Wilkes (6-4) at F&M (8-2)

Wilkes (6-4) at F&M (8-2)

Coming to Lancaster

All fans attending the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl are encouraged to review Franklin & Marshall's spectator policies.

Spectators are encouraged to park in the lot between the Alumni Sports Fitness Center and Tylus Field.

Admission to all Franklin & Marshall football games is free.

Possession of alcohol and tobacco products is strictly prohibited.

The use of artificial noisemakers is strictly prohibited.

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Complete Notes (.pdf document)

Series History: Despite the fact that only 100 miles separate the institutions, today's ECAC South Atlantic Bowl marks the first time Franklin & Marshall and Wilkes will meet on the gridiron. 

Diplomats in ECAC: Today's game marks the seventh ECAC appearance for Franklin & Marshall as well as the fourth ECAC Bowl game hosted by F&M. The Diplomats are 3-3 in ECAC play, and 2-2 in home ECAC games. The first ECAC game against Wagner in 1986 was F&M's first postseason game of any sort.  Here is a game-by-game look at F&M in the ECAC:

11/22/86 - WAGNER, L, 40-28

11/21/87 - KEAN, W, 21-0

11/18/89 -  at St. John's N.Y., W, 31-18

11/2/96 -  USMMA, L, 20-0

11/20/04 -  MORAVIAN, W, 37-20

11/19/05 -  at Salisbury, L, 27-23

ECAC Bowl MVP's: To the victor goes the spoils, and for F&M's ECAC victories, the spoils have been ECAC Bowl MVPs. The award has gone to an offensive player in each of F&M's wins. Dale Amos earned the honor at wide receiver in 1987 and 1989. Details are sketchy in the '87 contest, but in the '89 contest, he caught seven Geno Pagnozzi passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, including a 71-yard streak to the end zone. Running back Scott Stephen earned it in 2004. Stephen rushed for 125 yards and caught three passes for 72 yards to take home the hardware.

ECAC Postseason Awards: Franklin & Marshall College has produced two ECAC Players of the Year at quarterback. Bob Olender was named the 1971 ECAC Player of the Year. Quarterback, Beau Eckert, was the 1996 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year.

ECAC This Season Awards: Two Diplomats were named ECAC Players of the Week during the 2009 campaign. John Harrison earned the Offensive Player of the Week honor following a 404-yard, five-touchdown effort at McDaniel. Barry Lovett earned the Defensive Player of the Week in the same game after scoring a defensive touchdown for the second consecutive game. The senior returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown, broke up another pass, and registered three tackles.

F&M Last Week: Franklin & Marshall absorbed two Bullets' touchdowns in rapid succession and then held Gettysburg's offense without a point for almost 48 minutes. While the defense held the Bullets' (3-7, 3-5 CC) potent offense in check, the Diplomats (8-2, 6-2 CC) spread the ball judiciously to rally for a 33-23 Centennial Conference (CC) win.

Wilkes Last Week: The Wilkes University football team (6-4, 3-4) took a short trip across town to take on the King's College Monarchs (3-7, 2-5) in search of its seventh consecutive Mayor's Cup victory. The first quarter saw plenty of offense, but the Monarchs were able to sustain a successful running game and shutdown the Colonels later in the game, ultimately defeating Wilkes 33-16.

F&M's Path to the ECAC: The Diplomats rolled up an 8-2 record behind the gunslinging of sophomore signal-caller, John Harrison, who set numerous school and Centennial Conference marks over the course of the 2009 season. F&M's only losses came to Johns Hopkins and Dickinson. The Diplomats posted a 20-7 win over Muhlenberg - the only common opponent - during the torrential downpour that was Homecoming.

Wilkes' Path to the ECAC: The Colonels opened the season with a 14-12 win over Muhlenberg en route to a 3-0 start. Wilkes ran into a buzzsaw , dropping three-straight to Albright, Lebanon Valley and Delaware Valley. The Colonels squeaked out wins in the next three, with a one-point win against FDU-Florham, a four-point win at Lycoming, and a five-point win against Widener.

They Played the Last Game Like it was Their Last Game: Frank DiMattia, George Eager, Jeff Kellar, Jeff Liberatore, Barry Lovett, Mike Marcinek, Clarke Miller, and Ryan Murray entered the Gettysburg game not knowing if today would come. They played the game like it was their last.

DiMattia recorded three tackles and an interception and return of 41 yards that set up Mike Shin's field goal that made it a three-possession game... Eager Caught 10 passes for 162 yards and took over the school's career record for All-Purpose yards... Kellar posted six tackles, broke up three passes, and ended a Gettysburg drive in F&M territory with an interception... Liberatore recorded six tackles and broke up three passes... Marcinek was in on several of F&M's ten-straight stops of the Bullets' high-octane offense... Miller cleared the way for John Kaschak's ground success as the sophomore RB became F&M's first 100-yard rusher of the season... Murray rushed four times for 26 yards and caught three passes for 30 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown reception...

F&M Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: All three of Gettysburg's touchdowns came on drives that lasted less than a minute. After scoring on consecutive possession to open the game, the Diplomats' defense held on the next 10 Bullet possessions.

Like a Broken Record with All of these Records: During the win over Gettysburg, John Harrison reset the Centennial record for completions in a season, passing Western Maryland's Brian Van Deusen who completed 224 passes in 1995. He also passed Ursinus' Frank Vecchio for passing yards in a season. Vecchio threw for 2,709 yards in 1999. He entered the game with 28 touchdowns, having already captured the single season record in that category, previously held by Muhlenberg's Michael McCabe. Harrison's current completion percentage is .4 below that of Western Maryland's Ron Sermarini, who clicked on 68.6 percent of his tosses en route to the 1999 CC championship.

There are several single season milestones Harrison could realistically pass today. He is three completions away from being the first F&M and CC QB to 250 completions in a season, one touchdown pass away from becoming the first F&M and CC QB to throw 30 touchdowns in a season, and 135 yards away from becoming the first F&M and CC QB to throw for 3,000 yards in a season.

There are also several career milestones within reach. Harrison is within 41 yards of sixth place on the F&M career passing yards chart. He is one touchdown away from matching Rob Shepardson in career TDs at 44, good enough for second on the list. He needs 14 completions to move ahead of Kyle Turner for fourth on the career list, 20 completions away from becoming the third Diplomat to 400 completions in his career, and 22 away from overtaking Shepardson's spot in second on the career completion chart. His tenth pass today will be the 600th of his career, which will move him from eighth to sixth on the career chart in that category. We'll be here well past dark before he gets to fifth.

Yeah, He's That Good: John Harrison has been so good this year, he breaks records when he isn't playing. Harrison has thrown five touchdown passes on two occasions this season. Theortically, that tied him with Wally Witmer, who threw for five touchdowns at Johns Hopkins in 1951 - except for the fact that he didn't. Witmer was responsible for five touchdowns at Hopkins in 1951, three rushing and two receiving, however, going back in media guides at least as far as 1992, he had been credited with five touchdowns. Harrison now owns the record alone, twice.

More About Five TDs: After maintaining sole ownership of the record of Touchdowns Responsible For for 56 years, Wally Witmer was forced to share with Ryan Murray, who rushed for five against Gettysburg in 2007. The club expanded its membership to three with Harrison's pair of five TD performances. With Murray playing in his final game, it is likely that this will be the last time two Fummers responsible for five touchdowns in one game share the field for quite some time. 

Purposeful: George Eager moved to the top of the chart for career all-purpose yards during F&M's 33-23 win over Gettysburg. The Diplomats' senior did his work to move up that chart in just three years since transferring up Route 999 from Millersville.  He enters today's game with 3,986 all-purpose yards having passed Dale Amos who piled up 3,896 all-purpose between 1986 and 1989.

With his tenth catch last week, Eager joined Amos and Justin Salton as the only Diplomat with 200 career receptions. He needs 54 yards today to join the same pair in the 2,500-career yard club. Amos owns the record at 3,486, followed by Salton at 3,136.

Gates, Gonzales, Deutch: Junior Tight End, Mike Deutch, has nine career touchdown catches, ranking him third on the Centennial Conference's list of career touchdowns for the position. He is one TD reception away from matching his predecessor, Matt Mondenendo and two away from tying Muhlenberg's Henry Large, who came up big with 11 touchdowns between 1987 and 1989 for the TE TD record.

Like Riding a Bike: John Kaschak rushed 25 times for 100-yards, and two touchdowns against Gettysburg, all season highs in F&M's pass-oriented offense. Kaschak was the last Diplomat to rush for 100 yards - back in September of last year. Kaschak pounded out 161 yards on 42 carries against Juniata. He became the first Diplomat to score two rushing touchdowns in one game since Ryan Murray scored five against Gettysburg in the 2007 season finale. In addition to his work on the ground, Kaschak threw a touchdown pass in F&M's 33-23 win over Gettysburg.

Prater's Punting Prowess: Brian Prater was on point most of the day Saturday dropping two punts inside of the Bullets' 15-yardline. Prater dropped one punt on the Gettysburg 12 and boomed his season long of 61 yards before it was downed on the Gettysburg 1.

Kicking Around Being Perfect: Mike Shin was 2-for-2 in PAT attempts and 1-for-1 in field goal attempts in last week's win over Gettysburg. That marks the first time since the 2008 season opener that F&M was perfect kicking for points. In the remnants of a hurricane, Paul Sousa went 3-for-3 on PAT attempts, and 1-for-1 on field goal attempts.

Spread (it around) Offense: Everyone was in on the action in last week's win over the Bullets. Five different players rushed for positive yards. Three different players statistically completed a pass with a fourth completing a two-point conversion pass (which is not recorded as a statistic). Two players completed a touchdown pass. Eight different players caught at least one pass with six catching two or more. Three different players scored touchdowns for F&M.