THIS WEEK'S GAME: This week's contest marks the 86th meeting since 1894 between the Diplomats and Bears with Franklin & Marshall College holding a commanding 58-23-4 series lead. The Diplomats will be looking for their third straight win in the series as F&M mauled the Bears 34-10 in Lancaster during the 2002 season and upended Ursinus 37-17 last year in Collegeville. The last time F&M won three or more straight over Ursinus occurred from 1984-1993 as the Diplomats captured 10 consecutive meetings.
DEEP SIX: Franklin & Marshall will seek to win the program's sixth game of the season against McDaniel. Historically, F&M has not won six games in a season since 1996 when the team went 9-2, 6-1 in Centennial Conference play, while defeating Carnegie Mellon (28-7 W), Randolph Macon (20-13 W), Muhlenberg (53-0 W), Dickinson (14-12 W), Hobart (38-24 W), McDaniel (38-7 W), Swarthmore (35-7 W), Johns Hopkins (20-14 W) and Gettysburg (35-6 W).
REVENGE OF THE LITTLE THREE: McDaniel College saw their bid to shutout the Little Three (Gettysburg, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall) come to an end last week as F&M routed the #16 Green Terror 20-7. The game marked the fewest points allowed by an F&M squad against McDaniel since the Diplomats last defeated the Terror 38-7 in 1996. Previously, McDaniel had blanked Gettysburg (31-0 W) and Dickinson (20-0) on October 9 and 16, respectively, at home in Westminster. Overall, McDaniel had shutout three of their last four opponents as the Terror blanked Catholic (34-0 W) on September 18 in Washington D.C. before allowing 10 points in a 50-10 win at Ursinus on October 2.
RED OCTOBER: The Diplomats have a 21-18 record in seasons in which the Boston Red Sox have won the World Series:
1903 - Red Sox defeat Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3/ Diplomats go 6-4-1
1912 - Red Sox defeat New York Giants 4-3-1/ Diplomats go 6-4
1915 - Red Sox defeat Philadelphia Phillies 4-1/ Diplomats go 6-2
1916 - Red Sox defeat Brooklyn Dodgers 4-1/ Diplomats go 1-7
1918 - Red Sox defeat Chicago Cubs 4-2/ Diplomats go 2-1
BRING BACK THE CURSE: The Diplomats have a 22-13 record in years the Red Sox lose the World Series. However, in years the Cardinals beat the Sox, F&M is ony 7-8.
1946 - St. Louis Cardinals down Red ox 4-3/ Diplomats go 3-4
1967 - St. Louis Cardinals down Red Sox 4-3/ Diplomats go 4-4
1975 - Cincinnati Reds down Red Sox 4-3/ Diplomats go 7-2
1986 - New York Mets down Red Sox 4-3/ Diplomats go 8-3
CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE SHUTOUT: The Bears will enter the game looking for their first Centennial Conference win since 2001 when Ursinus knocked off Dickinson 40-28 in the final game of the season. The streak of 16-straight CC losses is the longest active mark in the Conference. Franklin & Marshall snapped a 13-game CC losing streak in 2002 in a 34-10 rout of Ursinus in Lancaster.
IN THEIR LAST MEETING IN LANCASTER (2002) - FRANKLIN & MARSHALL 34, URSINUS 10: The Franklin & Marshall College defense intercepted four passes and recorded four sacks to shutout down the Ursinus College offense and rally from a 10-0 first quarter deficit for a 34-10 victory in both teams' Centennial Conference season opener. Trailing 10-0 after the first quarter, the Diplomats defense would set the team up deep in Bears' territory as Bill Stone '03 picked off a pass from Ursinus freshman quarterback Vince Gallagher at the F&M 21 and returned it nine yards to the F&M 30. The Diplomats marched down the field as quarterback Dave Makson '03 hit wideout Justin Salton '03 for an 11-yard touchdown strike on fourth-and-two to cut the Ursinus lead to 10-6. The reception marked the 100th career catch of Salton's career as he joined Dale Amos '90 (233), Zac Kraft '94 (149), Dale Schlief '73 (114), Frank Granito '81 (103) and Dave McKenzie '00 (100) as the only F&M receivers to garner 100 receptions in a career. The Bears turned the ball over again on their next drive as Gallagher hit F&M's Justin Koch (Sr., Sckuylkill Haven, PA/Sckuylkill Haven) at the Ursinus 47. Koch returned the ball 38 yards to the Ursinus 9-yard line to set up the Diplomats' offense with 1:17 left in the half. Following a rush by tailback Brian Coggins '04 to the seven and a sack of Makson to bring the ball back to the 10 yard line with 26 seconds left on the clock, Makson found Salton in the right corner of the endzone for a 10-yard strike to put F&M ahead 13-10 at halftime. Salton finished the game with eight receptions for 82 yards to increase his career numbers to 103 receptions for 1,385 yards in 23 games. The Diplomats defense continued the pressure in the second half as F&M held the Bears to a four-and out drive capped by a 36 yard punt to the F&M 39 which Jay Tressler '03 returned 61 yards to the Bears' endzone to push the lead to 20-10 1:46 into the second half. On Ursinus' next drive, Gallagher drove the Bears' to the F&M 12 before defensive end Chris Gallino '03 sacked and drove Gallagher from the game with an injury for a loss of seven yards. Backup quarterback Chris Rahill entered the game, but was sacked by defensive lineman Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) who recovered the ensuing fumble at the F&M 28 to halt Ursinus' offense. The Diplomats would stall the Bears' offense the remainder of the third quarter forcing Ursinus into a four-and-out series to punt the ball away to the Ursinus 29 with 2:51 remaining in the quarter. F&M would drive down the field in 2:14 with a seven play drive capped by a 15-yard fade pattern connection between Makson and wideout Matt Wagaman '03 for a touchdown and a 27-10 lead. In the fourth quarter, Ursinus broached the 50-yard line once as Rahill drove the Bears 48 yards to the F&M 23 to face a fourth-and-one play which was incomplete to turn the ball over to the Diplomats with 12:01 to play. Starting on their own 23 yard line, the Diplomats drove 77 yards behind the running of tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) who rushed eight times for 39 yards, including an 11-yard scamper into the endzone with 4:13 left on the clock for the 34-10 final. Statistically, Ursinus dominated the Diplomats with 396 yards of offense on 70 plays compared to F&M's 279 yards on 64 plays. The Bears' jumped on the board quickly in the first quarter. Following a four-and out series by the Diplomats on the game's first possession, Gallagher hit wideout Chris Glowacki '03 for a 64-yard touchdown strike on the Bears' first play from scrimmage to put Ursinus up 7-0 following the conversion by Matt Baney. The Bears pushed the lead to 10 two possessions later on a 22 yard field goal by Baney to close out their scoring in the game with 2:26 left in the first quarter. Defensively, Stone and Gallino tallied a game high 14 tackles, while Ursinus' Justin Ellis, Tom and Jon Craig led the Bears' with 10 tackles. Gallino finished the game with three tackles for loss of 11 yards to raise his career totals to 42 tackles-for-loss of 174 yards, eight TFLs off shattering the Centennial Conference record of 49.5 TFLs held by Keith Fischer of Dickinson College. The victory marked F&M's first Centennial Conference win since a 22-12 victory over Gettysburg College at home on Sponaugle-Williamson Field in the final game of the 1999 season and snapped a 13 game CC losing-skid which saw F&M get outscored 462-104 over the course of the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In addition, the victory improved F&M to 3-0 to start a season since the 1989 team defeated Randolph Macon (44-8), Ursinus (15-14), Muhlenberg (21-7) and Georgetown (34-13) on the way to a school record 10-1 record and the Eastern College Athletic Conference South Championship.
22 YEARS OF CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE FOOTBALL: 2004 also marks the 22nd season of Centennial Conference football. The Centennial Conference, celebrating its 12th anniversary of sponsoring championships for men and women in 23 varsity sports, evolved from the Centennial Football Conference (CFC). Founded in 1981, the CFC began play in 1983 as a football-only affiliation, including F&M, Dickinson, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, Ursinus and McDaniel. F&M's first Centennial Conference win was a 19-0 shutout of the Dickinson Red Devils at Sponaugle-Williamson Field.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Diplomats are 3-2 at home this year with wins over Bethany (35-7 W), Hobart (35-14 W) and McDaniel (20-7 W) and losses to Johns Hopkins (20-14 L) and Dickinson (17-14 L). This game marks the final regular season home date of the year for F&M.
LAST GAME - JOHNS HOPKINS 20, URSINUS 14: Brian Schiller threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start at quarterback to lead Johns Hopkins past Ursinus 20-14 in Centennial Conference football action. The Blue Jays battled back from a 14-0 deficit in the second quarter to post their fourth straight victory over the Bears. Brian Wilcott caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores, while Ben Scott kicked two field goals, including one for 27 yards to give Johns Hopkins its first lead that would not relinquish. Vince Gallagher completed 22 of 42 passes for 221 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. Nate Wagner led the defense with a career-high 16 tackles, including a sack and one for a loss. Ursinus exploded for two touchdowns in the second quarter, before the Blue Jays scored 20 unanswered points en route their fifth straight win on the road. Ready to go for it on fourth and one, the Bears were called for a false start and forced to punt. On the first drive at its own 49, Hopkins' Schiller connected with Wolcott for 51 yards and the go-ahead touchdown at the 8:50 mark of the third quarter to make it 17-14. The Blue Jays found the end zone one last time in the third quarter, using six plays and 24 yards for a 20-14 lead. A pass interference call gave Hopkins the ball on the Ursinus 34 to set up Scott's 43-yard field goal attempt for the final points of the game. The Bears got down to the Blue Jays 37-yard line, but the Hopkins defense stopped Ursinus on fourth and two to take over on downs and preserve the win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bears got on the board with 6:43 remaining in the second quarter when junior Gallagher hooked up with Kieran Gorman on a 22-yard touchdown pass to polish off an impressive 12-play, 77-yard drive that gave Ursinus a 7-0 lead. Adam Schmidt then came up with an interception of Schiller on Hopkins' next possession and the Bears needed just three plays to go 56 yards with Steve Phillips' 44-yard touchdown run capping the drive to make it 14-0. Schiller directed what turned out to be a momentum-changing drive. He was three-of-four for 50 yards and also rushed once for 10 yards to fuel the drive. He connected with Wolcott on a 24-yard touchdown pass with just 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter to make it 14-7. The Blue Jays kept the pressure on the Bears as they took the opening possession of the second half and drove 46-yards on eight plays and pulled within 14-10 on a 27-yard field goal by Scott. For his efforts, Gallagher was awarded the Kenneth E. Walker Memorial Trophy, given annually to the most valuable Ursinus player in the homecoming game. Schmidt added eight tackles, two passes breakups and one interception for the defense.
LAST WEEK'S GAME - F&M 20, McDANIEL 7: Quarterback Doug Hiltner (Sr., Margate, NJ/Atlantic City) completed 15-of-22 attempts for 192 with two touchdowns, tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) ran for 133 yards and place-kicker Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) connected for field goals of 32 and 21 yards as the Franklin & Marshall College football team stunned #16 McDaniel College 20-7 in Centennial Conference action. The Diplomats dominated the game in first downs (22 to 16), yards gained rushing (227 to 200), net yards rushing (194 to 183), net yards passing (208 to 119), passes attempted (29 to 22), net yards (402 to 302), punting average (37.4 to 36.7), kickoff returns (2 for 54 to 4 for 32), punt returns (six for 27 to 1 for no yards), third down conversions (4 of 14 to 4 of 17) and sacks (2 for 5 yards to 1 for 4 yards) The Diplomats took the lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter as Hiltner marched Franklin & Marshall 80 yards on seven plays before hitting Bobby Freiler (So., Orwigsburg, PA/Blue Mountain) for a 22 yard touchdown with 12:28 left in the first half. Eggertsson tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead. Overall, the touchdown marked the first points McDaniel had allowed in the second quarter this year and was the first passing TD the Green Terror have allowed all season. Following drives by both teams, the Diplomats took possession of the ball at their own 28 yard line and went 57 yards on seven plays before Eggertsson drilled a 32 yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the quarter for a 10-0 lead at halftime. The lead grew to 13-0 on F&M's first possession of the second half as Eggertsson hit a 21-yard field goal with 8:45 left in the third quarter to cap a 12 play, 48-yard drive by the Diplomats. McDaniel countered on their following possession as Eggertsson's kickoff sailed out of bounds at the Green Terror 14 to set McDaniel up at their own 35-yard line. The Terror took advantage of the field position marching 65 yards on 10 plays as Brad Maybank scampered 24 yards on third and two from the F&M 24 for a touchdown. Nate Getchell tacked on the extra point as McDaniel closed to within 13-7 with 3:12 left in the third quarter. However, F&M fired back as Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) returned Getchell's kickoff 31 yards out to the 50-yard line. The Diplomats' backfield did the rest as Stephen rushed for nine yards to the McDaniel 41 and fullback Rick Dunlap (So., Boothwyn, PA/Garnet Valley) ran for 22 yards on a fake punt to set F&M up at the McDaniel 23 yard line. On first and 10, Hiltner's pass was tipped at the goal line and fell into the arms of Boyce in the endzone for a 23-yard touchdown to cap a five play, 50-yard drive. Eggertsson added the extra point as F&M led 20-7 with 1:50 left in the quarter to close out the scoring. The clock was not McDaniel's friend the rest of the way as F&M chewed up five minutes in an 11 play, 61 yard drive and four minutes in an eight play, 40 yard drive in the fourth quarter as the Diplomats defeated McDaniel for the first time since a 38-7 victory at home in 1996. In addition, the Diplomats recorded their fifth win of the season as the victory guarantees F&M of having the first .500 or better season since the 1996 team finished 9-2, 6-1 in Centennial Conference play. Overall, Hiltner finished the game with 204 yards of net offense as he added 12 rushing yards after entering the game in relief of starting quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley). Combined, Harner and Hiltner completed 17-of-29 attempts for 208 yards. On the ground, Stephen closed to within 55 yards of becoming the second F&M player with 2.000 career rushing yards. Further, Dunlap registered 44 yards and Harner tacked on five yards as the Diplomats rolled up 194 yards on the ground off 41 carries. Boyce led the receivers pulling in six balls for 103 yards, while Matt Mondonedo (So., Silver Spring, MD/James Hubert Blake) caught four for 43 yards and Robert Donofrio (So., Sea Girt, NJ/Wall Township) added one for seven yards. Dunlap (three for 13), Freiler (two for 37), Stephen (one for five) also added receptions as the Diplomats racked up 402 total yards of offense. George Farrell (Fr., Hatfield, PA/North Penn) led all players with 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss of three yards, with two pass breakups, while Joe LoCastro (Jr., Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic) added nine tackles with three for loss of four yards. For McDaniel, quarterback Brad Baer completed eight of 22 passes for 119 yards and ran for 67 yards to lead the Terror. Maybank added 108 rushing yards as McDaniel racked up 183 yards of rushing offense.
LAST MEETING -F&M 37, URSINUS 17: Franklin & Marshall College All-America receiver Justin Salton '03 pulled in 11 catches for 149 yards and touchdown receptions of 42 and 27 yards to reset the Centennial Conference single season and career reception records while leading the Diplomats to a 37-17 win at Ursinus College in the Diplomats final road game of the 2003 season. Overall, Salton was the only Diplomats' receiver to catch a pass as Franklin & Marshall accumulated 414 net yards, including 265 rushing yards, as F&M achieved season highs in rushes (49), yards rushing, yards per rush (5.4), TD rushes (3), points (37), sacks (five) and opponent turnovers (three). The key to the game was the running of tailback Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) who amassed 130 net yards including TD runs of 21 and three yards in the first half as the Diplomats carried a 21-10 lead into halftime. Following the half, Stephen connected with Salton on a 42-yard uncovered bomb for a 27-10 lead with 12:26 left in the third quarter. The touchdown pass marked the first of Stephen's career as the second year tailback started his collegiate career as a quarterback in 2002 and completed 21-of-71 attempts for 243 yards in his only season over center. Trailing 10-7 with 13:39 left in the second quarter following a Gary Sheffield 31-yard TD run at 10:10 of the first quarter and a 29-yard field goal by Matt Baney, the Diplomats offense came to life as quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) engineered a 10 play, 60 yard drive before bursting through the line on third-and-goal for a two-yard touchdown carry and a 10-7 deficit with 10:9 left in the first half. The Diplomats caught a break on Ursinus' next possession as Bears' fumbled the ball at their own 30-yard line before Franklin & Marshall defensive back Matt Pastore (So., Ridgewood, NJ/Peddie School) recovered the loose ball at the Ursinus 19 to set up the Diplomats deep in Bears' territory. Harner completed back-to-back passes of three and four yards to Salton and tailback Rick Dunlap (So., Boothwyn, PA/Garnet Valley) scampered two yards on fourth and four to come up short and return the ball to the Bears. However, Ursinus failed to move the football as Greg Furman shagged a 19-yard punt to the Ursinus 30-yard line to again establish the Diplomats' offense in Bears' territory. Harner rushed nine yards to the Ursinus 21-yard line and Stephen sliced through the Bears' secondary for a 21-yard TD run for a 14-10 Diplomats' lead. Ursinus' turnover woes continued on their next drive as quarterback Adam Parcell was stripped by linebacker Matt Capone (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Scarsdale) at the F&M 30 yard line as fellow linebacker Dan Nadler '04 recovered as the 29-yard line to halt another Bears' drive. However, Ursinus' defense stiffened as Franklin & Marshall moved the ball to the 37-yard line but faced fourth-and-two with 27 seconds left in the second quarter. Needing a play to add to the lead, the Diplomats faked a punt as linebacker Andy Rehring '04 took the direct snap 60-yards straight down the middle of the field to the Ursinus three yard line with 16 seconds left on the clock in the half. Following a pair of incomplete passes, Stephen turned the right corner and sprinted into the endzone with four seconds left in the half for his second TD of the day and a 21-10 Franklin & Marshall College lead at intermission. The Bears had little luck in their opening drive of the second half as the Diplomats' defense limited Ursinus to a three-and-out before Furman punted to the F&M 36 where Stephen returned the kick to the Ursinus 48. Stephen rushed for five yards and Harner picked up one rushing yard to bring up third-and-four as Harner shoveled a pass to Stephen in the backfield who found a wide open Salton down the right sideline for a 42-yard touchdown and a 27-10 lead 12:26 into the third quarter. Ursinus cut the lead to 27-17 on their next possession thanks to a Diplomats' pass interference call. Facing fourth-and-three from the F&M 27, Ursinus quarterback Dave Kupstow's pass to Qwenton Gill was broken up as Gill was hit prior to having a chance to catch the ball to move the ball to the 12 yard line. Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal) sacked Kupstow for loss of 15-yards back to the 27-yard line, but the Bears connected for the score as Kupstow found Randy Taylor open in the endzone on fourth-and-25 to cap a 15 play, 74 yard drive. However, the Diplomats answered as kicker Dan Eggertsson (Sr., Royal Palm, FL/Suncoast) split the uprights on a 27-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the third quarter for a 30-17 Diplomats' lead. In the fourth quarter, neither team could score as the Diplomats attempted to run out the game clock behind the rushing of Stephen and Harner who each ran for 41-yards in the quarter. With 2:09 left on the game clock, the Diplomats struck for an insurance touchdown as Harner found a streaking Salton down the left sideline for a 27-yard connection. For Ursinus, tailback Gary Sheffield ran for 110 yards as the Bears' accumulated 103 net rushing yards and a touchdown, while Kupstow completed 18-of-34 passes with one interception for 192 yards and a touchdown to lead the Ursinus offense. On defense, linebackers Joe LoCastro (Jr., Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic), Rehring, Nadler and White mauled the Bears as the quartet combined for 30 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss of 41 yards, one fumble recovery, five passes defended and 4.5 sacks. LoCastro led the team in tackles with 11, including nine solo stops, while adding three tackles-for-loss of four yards, two pass breakups, half a sack for two yards and a quarterback hurry, to lead a Diplomats' defense which limited Ursinus to five-of-15 on third down conversions. For Ursinus, Tom Reilly and Eric Shipe both recorded a game high 13 tackles. Overall, Ursinus held a 30:53 to 29:07 advantage in time of possession and a 72-70 margin in total offensive plays, but the Diplomats converted six-of-16 on third down and three-of-four on fourth down to keep the clock moving and close out the game.
GETTING OFF TO A FAST START: If you want F&M to win, hope the team does not score on its first drive of the game as the Diplomats are 0-2 this year when scoring quickly. Against Johns Hopkins in a 20-14 loss, quarterback Jeff Harner (So., Mohrsville, PA/Schuylkill Valley) hit wide receiver Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) for a 79-yard touchdown connection on the first play from scrimmage in the game to put F&M in front 7-0 18 seconds into the game. It marked the second time this year F&M scored on its first drive as Harner hit Rob Donofrio (So., Sea Girt, NJ/Wall Township) for a 20 yard TD to cap a six play, 55 yard drive against Carnegie Mellon in a 31-14 loss.
CURSE OF 14: F&M is 5-40 in their last 45 games dating back to the beginning 1996 season in which the Diplomats have scored 14 or fewer points. Of the five wins, one came last year (14-13 W over Gettysburg) and two came in the first two games of the 2002 season (13-6 wins over Oberlin and Catholic), one came in 1997 (14-10 W over Muhlenberg) and one came in 1996 (14-12 W at Dickinson). This year, the Diplomats are 0-3 when scoring 14 or fewer points as Franklin & Marshall has fallen to Carnegie Mellon (31-14 L), Johns Hopkins (20-14 L) and Dickinson (17-14 L).
RUSHING TOWARDS HISTORY: Following a 133 yard performance versus McDaniel, Scott Stephen (Sr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) is 45 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. For his career, he has rushed for 1,955 yards on 565 carries, caught 37 passes for 365 yards with six touchdowns and has completed 25-of-76 passing attempts for 299 yards with four touchdowns.
BOYCE WONDER: Wide receiver Derek Boyce (Jr., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) caught six passes for 103 yards versus McDaniel to raise his career numbers to 48 catches for 833 yards with eight touchdowns in 18 games with the Diplomats after transferring from West Chester University prior to the 2003 season. In the latest CC statistics, Boyce leads the Centennial Conference with 656 yards and seven TD catches on 35 receptions this season. Among receivers with 10+ catches in the CC, his 18.7 average is second only to the 22.4 average of teammate Robert Donofrio (So., Sea Girt, NJ/Wall Township).