THIS WEEK'S GAME: Today's game marks the fourth meeting between the Diplomats and the Yeomen following three straight Franklin & Marshall victories - 30-6 W (September 6, 2003 in Lancaster, PA), 13-6 W (September 7, 2002 in Oberlin, OH) and 26-14 W (September 1, 2001 in Lancaster, PA). This game will mark the first non-season opening meeting between the two schools as each of the three prior meetings marked the Diplomats opening game of the season.
LETS GET IT STARTED: Franklin & Marshall's 35-7 victory over Bethany last week marked the fourth straight season opening victory for the Diplomats - the longest streak since the 1968-79 teams won 12 straight lidlifters as the Blue and White rolled over Ursinus 17-0 (1968), 17-13 (1969), 17-14 (3-5) and 24-14 (1971), Carnegie Mellon 22-0 (1972), Albright 21-14 (1973) and 7-0 (1977), Hamilton 14-9 (1974) and 24-7 (1975), Gettysburg 20-18 (1976) and Muhlenberg 42-6 (7-2) and 10-0 (1979) before dropping a 14-11 game to the Mules in 1980.
THE COLLEGE BIG 33 GAME: The most famous Pennsylvania-Ohio matchups are probably the high school Big 33 game or Penn State versus Ohio State, but this week's game marks the sixth between F&M and a school from Ohio as the Diplomats have played Oberlin and Denison. In 1960, the Diplomats fell to Denison 34-14 at Williamson Field. Overall, the Diplomats game at Oberlin in 2002 marked the first F&M football game in Ohio since 1959 (and only the second in the history of the program) when the visiting Diplomats fell 37-8 to Denison in Granville, Ohio.
DIPLOMATS LOOK FOR FOURTH WIN IN PROGRAM HISTORY VERSUS YEOMEN: This week's game will have the Yeomen looking to pull within one victory in their all-time athletic series versus F&M as the Diplomats jumped out to a 3-1 lead last year with another victory in football. All-time, Franklin & Marshall's only loss to Oberlin has come in a sport in which the Diplomats are among the best in collegiate athletics history, basketball. In 1977, Oberlin defeated F&M and head coach Glenn Robinson 71-70 to take a 1-0 lead in the all-time series. The loss sparked a 14-game winning streak for the Diplomats as the team rolled through the remainder of the season before falling 70-68 to Haverford College in the Middle Atlantic Conference playoffs. Overall, the team finished the 1976-77 season as the MAC Southwest League Champions and placed third in the NCAA Division III Regional behind team captains John Boyer and Donnie Marsh, now an assistant coach at Indiana University. This marks the final meeting between F&M and Oberlin as the contract between the two teams in football expires following this game.
LAST WEEK'S GAME - F&M 35, BETHANY 7: Tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) scored three touchdowns and registered 153-yards of total offense as the Franklin & Marshall College football team opened the season with a 35-7 victory over the Bethany College Bison. The game marked the second straight season opener Stephen finished with three touchdowns, as he totaled 138-yards of total offense in a 30-6 victory over the Oberlin College Yeomen in Lancaster in 2003. Overall, Stephen gained 149 yards on 28 carries, including one and 25 yard touchdown runs, and reeled in a four yard pass from quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) to highlight a team performance in which the Diplomats offense racked up 370 net yards on 68 plays. The game was statistically one-sided as the Diplomats dominated the Bison in first downs (21 to 13), rushing attempts (42 to 34), yards gained rushing (193 to 120), net yards rushing (172 to 102), net yards passing (198 to 135), total net yards (370 to 237) and time of possession (31:32 to 28:28). At quarterback, Hiltner, starter Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) and Kyle Turner (Fr., Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) combined to complete 18-of-26 passing attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, Harner finished the day with 100 yards on 10-of-15 attempts with a three yard touchdown pass to Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter for a 21-0 lead. Hiltner added a four yard scoring pass to Stephen with 5:56 left in the fourth, and Turner completed a 46-yard bomb to Chris Wagner (Fr., Media, PA/Penncrest) on his first intercollegiate passing attempt for the 35-7 final. The victory marks the fourth straight season-opening win for the Diplomats following back-to-back-to-back victories over Oberlin College in 2001 (26-14 in Lancaster), 2002 (13-6 in Oberlin, Ohio) and 2003 (30-6 in Lancaster). F&M jumped on the board midway through the second quarter as Stephen scampered one-yard for a touchdown to cap a nine play, 70-yard drive. Stephen struck again with 9:44 left in the third quarter as he broke through the line of scrimmage untouched and raced to the endzone to close out an eight play, 70 yard drive for a 14-0 F&M lead. Boyce added to the lead with a touchdown pass from Harner to make the score 21-0 and polish off a six play, 45 yard drive, but Bethany answered as Eric Givens reeled in an 18-yard pass from Brian Wineberg with 11:22 left in the fourth quarter to close to within 21-7. The Diplomats countered as Hiltner threaded a pass to Stephen under the arms of a cornerback in the fourth quarter to highlight an 11 play, 59 yard drive for a 28-7 lead before Turner and Wagner connected for the 35-7 final. On defense, defensive lineman Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) led the team with nine tackles, including two solo hits, while lineman Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal) added eight assisted tackles with two tackles-for-loss of seven yards and half a sack for six yards. Cornerback Matt Pastore (So., Ridgewood, NJ/Peddie School) starred for the Diplomats finishing third in tackles with seven, reeling in an interception with a 17-yard return and breaking up two passes. Cornerback JC Capote (So., Ridgefield Park, NJ/Ridgefield) and linebacker John Warnick (So., Rockville, MD/Good Counsel) tacked on two pass breakups each, while Ryan Sychterz (Jr., Sinking Spring, PA/Holy Name) and Chris Santaniello (So., Somers Point, NJ/Mainland) added solo breakups as Franklin & Marshall finished with eight pass breakups in the game. For Bethany, linebacker TJ Chambers had a game high 10 tackles, while tailback Mike Doyle led Bethany with 45 rushing yards as the Bison totaled 102 rushing yards. At quarterback, Nazih Bannah and Brian Wineberg each completed seven-of-14 attempts for 63 and 72 yards, respectively, with interceptions as the Bison finished with 135 yards on 14-of-28 passing attempts.
LAST WEEK'S GAME - CASE WESTERN 18, OBERLIN 15: A great defensive effort could not overcome several bad breaks as Oberlin dropped its football opener to Case Western Reserve by an 18-15 margin. The Yeomen, who used a furious second quarter rally to lead most of the second half, were able to keep the Spartans out of the endzone for the final three quarters. Four Joseph Brenner field goals, including three in the second half, proved too much for Oberlin, however, as the Yeomen fell to 0-1 on the season. The Yeomen fell into a 9-0 hole early in the football game. Case quarterback Alex Harvey connected with David Kallevig for a 14-yard scoring strike at the 5:53 mark on the first quarter. The Spartans added a 25-yard Brenner field goal early in the second quarter to push their lead to 9-0. Then Oberlin got rolling. The first Yeomen score of the season came on a 60-yard touchdown pass from senior Ryan Squatrito to first-year Cassius Harris with 2:54 left in the first half. Sophomore Jon Woods forced a Case fumble, which Oberlin recovered on its own 33-yard line with just 32 seconds remaining in the half. Five plays and 67 yard later, Squatrito hooked up with Andrew Crosby for a 14-yard scoring play, and Oberlin led 13-9 at the half. The Spartans cut the lead to 13-12 on a 20-yard Brenner field goal in the third quarter. The Yeomen countered when senior co-captain Jon Ramsier tackled a Case running back in his own endzone for a safety. Oberlin took a 15-12 lead into the fourth quarter. Case tied the game with just under eight minutes remaining on a 39-yard Brenner field goal. The Spartans took the lead for good on a 13 play, 76-yard drive in the game's final minutes. Brenner hit a 21-yard field goal with 34 seconds remaining to give Case the victory. Statistically, the Yeomen were led on the ground by senior Travis Oman, who accounted for 67 yards on 17 carries. Squatrito was 11-29 for 206 yards and two touchdowns, while Harris caught two balls for 95 yards and Schubert hauled in three catches for 62 yards. Oberlin netted 283 yards of total offense and held Case to 240 total yards. Ramsier led the Yeomen with nine tackles, including a sack, while senior Anthony Hudgins recorded two tackles-for-a-loss and two sacks.
THREE IN A ROW AIN'T BAD: Franklin & Marshall enters week two riding a three game win streak after defeating Ursinus (37-17 W) and Gettysburg (14-13 W) to end the 2003 season and Bethany (35-7 W) last week. The three straight wins marks the first time F&M has recorded a trifecta since the 2002 team opened the year 3-0 with victories over Oberlin (13-6 W), Catholic (13-6 W) and Ursinus (34-10 W). The 2002 win streak came to a halt in the fourth game as the Diplomats dropped a 68-22 game at Muhlenberg in the 1,000th game in F&M football history.
PASSING THE TORCH: Freshman quarterback Kyle Turner (Haddonfield, PA/Haddonfield) knows how to start a career as he connected with freshman wide receiver Chris Wagner (Media, PA/Penncrest) on a 46-yard scoring strike on his first pass from scrimmage for the final score in the Diplomats 35-7 victory over Bethany.
EVERYBODY'S ALL-CENTENNIAL: Tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) was named the September 5 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his play against Bethany. Against Bethany, Stephen scored three touchdowns and registered 153-yards of total offense as the Diplomats dominated the Bison in first downs (21 to 13), rushing attempts (42 to 34), yards gained rushing (193 to 120), net yards rushing (172 to 102), net yards passing (198 to 135), net yards (370 to 237) and time of possession (31:32 to 28:28). Overall, Stephen gained 149 yards on 28 carries, including one and 25 yard touchdown runs, and reeled in a four yard touchdown pass from quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) to highlight a team performance in which the Diplomats offense racked up 370 net yards on 68 plays. The victory marks the fourth straight season-opening win for the Diplomats following back-to-back-to-back victories over Oberlin College in 2001 (26-14 in Lancaster), 2002 (13-6 in Oberlin, Ohio) and 2003 (30-6 in Lancaster). F&M jumped on the board midway through the second quarter as Stephen scampered one-yard for a touchdown to cap a nine play, 70-yard drive. Stephen struck again with 9:44 left in the third quarter as he broke through the line of scrimmage untouched and raced to the endzone to close out an eight play, 70 yard drive for a 14-0 F&M lead. Leading 21-7 in the fourth quarter, Hiltner threaded a pass to Stephen to highlight an 11 play, 59-yard drive for a 28-7 lead before the Diplomats' added another touchdown late for the 28-point victory. The game marked the second straight season opener Stephen finished with three touchdowns, as he totaled 138-yards of total offense in a 30-6 victory over the Oberlin College Yeomen in Lancaster on September 6, 2003. Further, it marked his second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing as he rushed 28 times for 141 yards and tossed two touchdowns to account for the Diplomats' scoring as Franklin & Marshall recorded a 14-13 victory over Gettysburg on November 15 at home to conclude the 2003 season. A team tri-captain with defensive linemen Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) and Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal), Stephen finished second on the team in scoring as a junior with 54 points off nine touchdowns, while placing fifth in receiving with 17 catches for 160 yards with three touchdowns, an average of 16.0 yards per game. Further, he completed three-of-four passes for 45 yards with three touchdowns, while leading the team in rushing with 190 attempts for 676 net yards and six touchdowns. For his career, he has rushed for 1,574 yards with 10 touchdowns, caught 28 passes for 210 yards with four touchdowns and has completed 24-of-75 passing attempts for 288 yards with three touchdowns.
RUSHING TOWARDS HISTORY: Historically, Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) is 426 yards away from joining Andy Surtz '97 (705 carries for 2,913 yards) as the only Franklin & Marshall players with 2,000 career rushing yards. He can move into fifth place all-time in rushing yardage against the Yeomen as he needs 20 yards to surpass Ted D'Amico '76 who totaled 1,593 yards during his career.
D3FOOTBALL.COM TEAM OF THE WEEK: Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) was also named to the September 5 D3football.com Team of the Week for his performance against Bethany. The honor marks the first time a Franklin & Marshall College player has been named to the D3football.com Team of the Week since defensive end Chris Gallino '03 earned the award following an October 26, 2002 game versus McDaniel in which he finished with four tackles-for-loss of 29 yards. In addition, Stephen is just the second offensive player in Franklin & Marshall history named to the D3football.com Team of the Week as tightend/wide receiver Matt Wagaman '03 earned the award on September 16 and September 30, 2001 following games versus Ursinus and Carnegie Mellon, respectively.
ON A ROLL: Franklin & Marshall College cornerback Matt Pastore (So., Ridgewood, NJ/Peddie School) and punter/placekicker Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) were named to the September 5 Centennial Conference Defensive and Special Teams Honor Rolls. On defense, Pastore starred for the Diplomats finishing third in tackles with seven, reeling in an interception with a 17-yard return and breaking up two passes as the Diplomats opened the season with the largest margin of victory since a 44-8 victory over Randolph-Macon at Williamson Field in the first game of the 1989 season. At punter and placekicker, Eggertsson averaged 41.8 yards on six punts with three placed inside the 20-yard line. In addition, he went five-for-five on extra points.
F&M PICKED FOURTH BY CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE SIDS & COACHES: The Franklin & Marshall College football team has been selected to finish fourth in the race for the 2004 Centennial Conference title in a pre-season poll of the Conference's head football coaches and Sports Information Directors. The ranking marked a two-place improvement for F&M over the team's sixth place selection in 2003 and a three spot improvement over the team's projected finish of seventh in 2001 and 2002. Johns Hopkins, who shared the CC title the past two years, is the preseason favorite to win the honor outright in 2004. The Blue Jays were a unanimous choice, receiving all 12 (teams not permitted to vote for themselves) for 72 points in the annual preseason poll of coaches. Muhlenberg is the second pick with two first-place votes and 62 points. McDaniel is third with 49 points. Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg followed in fourth and fifth place with 33 and 32 points, respectively. Ursinus (25) and Dickinson (21) rounded out the poll.
F&M PICKED FIFTH IN CENTENNIAL CONFERERENCE BY D3FOOTBALL.COM: The Franklin & Marshall College football team has been selected to finish fifth in the race for the 2004 Centennial Conference title in a pre-season ranking by D3football.com. Johns Hopkins is the preseason favorite to win the honor the title in 2004 according to D3football.com as Muhlenberg, McDaniel, Ursinus, F&M, Gettysburg and Dickinson round out the rankings.
A NEW LOOK: For the first time in a couple of years, Franklin & Marshall will not identically resemble Penn State as the Diplomats' uniforms changed over the summer.
15th ANNIVERSARY OF 1989 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 15th anniversary of the 1989 football team which finished 10-1 (6-1 Centennial Conference) to tie the school record for most single season wins, get head coach Tom Gilburg his 100th career victory and capture the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) title with a 31-18 victory at St. Johns behind the play of Centennial Conference Co-Player of the Year, Associated Press and Kodak All-America wide receiver and ECAC Most Valuable Player Dale Amos '90.
30th ANNIVERSARY OF 1974 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 30th anniversary of the undefeated 1974 football team. Under Coach Bob Curtis, the team rolled to a 9-0 record (8-0 MAC) with wins over Hamilton (14-9), Ursinus (45-6), Johns Hopkins (63-13), Swarthmore (70-0), Dickinson (54-13), Widener (26-22), Lebanon Valley (47-7), Moravian (40-28) and Muhlenberg (47-13) on their way to winning the MAC South Title. In addition, the team finished the year ranked first in the nation (Division I, II, III) in points per game averaging 45.1 points per contest. Further, the team set 33 individual and team single game, season and career records during the season highlighted by amassing 4.229 yards of total offense.
40th ANNIVERSARY OF 1964 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 40th anniversary of the undefeated 1964 football team. Behind the play of MAC MVP Seiki Murono '66 (who repeated as MAC MVP in 1965) and the coaching of George Storck, the team cruised to an 8-0 record (7-0 MAC) with wins over Johns Hopkins (21-6), Swarthmore (21-12), Dickinson (6-5), Carnegie Mellon (18-14), Haverford (14-6), Widener (19-17), Muhlenberg (29-22) and Ursinus (20-6).
90th ANNIVERSARY OF 1914 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 90th anniversary of the 1914 football team which played under head coach Charlie Mayser. Historically, the team finished 6-2-1 with wins over Penn (10-0), Lebanon Valley (3-0), Swarthmore (16-0), Dickinson (44-6), Haverford (14-0) and Gettysburg (7-6), a tie with Ursinus (6-6) and losses to Lehigh (12-0) and Cornell (26-3). The game against Penn marked the first major event in F&M football history as the F&M Weekly, Franklin & Marshall's student newspaper, reported on the game, "The bloody carnage now taking place in Europe could not be compared to the awful havoc by the wearers of the Blue and White upon the sons of Ol' Penn within the very walls of the City of Brotherly Love...it is the greatest football win in F&M's history." The win marks the only victory in the F&M-Penn rivalry for the Diplomats as the Quakers hold a 34-1 advantage in 35 meetings.
105th ANNIVERSARY OF 1899 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 105th anniversary of the largest margin of victory in Franklin & Marshall College football history as F&M crushed Temple University 96-0 in the second to last game of the 1899 season as the team finished 3-5-1. Believed to be the worst defeate in Temple University football history, the game occurred just 15 years after Dr. Russell Conwell founded Temple in 1884 as "an informal adult-education outgrowth of his Baptist Temple ministry. Temple College was chartered in 1888 and was incorporated as Temple University in 1907. In 1965, Temple became a member of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education" according to owlsports.com, the online home of Temple athletics.
115th ANNIVERSARY OF 1889 FOOTBALL TEAM: The 2004 season marks the 115th anniversary of the 1889 F&M football team which rolled to a 5-1-1 record in the first full season of intercollegiate competition for the school. Following an 0-2 mark in 1887 with a pair of losses to the York YMCA (9-0, 6-4), and an 1888 season in which excitement over the presidential election caused the season to be postponed, the 1889 team started F&M's intercollegiate history by winning 60-0 at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. The team followed up the first win in program history with a tie (12-12) at home and win on the road (16-0) versus Bucknell, a 10-0 loss at Dickinson, and home wins over Swarthmore (22-4), Dickinson (22-0) and Fordham (56-0).
CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: Tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock), linebacker/defensive lineman Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) and linebacker Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal) were elected to serve as football team captains for the 2004 season. A 2003 All-Centennial Conference honorable mention selection, White tallied 48 tackles and ranked eighth in the Conference in tackles-for-loss with 11.5 for 74 yards last year. He finished sixth on the team in tackles with 48, including one sack for loss of 10 yards. Further, he recorded an interception and notched four passes defended. An All-Conference second team selection on the defensive line last year, Capone earned his second All-Conference as he finished second on the team in tackles and tackles for loss with 80 and 11 for loss of 35 yards, to raise his career total to 151 tackles, 7.5 sacks for loss of 37 yards and 21 tackles for loss of 70 yards with two passes defended. A 2003 first team All-Conference selection and a 2004 Face-Off Yearbook Preseason All-America selection in men's lacrosse, he established the NCAA record holder in all divisions (I, II and III) in face-off winning percentage. Against Gettysburg, he won 26-of-31 face-offs and collected 18 ground balls as the Diplomats downed the then defending national runner-ups, 15-12. On offense, Stephen finished second in scoring with 54 points off nine touchdowns, while placing fifth in receiving with 17 catches for 160 yards with three touchdowns, an average of 16.0 yards per game. Further, he completed three-of-four passes for 45 yards with three touchdowns, while leading the team in rushing with 190 attempts for 676 net yards and six touchdowns. He finished second in all-purpose yards with 676 rushing, 160 receiving and 68 off punt returns for 904 total yards, 82 less than 2003 D3football.com All-America wide receiver Justin Salton '03. In addition, he finished third in total offense with 721 yards. Against Gettysburg College in the season finale, he rushed 28 times for 141 yards and tossed two touchdowns to account for the Diplomats' scoring as Franklin & Marshall recorded a 14-13 victory at home on Williamson Field. Trailing 3-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, Stephen completed a one-yard pass to Salton on fourth-and-goal to put the Diplomats in front 7-3 with 13:06 left in the first half. He completed his second pass of the game with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter as he found tightend Dan Houseman in the right corner of the endzone for a two-yard TD reception for all the Diplomats needed to record the win and even the series record at 41-41-7. The victory marked the Diplomats second straight over the Bullets following a 20-14 win to conclude the 2002 season in which Stephen ran for 213 net yards for the first 200+ yard rushing performance since 1996. For his career, he has rushed for 1,425 yards with eight touchdowns and has completed 24 of 75 attempts for 288 yards with three touchdowns.
DOWN THE FIELD: For head coach Shawn Halloran and offensive coordinator Kyle Smesko the Franklin & Marshall college fight song will sound vaguely familiar as their previous employer, Yale University, and the Diplomats share "On Down the Field".
SOUTHERN LINE: Division I transfers Aubrey "Dev" Wakeley (Fr., Gardendale, AL/Gardendale) of Jacksonville State (AL) and Brian Rice (So., Rockville, MD/Good Counsel) of Southeast Louisiana State could strengthen F&M's offensive line. The first 300+ pound linemen for Franklin & Marshall since 400 lbs. Thor Mahan in 2000, the duo will anchor a line which will look to key the Diplomats' rushing attack as F&M gained 1,060 yards on 357 carries last season.
PUTTING FANS IN THE SEATS: Franklin & Marshall College finished the 2003 season ranked 98th in Division III home football attendance. F&M, which drew an average of 1,804 fans to its five home dates, experienced an average increase of 505 fans per game this year as the Diplomats drew 9, 020 people to Sponaugle-Williamson Field in 2003. Franklin & Marshall joined McDaniel and Gettysburg as the only Centennial Conference schools to experience an increase in attendance last year. Ranked 10th in the nation in average attendance (3,738), Muhlenberg drew 14,950 people for four home games, an average increase of 1,142 people per game. In addition, Gettysburg, ranked 52nd in average attendance (2,531) drew 12,656 people for five home games, an average increase of 768 over the 2002 season. Overall, F&M outdrew 131 institutions including Trinity in Texas (107th, 1,694), Rochester (117th, 1,600), Wittenberg (146th, 1,320), Allegheny (148th, 1,301), Centre (170th, 1,040), Oberlin (175th, 1,022), Johns Hopkins (182nd, 908), MIT (199th, 696), Colorado College (201st, 671) and Kenyon (207th, 598th). In the Conference rankings, the Centennial Conference finished 20th of 43 Division II and III athletic conferences with an average attendance of 2,168 per game. As a group the "Centennial Seven" of Dickinson, Gettysburg, F&M, Johns Hopkins, McDaniel, Muhlenberg and Ursinus outdrew the Middle Atlantic Conference (22nd, 2,002), Empire 8 (24th, 1,958) and New Jersey (27th, 1,889) conferences.