Friday, September 17, 2010

The Friday Tailgate

It's week 3 of the Centennial Conference football season and we already have our second "Trophy" game on tap. Last week, it was Susquehanna retaining the "Goal Post Trophy" with a home win against Juniata. Tonight, it's the battle for the "Conestoga Wagon Trophy" as Dickinson and Franklin & Marshall resume their long rivalry in Carlisle. Elsewhere, Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins open Centennial play in Baltimore, while Muhlenberg commences Conference play at Susquehanna. Ursinus looks to join McDaniel atop the Centennial at 2-0 when the Bears take on Juniata.

Franklin & Marshall (1-1) at Dickinson (0-1)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: Yes. Video: No.
This is the most-played rivalry in the Conference as the Diplomats and the Red Devils meet for the 102nd time since 1889. Dickinson has won six straight in the series to close the all-time deficit to 59-39-3. F&M is 32-20-3 in its 55 trips to Carlisle. Since 1963, the Diplomats and Red Devils have played for a model of the wagon that transported both teams to play each other in the two 1889 meetings. A gift of F&M Athletic Director J. Shober Barr and Dickinson A.D. Dave Eavenson, the trophy is meant to symbolize the friendly gridiron rivalry between the two institutions, F&M holds a 24-21 advantage since the inception of the trophy game, including an 18-year winning streak from 1970 until 1987. Dickinson has held the trophy since 2004. This is the Diplomats' fourth "Friday Night Lights" game (0-3). F&M QB John Harrison is one TD pass away from 50 for his career. The Devils had more first downs (16-9) and outgained Hobart (268-198) last weekend in their opener.

Johns Hopkins (0-1) at Gettysburg (1-0)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: No. Video: Yes.
This is the 38th meeting between the Blue Jays and the Bullets in a series that dates to 1911. Hopkins has won the last two matchups to close the all-time deficit to 20-15-2. Gettysburg was idle last week after a 42-28 week 1 win at Lebanon Valley. Hopkins lost a wild 41-37 shootout at Randolph-Macon last weekend. Bullet RB Jamel Mutunga became the seventh Gettysburg back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in his career, after carrying 31 times for 151 yards vs. LVC. JHU is the most successful team in Conference history in Centennial openers with a 17-10 record and 16-3 in the last 19 CC lidlifters. Gettysburg is 14-13 in Conference starters. Hopkins played its final four games of 2009 on the road and opens the 2010 campaign with three more games away from home. The Jays' home opener is Oct. 2 vs. Muhlenberg. The game features the two winningest coaches in CC history - Gettysburg's Barry Streeter (88 CC wins) and Hopkins' Jim Margraff (85).

Juniata (0-2) at Ursinus (2-0)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: Yes. Video: No.
This is the 16th time that the Eagles and Bears have met on the gridiron with Juniata holding a 10-5 advantage. Ursinus has won the last three games - all coming in conjunction with the Eagles' joining the Centennial as an associate football member. The Bears are looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2007. Coach Peter Gallagher became the winningest coach in UC gridiron history (42) with the victory at F&M. Freshman RB Bryan Ellis carried 23 times for 126 yards vs. the Diplomats. QB Justin Decristofaro needs 34 passing yards to reach 3,000 for his career. Juniata has scored just three points in two games, coming on a 31-yard field goal by Scott Andrews vs. Susquehanna.

Muhlenberg (0-1) at Susquehanna (1-1)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: Yes. Video: Yes.
The 19th meeting between the Mules and the Crusaders will break a tie that is 103 years in the making. The series, that began in 1907, is tied at 9-9 and is renewed for the first time since a 35-11 SU win in 1992. Muhlenberg's last win in the series was in 1988 (26-13). Susquehanna retained the "Goal Post Trophy" with a 45-3 victory vs. Juniata last weekend. QB Rich Palazzi threw four TD passes - including a pair to WR Mike Ritter. The Mules were idle last week after a season-opening loss to Delaware Valley. 'Berg has not started a season with two losses since 2003 ... of course, the Mules went onto share the Centennial title that season. Muhlenberg is just 11-16 in Centennial openers.

McDaniel (2-0) at Catholic (2-0)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: Yes. Video: Yes.
This is the 16th time that the Green Terror and Cardinals have squared off in a series that dates to 1912. McDaniel holds an 11-4 advantage, including a 21-17 win last season. The Terror looks to go 3-0 for the first time since the '05 squad opened with four victories. For the first time in 116 seasons of McDaniel football, the Terror has won back-to-back games by three points or fewer. The Green and Gold is first in the Conference and 12th in Division III in scoring defense (5.0). The Cardinals enter the game with a 2-0 record. QB Greg Cordivari threw five TD passes in last week's win vs. Apprentice School.

Moravian (1-1) at Lebanon Valley (0-2)
Live Stats: Yes. Audio: Yes. Video: No.
It's the 68th meeting between the Greyhounds and the Flying Dutchmen since 1901 with Moravian holding a slim 34-32-1 edge in the series. LVC won last year's game by a 32-2 count in Bethlehem, but the 'Hounds are 4-1 in their last five trips to Annville. Moravian has scored just 11.0 ppg in its first two games, but the defense has also allowed just 11.0 ppg and 167.5 yards in a 1-1 start. The Dutchmen are 0-2 for the first time since 2005. LVC is 6-4 against Centennial members, but dropped a 42-28 decision to Gettysburg in its opener. PK Brittany Ryan - already the unofficial NCAA all-divisions leader for PATs by a female player - tied the national record of 87 career points with a couple of PATs last week vs. Grove City. She has 72 PATs and five FGs in her three-plus seasons.

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