Friday, September 21, 2007

The Friday Tailgate

pictured: Chris Musselman, Muhlenberg

It's week four of the Centennial football season and Conference play begins in earnest with four games on tap. Three of the four unbeatens are in action, including an intriguing matchup between Muhlenberg and Gettysburg. Get links to live stats and live audio on our Gameday site.

Muhlenberg at Gettysburg
The Bullets have the top-ranked offense in the Conference and are undefeated in their last nine appearances at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium. The Mules have the top-ranked defense in the Conference and are riding a nine-quarter shutout streak. This is the 100th anniversary of the first meeting between the schools with Gettysburg holding a 41-29-1 series advantage. The Bullets have only played Franklin & Marshall (92) and Dickinson (72) more than Muhlenberg. Gettysburg RB Tom Sturges (Ridgefield, CT / Ridgefield) is averaging 147.3 yards per game, while QB Matt Flynn (Northfield, NJ / Mainland) is averaging 244.7 yards of total offense per outing. Muhlenberg DE Chris Musselman (Lambertville, NJ / South Hunterdon) has four sacks, while LB Dustin Good (Pottstown, PA / Pottsgrove) has a pair.

McDaniel at Dickinson
It is the 63rd meeting between the Green Terror and the Red Devils since their first meeting in 1904. Dickinson has won the last two games to close the series deficit to 35-26-1. McDaniel has won 19 of the 37 previous games in Carlisle. This is the earliest in the season that the two schools have met since 1956. McDaniel QB Brad Baer (Westminster, MD / Westminster) may be lost for the season after suffering a broken fibula in practice Thursday. Tom Wenrich (Wernersville, PA / Conrad Weiser) will take over under center. The Green Terror is winless in its last five road games. Dickinson QB Ian Mitchell (Newtown Square, PA / Malvern Prep) has run for over 100 yards in each of the last two victories. LB Eric Dube (Voorhees, NJ / Eastern) is third in Division III in tackles (51), while DB Michael Maxwell (Coatesville, PA / Coatesville) shares the CC lead in interceptions with three.

Moravian at Johns Hopkins
This is the ninth time that the Greyhounds and the Blue Jays have met on the gridiron since 1975 and first time since 1982. Moravian holds a 5-3 series lead. The three Hopkins victories were engineered by QB Jim Margraff, now head coach at Homewood. JHU is 78-10-2 when holding the opposition to 14 points or less under Margraff. A Hopkins win will give Margraff his 70th Centennial win, enabling him to join an elite club that consists of F&M's Tom Gilburg (77) and Gettysburg's Barry Streeter (76). Moravian QB Marc Braxmeier (Center Valley, PA / Allentown Central Catholic) is ninth in DIII in passing efficiency (190.4). His first cousin, LB Kevin McGorry (Whitehall, PA / ACC) leads the Conference in forced fumbles (3). PK Brian Reckenbeil (Branchburg, NJ / Somerville) became the 'Hounds all-time leader in field goals with 21.

Franklin & Marshall at Juniata
The Diplomats make their second-ever trip to Huntingdon to take on the Eagles in a game that could make air traffic controllers nervous. Juniata has the top-ranked aerial attack in the Conference at 293.0 yards per game. QB Jay Leonard (Newville, PA / Big Spring) is 11th in DIII in passing yardage, while WR Lance Tippett (Altoona, PA / Altoona) is 10th in receiving yards. Franklin & Marshall QB Kyle Turner (Haddonfield, NJ / Haddonfield) threw for 328 yards against Dickinson last weekend - his third 300-yard effort of his career. WR George Eager (Lititz, PA / Manheim Township) caught 15 aerials for 125 yards, while WR Paul Sousa (Chester, NJ / West Morris Mendham) gained 110 yards on seven receptions.

Ursinus idle - next game: September 29 vs. Gettysburg

NCAA Statistical Leaders (Top 20)
Rushing: 13. Tom Sturges, Gettysburg (147.3 ypg)
Passing Efficiency: 9. Marc Braxmeier, Moravian (190.4 rating)
Passing Yards: 11. Jay Leonard, Juniata (288.0 ypg)
Total Offense: 19. Jay Leonard, Juniata (289.5 ypg)
Receptions per Game: 16. George Eager, Franklin & Marshall (8.5 rpg)
Receiving Yards per Game: 10. Lance Tippett, Juniata (138.0)
Kickoff Returns: 4. Ryan Van Wright, Ursinus (36.8 ypr)
Field Goals per Game: 14. Brian Reckenbeil, Moravian (1.3); 20. Jordon Grube, Muhlenberg (1.0)
Punting: 17. Aren Johnson, Dickinson (40.8 avg)
Interceptions: 7. Jeff Kellar, Franklin & Marshall; Michael Maxwell, Dickinson; David Mazzola, Muhlenberg (1.0 pg)
Total Tackles: 3. Eric Dube, Dickinson (17.0 tpg)
Sacks: 2. Chris Musselman, Muhlenberg (2.0 spg)
Forced Fumbles: 1. Kevin McGorry, Moravian (1.0 avg)
Passes Defended: 16. Ryan Heinig, Dickinson (2.0 avg)

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