THIS WEEK'S GAME: This year's meeting marks the ninth time Franklin & Marshall and Hobart will clash in football. Last year the Statesmen held off a late rally by F&M to cling to a 28-20 victory over the Diplomats as Hobart has won the last seven meetings between the two programs dating back to a 38-24 victory by F&M at home in 1996. In 2002, the Statesmen escaped Lancaster with a 35-21 win and the Statesmen blanked the Diplomats 44-0 in 2001. Historically, F&M has been outscored 100-77 in the games in Lancaster with losses in 1998 (13-8 L), 2000 (28-10 L) and 2002 (35-21 L) and a victory in 1996. The game will be carried on F&M's college radio station, WFNM 89.1 FM.
LAST MEETING - HOBART 28, F&M 20: Hobart College receiver Dan Suozzi pulled in 12 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns as the Statesmen used a 28-0 lead entering the fourth quarter to hold off a Franklin & Marshall College comeback for a 28-20 victory on October 18, 2003 in Geneva, New York. For the Diplomats, quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) was the story of the final quarter as he threw for touchdowns of 15, five and one yard in the final 12 minutes of the fourth quarter as Franklin & Marshall closed to within eight points with 2:10 to go, but couldn't overcome Hobart's lead. Trailing by 28-points entering the fourth quarter, Franklin & Marshall broke the scoring column as tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) beat his defender and reeled in a 15-yard strike from Hiltner with 11:36 left on the clock for a 28-6 game. Dan Eggertssons's (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) extra point attempt was blocked by Hobart's Nolan Robinson. Less than four minutes later, All-America receiver Justin Salton '03 pulled down a five-yard pass from Hiltner to close to within 15 as Eggertsson's extra point attempt split the uprights. With two minutes left in the game, Hiltner connected with Joe McGuigan on a one-yard TD pass for the 28-20 final. The key to the game for Hobart was their pass offense as quarterback Craig Swanson connected on 20-of-34 attempts for 324 yards and three touchdowns while dealing with four Franklin & Marshall College sacks. Leading 7-0 following a three yard touchdown run by tailback Ty Godinho with 13:56 left in the second quarter, the Statesmen built a 14-0 lead as Swanson connected with Suozzi on a 50-yard touchdown pass with 1:59 left in the first half. In the third quarter, Swanson and Suozzi connected twice as duo combined on TD completions of two and 4 yards with 4:48 and 3:08 left in the quarter o build a large enough lead to hold off F&M's comeback attempt and seal the win. For Franklin & Marshall, Salton led the Diplomats offense with eight receptions for 65 yards. In addition to Salton, wideout Matt Wagaman '03 led the team in receiving yards with 78 on seven catches to anchor a Diplomats' pass attack which caught 27 passes for 239 yards. On the ground, Stephen carried 14-times for 73 yards as Franklin & Marshall accumulated 112 rushing yards. On defense, linebacker Dan Nadler '04 led the team with 12 tackles, including eight solo stops and three sacks-for-loss of 17 yards, while linebacker Andy Rehring '04 notched eight tackles and free safety Justin Koch (Sr., Sckuylkill Haven, PA/Sckuylkill Haven) added seven solo stops.
THE DEVILS DONE IN: F&M marks the second Centennial Conference team Hobart will face in 2004 as the Statesmen routed the Dickinson College Red Devils last week 31-10. Last season, Hobart led 16-7 heading into the fourth quarter, but the host Red Devils scored a touchdown midway through the final frame and kicked a 31-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining to steal a 17-16 victory. The game was not a telling factor in which team would come out victorious between Dickinson and F&M as the Diplomats knocked off the Devils 20-14 in overtime on October 25, 2003 in Franklin & Marshall's Alumni Weekend game.
LAST GAME - HOBART 31, DICKINSON 10: The Hobart football team opened the 2004 campaign in impressive style with a 31-10 drubbing of Dickinson College at Boswell Field in Geneva. The Statesmen (1-0) amassed a total of 471 yards of offense while limiting the Red Devils to just 322 yards. Hobart used a balanced attack rushing for 239 yards while gaining 232 through the air. The Statesmen offense looked impressive right from the get go scoring points on three of their first four possessions. After Dickinson was forced to punt on the opening drive of the game, the Hobart offense covered 54 yards in 10 plays and scored when senior Dan Suozzi caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Shawn Mizro. It was Mizro's first career start as the signal caller. The teams exchanged punts on the ensuing possessions and after another Dickinson three-plays-and-out, Hobart had the ball at its own 37. The Statesmen would control the ball on the ground during this drive, rushing a total of seven of the nine plays. Senior Jack Holleran struck paydirt from 17 yards out to give the Boswell Boys a 14-0 lead. The Statesmen defense forced another Red Devil punt as the second quarter began. Starting from its own 21, Hobart methodically moved down the field and threatened to score. The big play came when Mizro connected with Suozzi for 46 yards to the Dickinson 11. On the play Suozzi became the school's all-time leader in receiving yards. He surpassed Scott Geise '83 who was first with 1,899 yards. The drive stalled and Hobart settle for a 24-yard field goal by senior Eric Ampuja and a 17-0 advantage. The Red Devils came back later in the quarter and mounted their most serious scoring drive of the half, but stalled on the Hobart 22. Senior Drew Magyar was true with a 39-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-3. That was the score when the first half ended. After making adjustments at the half, both defenses turned down right stingy in the third quarter with neither team allowing any points. Both offenses crossed the 50-yard just once each in the quarter. The fireworks exploded in the fourth when Hobart took possession at its own 44. Mizro needed just one play as he connected with Suozzi for 56 yards and the score. The Red Devils answered two series later with their longest drive of the game covering 69 yards in 14 plays. Senior Keven Williams found senior Gerald O'Hara for 10 yards and the score. Hobart came right back and again Mizro needed just one play this time finding senior Rick Pinero for 46 yards and a touchdown for a 31-10 lead. Mizro finished the day 11-of-23 for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Suozzi finished with four receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 1,966 career receiving yards, tops at Hobart. On the ground senior Ty Godinho had 111 yards on 23 carries while Holleran had seven rushes for 74 yards. For Dickinson, Williams was 20-of-35 for 192 yards. O'Hara had six catches for 79 yards. Defensively junior linebacker Tony Clemente led the Hobart charge will 11 tackles. Junior corner back Jamie Anderson and senior defensive end Chris Purtell each checked in with 10 stops.
LAST WEEK'S GAME - F&M 41, OBERLIN 21: Quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) completed 15-of-29 passing attempts for 342 yards, including touchdown passes of 59, 98 and 52 yards in the first quarter, as the Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats (2-0, 0-0 Centennial Conference) rolled up 604 yards of total offense to defeat Oberlin College (0-2, 0-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) 41-21 in NCAA Division III action., his performance marked the fourth most yards ever passed for by an F&M quarterback and the first time in school history any player passed for two or more 50-yard touchdowns. In addition, he ran for 78 yards as he tallied 420 yards of total offense, obliterating the previous F&M record of 368 yards held by Bill Meekings from games versus Georgetown and Johns Hopkins during the 1992 season. Further, he recorded the longest pass and scoring pass in school history with a 98 yard touchdown pass to wideout Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) in the first quarter for the go-ahead score. The game started in dramatic fashion as Oberlin quarterback Ryan Squatrito connected with Chad Kutting for a 54 yard pass play on the Yeomen's first play from scrimmage to ignite a four play, 59 yard drive capped by a four yard scamper by Squatrito into the endzone for a 7-0 Oberlin lead at 13:43 of the first quarter. The two teams exchanged drives as the Diplomats drove to the Oberlin 46 before punting to the Yeomen 14. However, the Yeomen went four and out and punted to set the Diplomats up at their own 40-yard line. The ball did not remain in Franklin & Marshall territory for long as tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) plowed his way to the F&M 41 to bring up second-and-nine yards. Harner tied the game on the next snap as he connected with Robert Donofrio (So., Sea Girt, NJ/Wall Township) on a 59-yard touchdown to close out a two play, 60-yard drive that lasted 50 seconds. Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) added the extra point to knot the score at 7-7 with 8:58 left in the first quarter. The Yeomen failed to answer on their next drive as F&M defensive lineman Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) dropped Travis Oman for a one yard loss back to the Oberlin 34 yard line and Squatrito failed to connect with a receiver on second and third down passing attempts. Oberlin punter Ryan Drews bombed a 64-yard punt that was downed at the Franklin & Marshall two yard line yard to force the Diplomats to go 98 yards for a touchdown. Harner completed the assignment on the first snap from scrimmage connecting with Boyce on a 98-yard pass play as Boyce raced to the endzone to close a one play 13 second drive. The touchdown marked the longest pass play and scoring pass in school history eclipsing the previous marks of 95 yards set by Larry Shadek (to Kevin Coulter, vs. Muhlenberg in 1969) and Geno Pagnozzi (to Gary Williams vs. FDU-Madison in 1989). The pass also marked the longest touchdown and completion in NCAA Division III history since Redlands quarterback Clay Groefsema connected with Shawn Watson in a game versus Whittier College in 2001. The Yeomen attempted to answer with a drive starting from their own 24 yard line, but Squatrito fired incomplete first and third down passes and running back Chris Jordan was dropped at the line of scrimmage by Capone to force a 47 yard punt by Drews to the F&M 20 which Donofrio returned to the F&M 30 yard line with 6:22 left in the first quarter. Again it was Harner who ignited the offense as he rushed nine yards to the F&M 39 before Stephen raced for nine yards to the F&M 48 for a first down. The drive came to an end on the next play from scrimmage as Harner connected with Stephen for a 52 yard touchdown to cap a three play, 70 yard drive with 5:05 left in the first quarter. Overall, of Harner's three touchdown drives in the first quarter, the Diplomats held the ball for 2:20, ran six plays and gained 228 yards (209 pass, 19 rush). The marks fall well short of the NCAA Division III records for most points scored in a brief period of time (21 points by Mount Union vs. Defiance in 33 seconds in 62-10 win) or points in a quarter (41 by Millsaps vs, Centre, Oct. 11, 2003). However, it does mark the third most points scored in a brief period of time in NCAA Division III history trailing only Mount Union and a mark of 32 points in 4:04 by Wisconsin-Stevens Point in a 35-35 tie with Wisconsin-La Crosse on September 21, 1985) as F&M put up 21 points in 3:53 from its first touchdown at 8:58 to its final of the first quarter at 5:05. In the second quarter, Oberlin cut the lead to 21-14 as Squatrito found Zach Lewis in the endzone for an eight-yard touchdown pass to cap a seven play, 65-yard drive with 11:46 remaining until halftime. Franklin & Marshall responded as kick returner Curtis Varner (So., State College, PA/State College) took the kickoff at his own 18 yard line and returned it 50 yards to the Oberlin 32. However, the Diplomats could not cash in as Harner led the team 18 yards on seven plays before turning the ball over on downs at the Oberlin 14 yard line. The Yeomen failed to move the ball on the F&M defense going two yards on three plays before Drews punted 55 yards to the F&M 29 where Donofrio returned the punt to the F&M 44. The rest of the drive belonged to Harner as he rushed from the F&M 45 to the Oberlin 45 on third-and-nine for a first down. Following a rush for no gain by Stephen, Harner hit the senior tailback for four yards to the Oberlin 40 before scrambling 10 yards for a first down to the Oberlin 30. Stephen rushed for three yards to the Oberlin 27 on first down, and Harner ran for nine yards on fourth-and-seven to the Oberlin 18 before being tackled by Yeomen linebacker Vance Murphy. On the tackle, Oberlin received a personal foul to place the ball at the Yeomen nine-yard line with an F&M first down. Franklin & Marshall cashed in on the opportunity as Stephen rushed for four yards before breaking through the line on second-and-goal for a five yard touchdown run to make the score 28-14 with 3:10 left in the first half and cap a 12 play, 56 yard drive. The lead grew to 31-14 prior to halftime as Eggertsson drove a 45-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired. Historically, the field goal marked the fourth longest recorded field goal in program history trailing a 52 yarder by Mark Slevin versus Swarthmore in 1983, a 48-yarder by Mark Slevin versus Ursinus in 1984, a 47 yarder by Slevin in 1984 versus Muhlenberg and ties a 45-yarder by Slevin in 1984 against Georgetown. Eggertsson tacked on another field goal midway through the third quarter as he connected on a 28-yarder with 4:39 left in the quarter to increase the lead to 34-14. Overall, it marked the first time the Diplomats made two field goals in a game since Steve Linebaugh '02 made 24 and 16 yarders versus Johns Hopkins in a 21-20 loss on November 4, 2000. Again Oberlin attempted to answer, but Squatrito was picked off at the F&M 24 by TJ Scanlon (Jr., Avon, NJ/Red Bank Catholic) who returned the interception to the F&M 44. The Diplomats drove deep in Yeomen territory, but a faked field goal pass by Kyle Turner (Fr., Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) to Boyce fell incomplete at the end of the third quarter to set Oberlin up at their own 24 yard line at the start of the fourth quarter. Oberlin used the opportunity as Squatrito completed passes of 12, 8, 26, 10 and 13 yards to the F&M 7 for a first down. On first down, he rushed for three yards to the F&M 4, but would be the closest the Yeomen got to the endzone as Ryan Sychterz (Jr., Sinking Spring, PA/Holy Name) stopped Oman for no gain and Squatrito's third and fourth down pass attempts fell incomplete. The Yeomen's defense held F&M to nine total yards on their next drive before Eggertsson punted to the F&M 45. Again, Oberlin failed to take advantage of the opportunity as three straight passes from Squatrito were incomplete before he rushed three yards to the F&M 42 on fourth down. Oberlin received a break on the Diplomats' first play from scrimmage as running back Rick Dunlap (So., Boothwyn, PA/Garnet Valley) broke through the line and scampered 58 yards to the Yeomen's endzone, but a clipping penalty brought the ball back to the Oberlin 38-yard line. It took F&M just two plays to return to the endzone as Stephen ran for two yards and quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) found Boyce with a 36-yard touchdown pass for a 41-14 lead with 8:34 left on the game clock. The 27-point lead lasted for six seconds as Oberlin kick returner Chris Schubert returned the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and the 41-21 final. On defense, Capone led the way recording seven tackles, including two-for-loss of three yards, while Paul Fields (Fr., Bergenfield, NJ/Bergenfield) and Scanlon notched interceptions. For Oberlin, linebacker Vinnie Hachigan recorded a game high 11 tackles, including three-for-loss of six yards, a fumble forced and a sack for loss of four yards, while defensive lineman John Ramsier added 10 tackles. On offense, Squatrito completed 21-of-48 passes for 260 yards and Lewis caught seven balls for 65 yards and a touchdown to lead the Yeomen. The victory marked the fourth straight win for the Diplomats over the Yeomen following season-opening wins in 2001 (26-14 in Lancaster), 2002 (13-6 in Oberlin, Ohio) and 2003 (30-6 in Lancaster) as Franklin & Marshall held a 110-47 over the life of the four year home-and-away contract.
FOUR OF A KIND: Franklin & Marshall enters week three riding a four game win streak after defeating Ursinus (37-17 W) and Gettysburg (14-13 W) to end the 2003 season and Bethany (35-7 W) and Oberlin (41-21 W) the last two weeks. The four straight wins since the 1996 team knocked off Muhlenberg (53-0 W), Dickinson (14-12 W), Hobart (34-24 W), McDaniel (38-7 W), Swarthmore (35-7 W), Johns Hopkins (20-14 W) and Gettysburg (35-6 W) to end the regular season before falling 20-0 to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the ECAC South Region Championship game.
THREE WINS: Franklin & Marshall will be looking to record its third straight win of the 2004 season this week and open a season 3-0 for the first time 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.
DIPLOMATS, STATESMEN & WARRIORS: For two schools with mascots that deal with politics, F&M and Hobart have graduated their share of politicians and warriors. For Hobart, notable 19th-century alumni included Albert James Myer, Class of 1847, a military officer who "invented" the United States Weather Bureau, founded the International Meteorological Organization and the U.S. Signal Corps, and for whom Fort Myer, Va., is named; General E. S. Bragg of the Class of 1848, colonel of the Sixth Wisconsin Regiment and a brigadier general in command of the Iron Brigade who served one term in Congress and later was ambassador to Mexico and consul general of the U.S. in Cuba; two other 1848 graduates, Clarence Seward and Thomas M. Griffith, who were assistant secretary of state and builder of the first national railroad across the Mississippi River, respectively; and Charles J. Folger, Class of 1836, who was United States secretary of the treasury in the 1880s. One need only watch the History Channel or HBO to see F&M's most famous warrior, Richard Winters, commander of E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne whose story was told in Band of Brothers. Born in Lancaster, he graduated from F&M in 1941.
RUSHING TOWARDS HISTORY: Historically, Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) is 363 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 moved into fifth place all-time in rushing yardage as he surpassed Ted D'Amico '76 who totaled 1,593 yards during his career. The September 5 Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Stephen scored three touchdowns and registered 153-yards of total offense against Bethany College 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). For his career, he has rushed for 1,637 yards with 10 touchdowns, caught 32 passes for 275 yards with five touchdowns and has completed 24-of-75 passing attempts for 288 yards with three touchdowns.
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.
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).
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.