Friday, September 18, 2009

The Friday Tailgate

It's the first full weekend of Conference play, including our first of two Friday night games in the 2009 season.

Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Audio: No. Video: Yes. Live Stats: Yes.
The Bullets (0-2) and the Blue Jays (1-1) meet for the 37th time and the 10th time under the lights at Homewood Field. Hopkins holds a 6-3 lead on Friday night but Gettysburg has a 20-14-2 overall series advantage. The Bullets have had some success in Baltimore, winning 11 of 21 games with two draws, including a 41-10 win in 2007. This is the Conference opener for both schools. Hopkins is 16-10 (.615) in Centennial lidlifters, while Gettysburg is 14-12 (.538). While the game this week is about a lot more than two players, the spotlight will focus heavily on Johns Hopkins running back Andrew Kase and Gettysburg quarterback Matt Flynn. Kase is the Centennial's active career rushing leader (3,128 yards) and Flynn is the CC's active career passing leader (5,969). How rare is a meeting like this? It will have been exactly 10 years to the day since a Centennial Conference running back with more than 3,000 career yards faced a Centennial Conference quarterback with more than 5,000 career years. On September 18, 1999, Gettysburg RB Paul Smith and then Western Maryland QB Ron Sermarini entered their early-season matchup with more than 3,000 rushing yards and 5,000 passing yards, respectively.

Dickinson at Franklin & Marshall
Audio: WDCV-FM 88.3. Video: Yes. Live Stats: Yes.
It's "Wagon Week" in Carlisle and Lancaster, as the Red Devils (2-0) and the Diplomats (2-0) meet for the 101st time in the Conference's longest-running series. F&M holds a 59-38-3 overall lead, but Dickinson has captured five straight, including a 34-20 decision last year in Carlisle. To the winner goes the "Conestoga Wagon Trophy," a miniature replica of the mode of transportation used during the teams' first meeting in 1889. Two of the Centennial's top QBs meet in Dickinson's Ian Mitchell and F&M's John Harrison. Mitchell needs 26 rushing yards to set the Conference all-time record for quarterbacks and 202 passing yards to become the 24th CC passer to reach 4,000 yards for his career. Harrison has eight touchdown passes in two games with a 74.7 completion percentage. The last time both teams were undefeated entering the game was 1989 - F&M (4-0) and Dickinson (3-0-1).

Ursinus at Juniata
Audio: Ursinus Sports Network. Video: No. Live Stats: No.
Two teams looking for their first win of the season meet in Huntingdon. The Bears (0-2) have won two straight in the series to close the Eagles (0-2) lead to 10-4. Ursinus has not opened a season 0-3 since 2002, while Juniata has started 0-3 in each of the last five seasons. The Bears are 53rd in the country in passing offense, led by QB Justin Decristofaro who has 518 yards and three TDs in two games. WR Al Desiderio is averaging 23.7 yards on nine receptions. Juniata QB Alex Snyder has protected the football, not throwing an interception in 40 attempts. WR Matt Dunker averages 15.1 yards on seven catches.

Catholic at McDaniel
Audio: WTTR-AM 1470. Video: No. Live Stats: Yes.
The Green Terror (1-1) closes out its non-conference schedule with a home tilt with the Cardinals (0-2). McDaniel leads the all-time series, 10-4, but Catholic has won the last two meetings. A Terror win would give coach Tim Keating his 100th victory on The Hill. RB T.J. Develin leads the Centennial in rushing (246 yds), while QB Tom Massucci has thrown for 437 yards and four TDs in two games. The defense is 22nd in Division III against the run, surrendering just 54 yards per game.

Lebanon Valley at Moravian
Audio: WSAN-AM 1470, WMSS-FM 91.1. Video: No. Live Stats: No.
The Greyhounds (1-1) try to break the Dutchmen's (2-0) Centennial win streak when the two teams meet for the 67th time on Saturday. Moravian holds a 34-31-1 series lead with victories in eight of the last 10 games, including the previous two matchups. Lebanon Valley has not won in Bethlehem since 1999 (24-13). 'Hound QB Steve Panasuk threw for 175 yards and two scores in his MC debut. WR Shawn Sylvainus has six reception with two producing touchdowns. LVC his shooting for its first 3-0 start since 1979.

Union at Muhlenberg
Audio: WMUH-FM 91.7, WABY-AM 1160. Video: Yes. TV: Service Electric 2. Live Stats: Yes.
The Mules (0-1) return to action after an off week to take on the No. 22 Dutchmen. 'Berg holds a slim 5-4 series lead after wins in the last two meetings. Muhlenberg has won three straight home openers since a 2005 loss to Union. RB Terrence Dandridge became the first 'Berg freshman to rush for over 100 yards (120) in the first game of his career since 1977. QB Justin Kreamer threw for 212 yards in his debut but was picked three times by Wilkes.

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