|Catholic 28, Franklin & Marshall 7||Sept. 8, 2001|
WASHINGTON - Catholic put together a string of big plays that sent the Cardinals to their first victory, 28-7 against Franklin & Marshall, and the first win for first-year head coach Rob Ambrose. It was also the 500th varsity game in Catholic football history. Producing only 190 yards of total offense, the Cardinals used several key mistakes by the Diplomats to secure the victory.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Cardinals got on the board at the 7:15 mark when tight end Damian Richard (Winona, Minn./Cotter) caught a 1-yard pass from quarterback Derek McGee (Shamong, N.J./Cherokee), capping a six-play, 28-yard drive, to make it 7-0. The drive was set up by a blocked punt by senior defensive back Jimmy Nalls (Silver Spring, MD/Gonzaga) that put Catholic at the Diplomat 28-yard line.
After the teams traded punts, F&M's Matt Lintal intercepted McGee's pass and returned it to the Cardinal 20-yard line. Facing a first-and-goal from the Catholic 2-yard line, the Cardinal defense made a spectacular stand, holding F&M out of the end zone and forcing a fumble on fourth down from the 1-yard line that was recovered by Nalls with just three seconds in the half.
The second half saw the Cardinal defense use great field position by punter Mike Fleet (Wheaton, Md./Good Counsel) as he averaged 61 yards on three punts including a 68-yarder. Running back Kevin Ulrich (Egg Harbor Twp., N.J./Holy Spirit), replacing an injured Dan Boyle who went down on the first series in the first quarter with an ankle injury, rumbled in from a yard out to make it 14-0 midway through the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession, F&M quarterback Doug Hiltner was picked off by junior defensive back Denis Campbell (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) who returned the ball 76 yards for a touchdown.
Ulrich added his second score of the game with just 2:53 remaining in the game as he plunged in from a yard. Ulrich finished with 27 yards on 12 carries.
The Cardinal defense was led by junior linebacker Jeff Tabery (Saylorsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg) who finished with eight tackles, two for losses, and a sack. Teammate John Blattner (Lutherville, Md./Loyola) made four stops, one for a loss, forced two fumbles and had a sack.
Overall the Diplomats outgained the Cardinals 222-190 but also used 146 yards on 12 CUA penalties.
Fullback Daryl Black led the Diplomats with 47 yards rushing and teammate Steve Cipriano had a game-high five receptions for 50 yards.
For Catholic, wideout Dave Evans (South Riding, Va./Paul VI) had four catches for 42 yards while McGee was 14-for-24 for 149 yards.
The Cardinals head into their bye week and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 22, as they host Randolph-Macon in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference contest at 1 p.m.