WHY IS F&M CALLED THE DIPLOMATS?: Franklin & Marshall College's nickname of Diplomats comes from New York Times sportswriter Arthur Daley who coined the name after watching Fordham come back in the fourth quarter behind NFL Hall-of-Famers Vince Lombardi and Alex Wojciechowicz to defeat F&M 14-7 at the Polo Grounds in the season-opening game of the 1935 season. Prior to the game, F&M teams were known as either "Nevonians" or "Big Blue". The name "Diplomats" was derived from the fact that F&M was five minutes late coming out of the locker-room to begin the second half, tardiness, according to Daley, "customary in the diplomatic services of both hemispheres."
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 (Sr., Gillette, NJ/Watchung Hills) 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 recpetions in a career. The Bears turned the ball over again on their next drive as Gallagher hit F&M's Justin Koch (Jr., 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 (Sr., Beesley's Point, NJ/Ocean City) 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 s F&M held the Bears to a our-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 (Jr., 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 (Sr., Lititz, PA/Warwick) 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 (Jr., 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 marks 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 snaps 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.
OLD FRIENDS BECOME NEW ENEMIES: Franklin & Marshall College head coach Shawn Halloran and Ursinus head man Pete Gallagher have a history together as both were on the same coaching staff at Georgetown University during Halloran's first two seasons with the Hoyas.
F&M IN THE RANKINGS: Franklin & Marshall College ranks among the CC best in pass offense (1st, 217.2 yards) per game, and in first downs (4th, 130), sacks (4th, 21 for 111 yards), penalties (2nd, 44 for 383 yards), opponent penalties (2nd, 54 for 478 yards), third down conversions (2nd, 46 of 134), and kickoff coverage (2nd, 25 for 397 yards).
URSINUS IN THE RANKINGS: The Bears rank among the CC best in scoring offense (5th, 19.5), pass defense (3rd, 176.5), punting (2nd, 30.6), total defense (3rd, 306.1), pass efficiency (4th, 108.1), opponent first downs (4th, 124), sacks (3rd, 160), penalties (4th, 47.8), opponent penalties (1st, 63.5), fourth down conversions (1st, 14 of 31), opponent third down conversions (2nd 28 of 114) and time of possession (3rd, 31:54).
BACK IN THE SADDLE: The Diplomats will look for their first road victory since a 20-14 win at Gettysburg College in the final game of the 2002 season. Leading the charge this week will be tailaback Scott Stephen (Jr., Glen Rock, NJ/Glen Rock) who is fourth in the Centennial Conference with four rushing touchdowns. Overall, Stephen has rushed 136 times for 405 yards, an average of 3.0 yards per carry and 50.6 yards per game.
SACK ATTACK: Ursinus' Josh Kemp leads the Centennial Conference and nation in sacks as he has 14 solo and one assisted quarterback drop for 14.5 total sacks and an average of 2.07 sacks per game. Overall, Kemp, a linebacker, also leads the CC in tackles-for-loss with 18 for an average of 2.57 per game. For F&M, linebacker Dan Nadler (Sr., Scarsdale, NY/Edgemont) ranks fourth in the CC in sacks and tackles for loss as he has 6.5 sacks (0.81 per game) and 14 TFLs (1.75 per game).
OTHER CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE GAMES: The 2003 season enters its ninth week of action with four games involving Centennial Conference schools. On Saturday, Franklin & Marshall visits Ursinus (1:00 p.m.), Gettysburg hosts Dickinson(1:00 p.m.), Muhlenberg visits Union (1:00 p.m.) and McDaniel hosts Bethany (1:00 p.m.). Johns Hopkins is idle this week.
ON A ROLL: Steve Ulrich, Executive Secretary of the Centennial Conference (CC), announced that Franklin & Marshall College linebacker Chris White (Sr., Vestal, NY/Vestal) and wide receiver/kick returner Derek Boyce (So., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) have been named to the November 2 Centennial Conference Football Honor Roll. In a 21-7 loss at McDaniel College, White had seven tackles including three quarterback sacks for 24 yards. On the year, White ranks fifth in the Conference in sacks (six for 38 yards) and first in fumbles forced (2) and recovered (2). Overall, he currently has 38 tackles with 16 solo stops to rank sixth on the team. On offense, Boyce returned three kicks for 92 yards, including a 55-yard return, to raise his season numbers to 18 returns for 476 yards. In the latest Conference statistics, Boyce ranks second in kick returns with an average of 26.4 yards per attempt, 13.5 yards off the first place mark of Muhlenberg's Kodi Shay (eight returns for 319 yards).
TAKING THEIR SPOT AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Franklin & Marshall College wide receivers Justin Salton (Sr., Gillette, NJ/Watchung Hills) and Derek Boyce (So., Lancaster, PA/Lampeter-Strasburg) are ranked among the national leaders in the November 3 NCAA Division III football statistics. A D3football.com All-America selection, Salton ranks fifth in receptions (8.4) and 30th in receiving yards (96.6) per game as he has 67 catches for 773 yards in eight games. Against McDaniel College in a 21-7 loss, he pulled down nine receptions for 47 yards to lead a Diplomats' pass offense that caught 15 passes for 97 yards on 36 passing attempts. Overall, he raised his career reception total to 2,951 yards on 224 receptions as he moved to 10 receptions shy of surpassing Dale Amos '90 (233) for first place on the Centennial Conference and Franklin & Marshall College career receptions list. Further, he is one half of the most prolific receiving combination in Centennial Conference history as Salton and teammate Matt Wagaman (Sr., Lititz, PA/Warwick) have combined for 357 receptions for 4,707 yards during their careers. This year, the duo tops the Conference with 93 catches for 1,102 yards. In kickoff returns, Boyce ranks 23rd with 26.4 yards per return off 18 returns for 476 yards. In addition to kick returns, Boyce, a transfer from Division II West Chester University of Pennsylvania, has pulled in 13 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown to rank second on the Diplomats in all-purpose yards per game (81.6) behind Salton (98.9).
JUSTIN SALTON, PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA: Franklin & Marshall College wide receiver Justin Salton (Sr., Gillette, NJ/Watchung Hills) was named to the second team of the 2003 D3football.com Preseason All-America squad. A 2002 D3football.com All-America honorable mention selection, he is the only Centennial Conference player on the preseason team. The 29th Diplomat in program history to be named an All-America selection, he became the first wide receiver to earn the honor since Dale Amos '90 garnered the award in 1989. A 2002 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Southwest Football First Team All-Star and a unanimous first team All-Centennial Conference selection, Salton set a new Centennial Conference single-season mark for receptions (77) and closed the 2002 season with 1,078 yards, 12 touchdowns, including 11 receiving TDs, to lead the Conference in receiving yardage and receptions per game (7.70). The fifth CC receiver to gain 1,000 yards in a season, he became only the third receiver in F&M history to record 2,000 career receiving yards last year, joining Amos (3,846) and Zac Kraft '94 (2,160) in the elite club. The Diplomats' top receiver as a sophomore, Salton missed all but two games of the 2001 season with a knee injury. A first team USAFootball.com Sophomore All-America selection and a 2000 second team All-CC receiver, he set an F&M and Centennial Conference single game record with 16 receptions versus Carnegie Mellon University in 2000. Recipients of D3football.com All-America honors are selected by a panel of prominent coaches and media in conjunction with D3football.com.
JUSTIN-CREDIBLE: Salton enters today's game needing 10 catches to make history and do the unthinkable, surpass F&M Hall of Famer Dale Amos '90 on the Franklin & Marshall College and Centennial Conference leader boards in career catches.Over the last three games, he is averaging 9 catches, so the record may fall today on a field on which he had six catches for 73 yards in 1999 for his first intercollegiate four or more catch performance. A 2002 postseason and 2003 preseason D3football.com All-America selection, Salton has 2,951 yards on 224 receptions to 10 fall receptions shy of surpassing Amos (233). Further, he is 38 yards short of moving past Hopkins' Joe Richards '94 (2,988) for second in CC history in receiving yards. Amos holds the F&M and CC records with 3,846 yards. In addition, he is three TDs short of moving past Richards (22) for sixth in CC history in TD receptions as Salton currently has 20 to rank 7th. He is also one half of the most prolific receiving combination in Centennial Conference history as Salton and teammate Matt Wagaman (Sr., Lititz, PA/Warwick) have combined for 357 receptions for 4,707 yards during their careers. This year, the duo tops the Conference with 93 catches for 1,102 yards this year.
DEFENDING SALTON: Historically, Salton has 17 catches for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns versus Ursinus for an average of 72.0 yards per game, his fourth best record versus any of the six opposing CC schools. Last season in a victory at home over the Bears, he pulled in eight catches for 82 yards with a pair of TD receptions and also rushed for seven yards as the Diplomats rolled to a 34-10 victory.
BACK IN BLOCK: Watch out for Diplomats' cornerback Chris Santaniello (Fr., Somers Point, NJ/Mainland) as the first year defensive back has been deadly on special teams blocking three kicks. The mark ties the single season Franklin & Marshall College record set by John Schropp in 1991 and 1992.
EGGING THE OPPONENTS: A big factor in today's game will be punting. For Franklin & Marshall, Dan Eggertsson is averaging 37.3 yards per punt off 50 punts for 1,866 yards, including 11 punts inside the 20-yard line and three touchbacks. This year, he has been the CC's best, including a career-long bomb of 70-yards versus Centre in week two. The kick marked just the fifth 70+ yard punt in program history. Against Oberlin in the season opener, he punted five times for 175 yards (35.0 average) with a game long 41-yarder and one punt inside the 20-yard line and connected on a 27-yard field goal. Against Washington & Jefferson, he punted six times for 242 yards (40.3 ypk average) with a 49-yarder and two punts inside the Presidents' 20-yard line. For Ursinus, Greg Furman ranks second in the CC behind Eggertsson as Furman is averaging 37.0 yards per boot off 44 kicks for 1,628 yards.