Moravian (1-5, 1-3 CC) at F&M (4-1, 2-1 CC)
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Overall: F&M 16-5 | In Lancaster: F&M 10-2 | In Centennial Play: Moravian 2-0
Today's game marks the 22nd renewal of a series that began in Lancaster in 1932 with a 21-7 F&M win. It marks the third meeting between these schools under the auspices of the Centennial Conference. Moravian has won the two Centennial contests between these schools, only the second time the Hounds have won consecutive contests against F&M. Moravian has won four of the last five meetings dating back to 1991.
Franklin & Marshall still holds a 16-5 edge in a series in the previously on-again off-again relationship. The first eight games were spread out over 42 season. The teams met for 11-consecutive seasons (1972-1982) competing in the MAC. F&M held a 15-1 lead at the end of that streak.
The Last Meeting: Tyler McCambridge rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown, but it was quarterback Marc Braxmeier's eight-yard jaunt into the end zone early in the fourth quarter that made the difference in a 23-20 Moravian comeback win over Franklin & Marshall. The Moravian win halted the Greyhounds' (5-2, 3-2 CC) losing streak at two games, and put the brakes on the Diplomats' (3-3, 2-2 CC) two game winning streak.
F&M Last Week: Touchdowns on three consecutive possessions was all Franklin & Marshall needed to hand Ursinus a 21-14 their first setback in Centennial Conference (CC) play this season. John Kaschak did the bulk of the damage with 129 total yards and two touchdowns, moving F&M to 4-1 (2-1 CC) for the first time in five years.
Moravian Last Week: Gettysburg tailback Jamel Mutunga ran for a career high 149 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, including a 60-yard scoring run on the second play of the game, to lead Gettysburg to a 34-3 Centennial Conference victory over Moravian at Rocco Calvo Field.
Seeking 570: An F&M win would be the 750th in the history of the program.
All Things Must Pass: John Harrison (Flourtown, Pa. / La Salle College High School) completed 30 of his 47 pass attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns. He crossed the 300-yard plateau for the fourth time in as many games, breaking into F&M's top ten in passing yards with 2,990 career yards at the end of his 15th game in blue and white. He needs 10 yards to become the tenth 3,000-yard passer in F&M history. That ten yards would make him the fastest quarterback to 3,000 yards in Centennial history, one game ahead of Johns Hopkins sophomore, Hewitt Tomlin, who will likely cross that mark today - in his 17th career game. Today marks Harrison's 16th career contest.
Harrison's 31st career touchdown pass leaves him alone in sixth overall on F&M's career charts. He moved up to 8th in completions (269) and 12th in pass attempts (422). His career completion percentage remains 63.7, tops in F&M history, while his 140.4 P.E.R. is also at the top of the chart. Harrison sits 12th on the chart in terms of total offense, (2,828 yards - in the red on rushing yards). 172 yards would make him the 10th Diplomat to account for 3,000 yards of total offense in his career.
Harrison is a threat to season records too. His 138 completions halfway through the season ranks eighth on the season list and have him on pace to be the first F&M signal caller to complete 200 passes in a season. His 1,633 yards so far are the 12th best season on record. Another day that looks anything like his previous four would leapfrog him into the top five on both lists. His 17 touchdown passes are fourth on the season chart, four short of Geno Pagnozzi's record of 21, set in 1989.
Climbing the Charts 100-yards at a Time: George Eager (Lititz, Pa. / Manheim Twp.) broke the 100-yard barrier for the second week in a row and third time this season. He had 10 receptions for 106 yards. It was his second game this season with double-digits in the receptions column. He is now third on the list in F&M history in receptions with 163 catches for 1,930 yards - fourth in F&M history. He needs 70 yards to become the fourth Diplomat to roll up 2,000 career receiving yards. He is 230 yards behind Zac Kraft on the career yards list and 70 receptions behind Dale Amos on the F&M list for career catches. He remains third in F&M history for career touchdowns with 22. One score will tie him at second with Justin Salton. He needs 13 touchdowns to match Amos.
Easy Rider: Jay Ridinger's (Lititz, Pa. / Manheim Twp.) three-catch, 33-yard effort moved him into 10th place in career receptions with 92, and 17th in career receiving yards (1,096).
Sack Race: Franklin & Marshall recorded eight sacks in the 21-14 win at Ursinus on Saturday. It is the most sacks posted by the Diplomats since 2001 in a 16-14 win over Oberlin. Donald Wiezik (River Vale, N.J./Pascak Valley) accounted for three of the sacks and Sam Massaro (Old Tappan, N.J. / Northern Valley Old Tappan) had two. C.T. Marsh (Phoenix, Md. / Loyola-Blakefield) posted 1.5 sacks. Drew Hutcheon (Mt. Laurel, N.J. / Bishop Eustace) posted one and Mark Surma (Philadelphia/Central) added a half sack. The Diplomats had posted 10 sacks through the seasons' first four games and just 11 during the entire 2008 season.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday: Last Sunday's Centennial Conference Player of the Week Release was the first that did not include a Diplomat as a CC POTW. John Kaschak (Lake Hoptacong, N.J./Jefferson Twp.) was on the Weekly Honor Roll for offense. He accounted for 129 yards of total offense and a pair of scores on 18 total touches (7.2 yards per play) on Saturday. He rushed 11 times for 78 yards (7.1 ypc) and a touchdown. He also caught seven passes for 51 yards (7.2 ypr) and a touchdown. Donald Wiezik appeared on the Defensive Honor Roll after recording three of Franklin & Marshall's eight sacks on Saturday, setting the Bears back 11 yards.
Call Tails! F&M has only won the coin toss once this season.
4&1 F&M: Franklin & Marshall is 4-1 for the first time since 2004. The last time F&M was 4-1, the Diplomats dropped back-to-back home contests to Johns Hopkins and Dickinson. Neither of those teams appear in Lancaster this week or next, nor were any of the current players on the roster during that season. The 2004 Diplomats ended the season with a record of 8-3, defeating Moravian 37-20 in an ECAC postseason game. F&M has not been 5-1 in any season since the 9-2 campaign in 1996. The only regular season loss that year was a 13-0 defeat at the hands of Ursinus, which went undefeated and on to the NCAA playoffs.
Turn of Events in Turnovers: The Centennial season has been cruel to the Diplomats turnover ratio. After opening the season with seven takeaways over the first two games, F&M's defense has not secured a fumble or intercepted a pass since the final gun of the win over Catholic. F&M stole possession five times against W&L and twice against the Cardinals. The Diplomats turnover margin has gone from +2 to -5.