The 2008 Centennial Conference football season kicks off Saturday with all nine teams in action. The Friday Tailgate hopes to be your one-stop shop for all the information you'll need to enjoy Saturday's game. So here we go.
- Centennial football page
- Tailgate Recipe of the Week
Since it's week 1 of the season, let's start with the basics, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Grove City at Dickinson, 1:00
Radio: WDCV-FM and WSAJ-AM. Live Stats: none.
This is the eighth meeting between the Red Devils and the Wolverines of the Presidents' Athletic Conference with Dickinson holding a 5-1-1 series lead ... this is the first game on Biddle Field's newly installed artificial turf ... Devil QB Ian Mitchell became just the seventh signal-caller in Conference history to lead his team in both rushing (823) and passing (1,390) yards in 2007 ... Dickinson has one freshman starter on its two-deep -- RG Eric Lopez from Miami, FL ... Grove City was 4-6 a year ago and is picked to finish 4th in the 7-team PAC ... QB Andrew DiDonato (3,120 yds) is the school's all-time leading passer.
Washington and Lee at Franklin & Marshall, 1:00
Video: B2 Networks. Radio: WLUR-FM. Live Stats: Yes.
The Diplomats and the Generals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference meet for the ninth time and each team has won once since the resumption of the series in 2006 ... F&M is on a three-game winning streak and turns the controls of the offense to freshman QB John Harrison ... "He won the job," coach John Troxell said ... "Nothing was given to him. He performed very well during camp and he's clearly mentally ready" ... RB Ryan Murray is doubtful for the contest with a hamstring injury, setting the stage for the debut of rookies Alan Williams and John Kaschak ... W&L has not won a season-opening road game since 1969 - a string of 19 straight ... QB R.J. Varner and DE Tommy Matteo lead the Generals who were picked fourth out of seven teams in the ODAC preseason poll.
Gettysburg at Lebanon Valley, 1:00
Radio: WMSS-FM. Live Stats: Yes.
The Bullets and the Middle Atlantic Conference's Flying Dutchmen meet for the 36th time with Gettysburg holding a 30-4-1 series lead ... the Bullets have not won a season-opening road game since 2002 ... QB Matt Flynn is one of just two CC quarterbacks to throw for over 3,000 yards in his freshman and sophomore seasons (McDaniel's Ron Sermarini 1996-97) ... Jamel Mutunga replaces the graduated Tom Sturges at TB ... Gettysburg head man Barry Streeter, the 10th winningest coach in Division III (147), is a graduate of LVC ... the Valley was 4-6 last season and is slotted at No. 6 in the 8-team MAC this season ... TB Charlie Parker ran for 1,105 yards last season for LVC.
St. Lawrence at Johns Hopkins, 1:00
Radio: WPDM-AM. Live Stats: Yes.
The two teams meet for just the second time and the first in Baltimore ... QB Michael Murray leads the offense for the Jays ... RB Andrew Kase ran for the 2nd highest single-season total in JHU history last season (1,009) ... LB Colin Wixted is the headliner on defense ... freshman C Ed Rodger is the lone rookie starter on the two-deep ... the Saints of the Liberty League have won five straight season openers ... keep an eye on RB Connor Hackett who rushed for 789 yards last fall.
Allegheny at Juniata, 1:00
Radio: WKVR-FM. Live Stats: Yes
This is the sixth time that the Eagles and the Gators meet on the gridiron and first since 1991 ... Juniata QB Jay Leonard enters the season needing just 547 yards to become the school's career passing leader ... LBs Josh Roy and Tyler Hall are the headliners on defense ... four freshmen will start for JC - ... QB T.J. Salopek makes the Gator offense go ... Allegheny led the North Coast Athletic Conference in total defense last season.
McDaniel at Saint Vincent, 1:00
Radio: WTTR-AM and WCNS-AM. Live Stats: none.
It's a battle of the AFC North training campuses as the Green Terror (Baltimore Ravens) and the Bearcats (Pittsburgh Steelers) meet for the first time since 1938 ... McDaniel's starting QB will be a gametime decision between Joe Lapkowicz and Vinny Coronoa ... “I could see this being Vinny’s in and he’s cold, Joe comes in and heats us up,” head coach Tim Keating said. “If Joe’s cold, Vinny comes in and lights a spark ... RB Eric Zwilsky ran for 542 yards and scored 10 TDs last season ... LB Mike Weick is the leader on defense ... Saint Vincent of the Presidents Athletic Conference resurrected football in 2007 after a 45-year absence ... QB Jordan Cleary runs the show.
Susquehanna at Moravian, 1:00
Radio: WSAN-AM and WQSU-FM. Live Stats: none.
The Greyhounds and the Crusaders meet for the 26th consecutive season with Moravian holding a 19-14-1 series edge ... QB Marc Braxmeier returns for the 'Hounds after a 1st team All-Centennial season that saw him throw for 1,948 yards and 17 TDs ... RB Tyler McCambridge and WR Shawn Sylvainus are dangerous weapons ... the defense is led by LB Drew Morrissey ... "His work ethic is beyond reproach, he's emotional, he's passionate, exactly what a coach wants to see out there. There's nobody on our team that's going to say, 'Well, Drew Morrissey doesn't do that,' because Drew does it all," says head coach Scot Dapp ... Susquehanna of the Liberty League has 19 starters returning from a 2-8 squad a year ago ... QB Derek Pope threw for 1,772 yards, while RB Dave Paveletz rushed for 1,173 yards and 15 scores.
Wilkes at Muhlenberg, 7:00
Radio: WMUH-FM. Live Stats: Yes.
The Mules and the Colonels meet for just the third time and first since 2000 ... 'Berg returns 10 starters from an offense that averaged nearly 30 ppg last season ... QB Eric Santagato is the trigger-man after completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,326 yards last fall ... "It's great to have everybody back," said Santagato, "and it's even more important to have the chemistry we have together" ... RB John DeLuca is one of the best in DIII ... he rushed for 1,533 yards a year ago and will follow the blocking of C Mike Nolan, a preseason 1st team All-American ... LB Matt Rathbun and DB Brandon Doyle are the headliners on defense ... Muhlenberg was third in the country in total defense (211.8) last season, while Wilkes was seventh (235.3) ... the Colonels of the MAC have 14 starters back.
Ursinus at Alfred, 1:00
Radio: none. Live Stats: none.
The Bears and the Saxons meet for the fifth time and first since 1996 ... UC will be looking to win its third consecutive season opener - something that has not been done since 1990-91-92 ... QB Nick Dye leads the offense, after registering 1,803 yards of total offense last season ... C Matt Govern anchors the line ... LB Nate Mast and DB DeVohn Butler are the headliners on defense ... two freshman on the two-deep are slated to start for Ursinus - WR Al Desiderio and LG Anthony Figueroa ... Alfred, out of the Empire 8, was 8-3 last season, including an ECAC Bowl win ... preseason All-America TB Vinson Hendrix ran for 1,406 yards in 2007 ... WRs Jared Manzer and Trevor Bork combined for 104 receptions and 1,497 yards last fall ... two-time E8 all-star LB Chad Pieri was injured in the preseason and is out.