New Hampshire Football Report

Ravens start strong

RINDGE – Sophomore back Kobie Smith rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and freshman quarterback Jared Lubas scampered for a 19-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter on Saturday afternoon, as the Franklin Pierce University sprint football team opened the 2017 season with a 24-21 victory over Mansfield at Sodexo Field.

Lubas also threw for 146 yards and a touchdown as Rashad Watson won his debut as Franklin Pierce’s head coach.

Trailing 13-10 late into the third quarter, the Ravens took the lead for good on a drive that began at midfield. On the fourth play of the drive, which was a 1st-and-10 from the Mansfield 38-yard line, Smith sliced through the middle of the line and found running room for the 38-yard score. Franklin Pierce took a 17-13 lead with 2:55 left in the third quarter, after sophomore Owen King converted the point-after.

Franklin Pierce got the ball back almost immediately, as the defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Mansfield possession. On the final play of the third quarter, Smith got loose again, this time for 17 yards, as he rushed to the Mansfield 37. The run set up the Ravens’ final score of the game, on the third play of the fourth quarter. Taking the snap from the Mansfield 19, Lubas kept the ball himself and took it to the left side. He nearly ran out of room at the goal line, but was able to squeeze inside the pylon for the score and, following the point-after, a 24-13 lead.

Mansfield created the 24-21 final on a 14-yard score by freshman running back David Butler, who eluded pressure and sliced into the end zone. The Mountaineers, who were still chasing an earlier missed extra point, successfully completed a two-point conversion, as freshman quarterback Nick Cherasaro found sophomore wideout D.J. McLean in the end zone.

However, Smith capped his day by falling on the ensuing onside kick at midfield. The Ravens converted a first down with a 20-yard rush by Smith on third and10, which set up a trio of kneel-downs by Lubas to wrap up the contest.

After a scoreless first quarter, Franklin Pierce opened the scoring 1:23 into the second on a 30-yard field goal by King. Mansfield answered with a pair of touchdowns over the next nine minutes to jump to a 13-3 lead. First, Cherasaro hit McLean for a 72-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline. Later, Butler knifed through traffic for a 14-yard touchdown run. Lubas cut the Franklin Pierce deficit to 13-10 just 56 seconds prior to halftime, as he hooked up with freshman back Tionne Brown for a 48-yard touchdown pass.

Lubas finished the day 7-for-14 for 146 yards to go with one touchdown and one interception, while being sacked once as well. Smith finished with his 133 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Brown was the team’s leading receiver, as he hauled in three catches for 75 yards and a score.

Defensively, senior linebacker Demitri Moreno led the way for Franklin Pierce with 14 tackles (nine solo), including one for loss.



Franklin Pierce 24, Mansfield 21: Box Score

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