F&M (2-1) at Juniata (0-3)

F&M (2-1) at Juniata (0-3)

Saturday's Game: Franklin & Marshall (2-1, 0-1 CC) at Juniata (0-3, 0-1 CC)

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The Vitals
Overall: F&M 4-1 | In Centennial: F&M 2-0 | In Huntingdon: Tied 1-1 | Streak:  F&M +2

Saturday's game marks the sixth meeting of the Eagles and the Diplomats. Juniata is one of the Centennial's two new teams now in its third season in the league. Susquehanna will join in the fray next year. F&M has won both meetings in Centennial play. Prior to that, the home team had won each meeting. F&M's 27-12 win in Huntingdon in 2007, rekindled the rivalry after 21 years and ended the home team dominance. The first two fracases were played in Lancaster - 61 years apart. The Diplomats won the first game between the schools played back on October 18, 1924, by a 27-0 margin. It wasn't until September 14, 1985 that the institutions reconvened, again on Sponaugle-Williamson, for a 21-0 Diplomats victory. The following year in Huntingdon, the Eagles scored their first points against F&M, picking up a 21-11 win on September 13.

date h/a winner score
10/18/1924 H Franklin & Marshall 27-0
9/14/1985 H Franklin & Marshall 21-0
A Juniata 21-11
9/22/2007 A Franklin & Marshall 27-12
9/27/2008 H Franklin & Marshall 14-0

the last meeting
John Kaschak rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 14-0 Centennial Conference (CC) win over Juniata. The Diplomats improved to 2-2 (1-1 CC) on the year, while the Eagles (0-4, 0-2 CC) remained winless. Kaschak rushed 42 times, making him the second busiest back in a single-game in Franklin & Marshall history. He was one touch short of the record 43 rushes posted by John Seiber in 1979. His three-yard touchdown plunge midway through the third quarter eliminated any doubt about the outcome. Ryan Murray gave F&M the only score it needed in the closing minute of the first half. His two-yard touchdown reception from John Harrison capped a 29-yard drive, cashing in on one of Juniata’s two lost fumbles in the game.

f&m last week
Gordon Craig chipped in a 19-yard field goal as time expired to lead Dickinson to a 45-43 comeback win over Franklin & Marshall at Sponaugle-Williamson Field. The win kept the Conestoga Wagon Trophy in the Red Devil’s hands for the sixth straight season. Dickinson  (3-0, 1-0 CC) remained perfect on the season while the Diplomats (2-1, 0-1 CC) suffered their first loss. Craig’s kick capped off a 10-play, 60-yard, drive that began at Dickinson’s 36-yard line with the Diplomats leading 43-42 with 3:42 left in the game. Franklin & Marshall took 43-42 lead with 3:49 left in the game when Jarell Diggs (5 catches, 49 yards) made a one-handed catch in the end zone while being draped by a Dickinson defender. John Harrison (28-of-42, 347 yards) converted the two-point pass to Ryan Murray.

juniata last week
Ursinus employed a balanced rushing and passing attack to upend Juniata 31-0 in the Eagles’ 2009 Centennial Conference opener at Knox Stadium.Ursinus finished with 441 yards of total offense, 239 of it through the air and 202 yards through the ground game. Juniata tallied 154 yards of total offense, led by senior quarterback Alex Snyder’s 66 yards passing. Snyder completed six of his 27 pass attempts, and did not throw an interception. Matt Dunker was Snyder’s favorite target, hauling in six receptions for 52 yards.

scouting juniata
Juniata fell to 0-3 for the fifth consecutive season after its shutout loss to Ursinus. Linebacker Ed Coomey had a team-high eight tackles and an interception. Free Safety Jordan Baird is out for the season following surgery. Quarterback Alex Snyder has not thrown an interception in 67 attempts. Punter Owen Phillips averaged 38.2 yards per kick and placed three punts inside the 20 yard-line.

qb halfway home
John Harrison (Flourtown, Pa./La Salle College)
recorded the second 300-yard passing game of his career and in as many weeks. His 347 yards against Dickinson is the seventh best game in terms of passing yards in F&M history and his four touchdowns ties him with six other players for second most touchdowns in a game. He moved into 11th in career completions and needs six connections to break into the top ten. He needs 94 yards to move ahead of D.J. Korns for 12th in career passing yards, while his 26 TD passes rank him eighth all-time and puts him halfway to Joe Coviello’s ’77 coveted record of 52 career touchdown passes. His 12 TD passes in three games mark the first time that’s been done in the Conference since Ursinus’ Frank Vecchio in 1999.

George Eager (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.)
recorded an 80-yard touchdown return on Saturday, one year to the day that he returned a kickoff 87-yards for a touchdown at Carlisle. Each of the last two Wagon Games have been played on September 19. Eager is the first F&M return man with two career touchdowns on kickoff returns. He is six yards away from becoming the sixth Diplomat with 3,000 career all-purpose yards.

he catches passes too
On the strength of his nine catch, 91-yard day, Eager moved into fourth in career receptions (147) at F&M and sixth in receiving yards. He needs three catches to move into third overall in receptions and 96 yards to break into the top five for receiving yards.

1,000 yards and counting
Jay Ridinger (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.)
caught six passes for 115 yards (19.2 ypr) for and a touchdown in the Diplomats loss to Dickinson. He was recognized by the Centennial, landing on the Offensive Weekly honor Roll. Ridinger passed the 1,000-yard plateau during the Dickinson game. He now ranks 18th in career receiving yards. He moved into 14th in career receptions (86). He is five catches away from leapfrogging into tenth on the career chart.

give me five
Jarrell Diggs (So. / Baltimore, Md. / Gilman)
recorded five catches for 49 yards. His day included a spectacular one-handed grab on the pylon which gave F&M a go ahead score late in the game…

ground assault goes aerial
Ryan Murray (Sebastian, Fla. / St. Edward’s)
and John Kaschak (Lake Hoptacong, N.J. / Jefferson Twp.) combined for nine receptions and 81 yards out of the backfield. Murray recorded a 32-yard touchdown score, threw a two-point conversion pass and caught a two-point conversion pass that put F&M ahead 43-42 late in the game… 

terry tate II?
Maybe. It seems Sam Massaro (Old Tappan, N.J. / Northern Valley Old Tappan) increases productivity through devastating hits. The freshman is F&M’s leading tackler and at times, appeared to be F&M’s only solution for Ian Mitchell. He finished the Dickinson game with 12 tackles, two for losses including a sack. That effort landed the week one Defensive Player of the Week on the Centennial’s Defensive Honor Roll.

sack race
C.T. Marsh (So./Phoenix, Md./Loyola-Blakefield)
recorded a career-high seven tackles, six solo, two-for losses including a sack in the loss to Dickinson. He and Massaro are tied for the team lead in sacks with two apiece.

moral victory
Charged with slowing down Dickinson’s Pat O’Connor, Barry Lovett (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Poly Prep) held one of the league’s top receivers in check. O’Connor had two catches for 22 yards and a score, but he was held more than 70 yards below his average. F&M’s corner combo of Lovett and Ty Savastio (Downingtown, Pa. / Downingtown East) have combined for 25 tackles four interceptions and five pass breakups through the season’s first three games.

third quarter rally
Franklin & Marshall’s offense dominates the third quarter clock, averaging 11:08 of possession time through the seasons first three games. The Diplomats’ third-down conversion rate spikes to 47.1 in the third quarter, while opponents have collectively gone 0-for-5 on third downs.