Pierce University sprint football team picked up a 19-13 win on the road at Mansfield in Collegiate Sprint Football League action at Van Norman Field.

Freshman linebacker Bailee Johns had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter to help the Ravens build an early lead.

With the win, Franklin Pierce improved to 2-2. Mansfield fell to 0-4.

Franklin Pierce had the only two scores of the first quarter to open up a 13-0 lead. After forcing Mansfield to punt at the end of a six-play drive to open the game, Franklin Pierce took over at its own 32-yard line. The Ravens promptly went six plays and 68 yards to a touchdown on their opening drive over the next 3:05. Zech had rushes of 10, 10 and 3 yards on the drive, which ended when freshman quarterback Mike Mancini scored on a 26-yard touchdown run.

After the ensuing kickoff, the Ravens defense made it 13-0 two plays later. After a penalty for an illegal block on the first play, Mansfield sophomore quarterback Adam Hutchison dropped back to pass on first and 21 from his own 18-yard line. Johns picked off the pass at the Mansfield 22 and took it all the way back to the end zone for the touchdown. Franklin Pierce failed on the following conversion, leaving the score at 13-0.

The Ravens held the early lead for the rest of the afternoon. Mansfield closed the gap to 13-7 midway through the third quarter, on an 18-yard rush by junior running back LeRon Strothers.

From there, the teams traded touchdowns in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. With 1:58 to play, freshman running back Kobie Smith capped an 11-play scoring drive of 5:36 with a 2-yard touchdown plunge to make it a 19-7 game. Mansfield created the 19-13 final with seven second to play, when Hutchison found freshman wideout D.J. McLean for a 14-yard touchdown strike.

Franklin Pierce finished with 232 rushing yards on the day, to just 43 for Mansfield.  The Mountaineers held a 122-35 edge in passing yards.

For Franklin Pierce, Zech led the way with his 96 yards on 19 carries (5.1 yards per carry). Freshman running back Ahzir Turner added 62 yards on 13 rushes (4.8 yards per carry). Through the air, three Ravens passers combined to finish 7 of 12 for 35 yards, with a pair of interceptions. Junior defensive lineman Demitri Moreno led the defense with five tackles (four solo), including two for loss.

Hutchison was the leading threat for Mansfield, as he threw for 122 yards and a score on 12-for-23 with one interception. McLean was the leading receiver for the Mountaineers, as he finished with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker John Capwell piled up 14 tackles (13 solo), and had one interception to lead the way for Mansfield.

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