Friday, October 08, 2010

The Friday Tailgate

We are officially at the halfway mark of the Conference football season and the time to determine whether your team is a contender or pretender is here. Johns Hopkins (2-1 CC, 2-2) kicks off the weekend under the lights on Friday night against Dickinson (1-2, 1-3). The Jays are a game behind league-leading Ursinus (4-0, 5-0) and Muhlenberg (3-0, 3-1) and may not be able to afford another loss. The Red Devils' Conference title hopes rest in the balance each week with two CC defeats on their record. The Mules look to close that half-game gap with the Bears when it welcomes Juniata (0-4, 0-4) to the Lehigh Valley. McDaniel (2-1, 3-1) also cannot afford another CC defeat when it entertains Susquehanna (1-4, 1-4) on Saturday. Moravian (2-2, 2-3), fresh off last week's upset at Dickinson, takes on the top offense in the Conference in Gettysburg (0-3, 1-3) at the Battlefield. F&M (3-1, 4-1) and Ursinus are idle this Saturday.

Dickinson at Johns Hopkins
Video: Yes. Audio: WDCV-FM 88.3. Live Stats: Yes.
The Red Devils and the Blue Jays meet for the 64th time in a series that began in 1891 with Hopkins holding a 32-27-4 lead. JHU is 19-11-2 in games in the Charm City and has won three straight from Dickinson since a 21-13 loss at home in 2006. Hopkins is 27-13-1 (.671) in Friday night games at Homewood Field. Dickinson is 1-1 vs. the Jays in night games, winning in 2004 (17-7) and losing in 2008 (36-34). The winner of this game has claimed at least a share of six of the last eight Conference titles (2002-03-04-05-06-09). This is the first time in school history JHU has opened a season scoring 27 or more points in four straight games. Hopkins has intercepted at least one pass in 18 straight games dating back to the final game of the 2008 season vs. Catholic. Dickinson QB Ricky Martz is second in the CC in completion percentage (63.8) and efficiency (136.6) in his first season as a starter. WR Craig Helfer has 22 receptions for 342 yards with four of those catches going for scores.

Juniata at Muhlenberg
Video: Yes. Audio: WMUH-FM 91.7. Live Stats: Yes.
This is the sixth meeting between the Eagles and the Mules since 1929 with the previous five decisions going to 'Berg. Juniata has only scored 17 points in the five games and no more than seven in any contest. Muhlenberg RBs Terrence Dandridge and J.T. Merklinger are 3-5 in the Conference in rushing with 78.2 and 75.0 yards per game, respectively. KR Chase Nadell leads the Centennial in kickoff return average with eight returns for 32.89 yards per. LB Patrick McDonough shares the CC lead in tackles with 46. Juniata RB Derek Kramer is 10th in the Conference with 208 rushing yards. PK Scott Andrews has made 3-of-4 field goal attempts with a long of 35 yards. Freshman LB Kevin Gorman is eighth in the CC with 34 tackles with 6.5 leading to loss of yardage.

Susquehanna at McDaniel
Audio: WTTR-AM 1470, WQSU-FM 88.9. Live Stats: Yes.
The Crusaders and the Terror meet for the 11th time in a series that is deadlocked at five wins apiece. On closer inspection, the series is even closer, as both teams have won twice in Westminster and three times in Selinsgrove. McDaniel has won each of the last two meetings in 2001 (63-27) and 2002 (27-7). Susquehanna's last triumph was a 21-14 win at home in 1995 and has not won in Westminster in 1969 (28-8). The Terror can match its Centennial win total from last season with a victory. WR Matt Cahill is third on the all-time Terror reception list (130) and needs five more to tie Alan Pietkiewicz '95 for second place. QB Tom Massucci has thrown for over 200 yards in seven games in his career. McDaniel is 13-3 under coach Tim Keating in games after a bye. Susquehanna RB Greg Tellish is second in the CC in rushing (78.6 ypg). QB Rich Palazzi has thrown nine TD passes, including five to WR Mike Ritter. Ritter is second in the Conference in all-purpose yards (585). PK Bobby Eppleman has not missed a kick this season, converting all 11 PATs and five field goals. He is also averaging 38.3 yards per punt. Susquehanna is last in the Conference in time of possession (23:18).

Moravian at Gettysburg
Video: Yes. Audio: WSAN-AM 1470. Live Stats: Yes.
It is the ninth time that the Greyhounds and the Bullets have met on the gridiron with Gettysburg holding a 7-1 series advantage. The Orange and Blue has won the last seven meetings since a 17-7 win by Moravian in Bethlehem in the teams' first game in 1978. Gettysburg has started fast this season, outscoring its opponents, 42-14, in the first 15 minutes. The Bullets lead the CC in rushing offense (204.5) and are second in total offense (389.8). The problem is that the defense is 10th in total defense (415.8). RB Jamel Mutunga is fourth in the Conference with 76.5 yards rushing per game. QB Kyle Whitmoyer has completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 739 yards, while rushing for an additional 223 yards. RB Anthony DeSalva is third among Centennial players in all-purpose yards (570). SS Joe Delaney shares the CC lead in tackles with 46. Moravian went on the road and came away with a 24-16 win at Dickinson last weekend behind reserve QB Matt Johnson. Johnson, the team's starting strong safety for the first four games, ran for 61 yards and a score while also throwing for 174 yards. The 'Hounds amassed 320 total yards - their best offensive output of the season. WR Shawn Sylvainus is fifth in the CC in receiving yards (71.6). Moravian's defense is third in the Conference against the run (100.0) and in total defense (260.8).

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