Friday, October 30, 2009

The Friday Tailgate

Well, well, well. Three weeks remaining in the Conference football season and we have a four-team race. Four teams - Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Johns Hopkins and Ursinus - all with 4-1 Centennial records. Raise your hand if you had the Diplomats and Bears in the mix at the start of the season! The quartet could be considered the favorites in their games on Saturday, but better not be caught looking ahead.

Dickinson at Muhlenberg
Audio: WDCV-FM 88.3, WMUH-FM 91.7. TV: Service Electric 2. Video: Mule TV. Live Stats: Yes.
It is the 65th meeting between the Red Devils (4-1, 6-1) and the Mules (1-4, 2-5). 'Berg has won nine of the last 10 meetings to take a commanding 38-24-2 lead in the series. Dickinson has not won in Allentown since 1997. The Red Devils are 18th in the NCAA in rushing offense and have scored on 28-of-29 trips inside the red zone, scoring 22 touchdowns. DB Michael Maxwell is tied for the Centennial lead and is 13th nationally with five interceptions. The Red and White is 10th in the country in turnover margin (+11). The Mules lead the CC in rushing and scoring defense. QB Dan Deighan makes his second collegiate start, while fellow freshman RB Terrence Dandridge is fifth in the Centennial averaging 77.5 yards per game.

Franklin & Marshall at McDaniel
Audio: WTTR-AM 1470. Video: No. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 43rd time that the Diplomats (4-1, 6-1) and the Green Terror (2-3, 4-3) will meet on the gridiron since 1904. F&M has won five in a row to take a 24-16-2 series lead. McDaniel's last win at Bair Stadium came in 2003 (21-7). Strange fact for Halloween -- F&M and McDaniel have played twice before on Oct. 31 (1942, 1959) and both games ended in 14-14 draws. The Diplomat defense has been stingy on third-downs this season, stopping its opposition 69.6 percent of the time. DB Barry Lovett's 69-yard fumble return for a touchdown last week was the team's first fumble return for a score in 17 years. QB John Harrison has 21 TD passes and is one away from establishing a school single-season record. With 1,973 passing yards, he is 27 away from becoming the fifth F&M passer to throw for 2,000 in a season. McDaniel can secure its first .500 season since 2005 with a victory in one of its final three games. QB Tom Massucci needs 98 passing yards to become just the fifth Terror passer to reach 1,500 yards in a season. The Green and Gold defensive line ranks sixth in D-III, averaging 3.71 sacks per game. DL Mike Ford ranks 14th in the country with 1.04 per outing.

Johns Hopkins at Juniata
Audio: No. Video: No. Live Stats: No. Twitter Updates: @hopkinssports
This is just the fourth time that the Blue Jays (4-1, 5-2) and the Eagles (1-5, 1-7) have played football against each other with Hopkins holding a 2-1 lead. This is the third straight Hopkins road game in which the Jays are the Homecoming opponent. A JHU win would be the 125th career victory for coach Jim Margraff and also the 100th all-time victory for Hopkins in Centennial play. The 69 wins this decade are the most in school history, surpassing the old mark of 55 set in the 1990s. RB Andrew Kase has run for over 100 yards in three straight games. Hopkins has scored on 25-of-29 trips to the red zone, scoring 18 touchdowns. Juniata broke a 23-game road losing streak with a 10-3 win at Moravian last week. The Eagles protect the ball, turning it over one time or less in six of their eight games. QB Alex Snyder has only been picked off three times this season- the fewest of any passer in the Conference (150 attempt minimum).

Moravian at Ursinus
Audio: WSAN-AM 1470. Video: No. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 12th game in the Greyhound-Bear series with Moravian holding a 7-3-1 lead. 'Hound RB Ryan Rempe has 1,390 career rushing yards needs 410 in his final two games to break into the school career top 10. DL Allen Petros, who missed the Johns Hopkins and Dickinson contests, still leads the line with 34 tackles and three sacks. LB Evan Bauer leads the team with 59 stops. Ursinus had a pair of RBs go over 100 yards last week vs. McDaniel, as Teddy Conrad and Travis Evans each ran for 133 yards and combined for five TDs. KR Al Desiderio was named the Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week, after returning a kickoff 77 yards for a score. DB Chris Rountree shares the Centennial lead with five interceptions.

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