LANCASTER, Pa. - Eight members of Franklin & Marshall's football squad earned nine roster spots on the 2009 All-Centennial Conference Football Team. Four players were picked for five spots on the First Team, three players landed on the Second Team, and one was accorded Honorable Mention.
The team is selected by the league's head coaches.
Michael Deutch (Jr./Sussex, N.J./Vernon), George Eager (Sr./Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.), Barry Lovett (Sr./Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep) and Clarke Miller (Sr./Richmond, Va./St. Christopher's) were named to the Centennial's First Team. John Harrison (So./Flourtown, Pa./La Salle College HS), Sam Massaro (Fr./Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley-Old Tappan) and Mark Surma (Jr./Philadelphia/Central) were named to the Second Team. Jeff Kellar (Sr./State College, Pa./State College) earned Honorable Mention.
The Diplomats' tight end, Deutch is making his first All-Centennial appearance following a regular season in which he caught 32 passes for 356 yards and eight touchdowns. His eight, six-point grabs ties the Conference's single season record for touchdown catches by a tight end that had been owned by a Diplomat, Mike Sernatinger, since 1995.
Eager is making his second consecutive appearance as the first team kick returner and his first appearance on the top team as a wide receiver. He had been relegated to the second team each of the past two seasons. Eager hauled in 79 passes for 1,043 yards and 11 touchdowns. He returned 19 kicks for 434 yards, averaging 22.8 yards per return. He took two to the barn going 80-yards against both Dickinson and Moravian. Eager was one of three unanimous first team choices.
Lovett's selection as a first team defensive back marks the second consecutive season he has earned the distinction. The senior broke up five passes and picked off three more. He rolled up 74 yards on his three interception returns, including a 62-yard return for a touchdown at McDaniel. That marked the second week in as many that Lovett had scored. He scooped and scored from 69-yards out in the win over Muhlenberg. Lovett had 33 tackles on the season, including 27 solo stops. His five tackles for losses included one sack. Lovett was the only defensive player unanimously selected to the first team.
Miller entered the season as the offensive line's only returning starter from the 2008 season. He anchored the right side of the line that protected for the quarterback that turned in the most proficient passing season in CC history. Miller was previously named ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District II.
Harrison established dozens of records at Franklin & Marshall and in the Centennial Conference this season. His 247 completions, 2,865 yards, and 29 passing touchdowns are all school and Centennial Conference single season records. He turned in Franklin & Marshall's first-ever 400-yard passing effort with 404 yards and five touchdowns - also a school single game record - at McDaniel. Harrison threw for five touchdowns on two occasions this season.
A freshman, Massaro started at middle linebacker from the outset earning Centennial Conference Player of the Week honors after the season-opener. Despite missing the final game of the season to injury, Massaro led F&M in tackles with 22 more than the next closest player. His 70 stops included 43 unassisted efforts, eight for losses, four of which were sacks. Massaro tied for the team lead in interceptions with Lovett, Kellar and Ty Savastio. Each had three on the season.
The team's only junior serving as a captain, Surma is making his first All-Centennial appearance. He recorded 31 tackles, including 16 solo stops this season to go with four sacks and a forced fumble.
A second team pick a year ago, Kellar earned honorable mention this year. He recorded three interceptions and a team-high seven pass breakups in 2009 to go along with 36 tackles. Kellar posted 23 solo stops and three tackles for losses.
Muhlenberg had three players named to the first team to raise its all-time total to 114. Dickinson is second with 111, followed by Franklin & Marshall with 102. Johns Hopkins (97), McDaniel (79), Gettysburg (70), Ursinus (66) and Conference newcomers Moravian (8) and Juniata (0) round out the league.
Franklin & Marshall's season will continue on this Saturday. The Diplomats host Wilkes University in the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl. Kickoff is set for noon. The game will be aired live, free of charge, on B2 Networks.