Friday, November 13, 2009

The Friday Tailgate

It's a milestone weekend for the Centennial Conference, as we post for the 500th time and we crown a football champion for 2009. The gridiron champion thing is a bit more important, but we didn't want to fail to pat ourselves on the back.

Johns Hopkins is in the driver's seat. A Blue Jay win at McDaniel gives Hopkins at least a share of the Centennial title and the Conference's automatic berth to the Division III championship tournament that begins next weekend. Dickinson can get at least a piece of the crown with a home win vs. Ursinus and can also get the outright championship and the AQ with a victory and a Hopkins loss.

Ursinus still has hopes of both a Centennial title and NCAA berth. A Hopkins loss, combined by a Bears win over the Red Devils, makes UC the tri-champions and the recipient of the automatic spot in the NCAA field. Franklin & Marshall can force a four-way tie at the top with a win over Gettysburg and losses by Hopkins and Dickinson. It will be a day filled with scoreboard watching, as we bring the curtain down on the 2009 regular season.

Johns Hopkins at McDaniel
Audio: WTTR-AM 1470. Video: No. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the 88th all-time meeting between the two Maryland football representatives in the Conference with the Blue Jays holding a 47-35-5 lead after eight straight wins. The Terror's last win was a 41-7 triumph in 2000. It is the first time in the history of college football in the Free State that two coaches with more than 100 wins at their respective in-state schools will face each other - Jim Margraff (126-74-3) and Tim Keating (103-69-3). Hopkins has posted back-to-back 50-point performances for the first time since 1967 and the 109 points over the last two games is the second-most by a JHU team in school history. JHU amassed over 200 yards rushing and passing vs. F&M and is 23-2 in the 25 games since 1955 when that has happened. RB Andrew Kase (4,132 yards) is 48 yards away from becoming the No. 2 rusher in state history. The leader - McDaniel's Eric Frees who totaled 5,281 from 1988-91. This is the 1,000th game in McDaniel program history. The Terror is 507-443-49 (.532) in its 115th gridiron season. A Green and Gold win would give McDaniel its first winning season since finishing 6-4 in 2004. QB Tom Massucci has five 200-yard passing games to his credit this season - the most since three-time CC Offensive Player of the Year Ron Sermarini did it in 1999. The offensive line has allowed just 11 sacks this season - the fewest since the 1992 unit surrendered just four. WR Matt Cahill has 699 receiving yards which is the most since Teron Powell gathered in balls for 771 yards in 2001.

Ursinus at Dickinson
Audio: WDCV-FM 88.3. Video: No. Live Stats: No.
It's the 81st matchup between the Bears and the Red Devils with Dickinson riding a three-game home win streak in the series. Dickinson holds a 44-30-6 series lead. Ursinus mustered just seven first downs last week vs. Muhlenberg but turned four turnovers into 24 points and a 24-10 win. QB Justin Decristofaro needs 112 passing yards to become the first Bear to throw for 2,000 in a season since Frank Vecchio in 1999. The Bears are looking for things to break their way and secure a piece of the Centennial title for the first time since 1996. QB Ian Mitchell tied the Centennial record for career rushing TDs by a quarterback (27) and raised his Conference single-season mark to 14. He also needs 125 passing yards to reach 5,000 for his career. The Red Devils are 15th in D-III in rushing offense (245.3), while the defense leads the CC in pass efficiency defense and is 10th in the country in turnover margin.

Gettysburg at Franklin & Marshall
Audio: No. Video: Live Stats: Yes.
The Bullets and the Diplomats square off for the 95th time with F&M holding a slim 44-43-7 advantage. The home team has won the last four games. Gettysburg has not won in Lancaster since 2001 (24-16). The game features the top two passing offenses in the Conference, as the Dips are averaging 302.1 yards per game while the Bullets are next at 275.4. Gettysburg is ranked third in D-III in total offense (498.3). Although QB Matt Flynn already has a truckload of records to his credit, there are still some within reach on Saturday, including school marks for single-season TD passes (needs one) and the Conference single-season record for total offense (needs 149). Flynn is 259 yards away from the Centennial season standard for passing yards, but F&M counterpart John Harrison is closer, needing just 58 yards to surpass the old mark. Harrison has already set most Diplomat single-season passing marks, including completions (224), yards (2,652) and TDs (28). WR George Eager is 15th in D3 in receptions (69), 32nd in yards (881) and 37th in all-purpose yards (1,294).

Moravian at Muhlenberg
Audio: WSAN-AM 1470, WMUH-FM 91.7. Video: Live Stats: Yes.
It is the 58th time that the 'Hounds and the Mules have met on the gridiron with Moravian holding a 32-23-2 advantage, including a 17-12-1 lead in Allentown. Both teams are 2-7, the fewest combined win total for the two teams since the Mules (2-6) and Greyhounds (0-7-1) met in 1981. Moravian RB Ryan Rempe is one of the top backs in the CC with 716 rushing yards. DL Allen Petros leads the defensive line with 37 tackles and four sacks. KR Travis King needs one kickoff return and 97 yards to set single-season school marks in both categories. Muhlenberg WR Phil Cresta needs 12 receptions and 144 yards to become the school's career leader in those categories. The Mules have dropped four straight games, despite allowing an average of just 258 yards to the opposition. The 29 turnovers by 'Berg is the most by the team since 2001.

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