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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 43rd meeting between McDaniel (4-3, 2-3 CC) and Franklin & Marshall (6-1, 4-1 CC) in a series that dates back to 1904. The Diplomats lead the all-time series 24-16-2 and have won the last five meetings after the Green Terror took seven straight between 1997 and 2003.
WHEN LAST WE MET: George Eager caught seven passes for 138 yards and a touchdown to lead Franklin & Marshall to a 20-0 CC victory over McDaniel last season in Lancaster. The Diplomats outgained the Green Terror by a 335-201 margin, including holding the visitors to 23 net yards rushing, to earn its fifth straight victory in the series. Then-freshman Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) completed 14 of 33 passes for 144 yards in his first significant action of the season.
LAST TIME OUT: Teddy Conrad and Travis Evans each ran for 133 yards as part of a 276-yard rushing attack in Ursinus' 48-13 CC win over McDaniel last week. The Bears finished with 482 yards of total offense and limited the Green Terror to a season-low 25 yards rushing and 263 yards of total offense in front of a rain-soaked Homecoming crowd. Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) led the McDaniel offense, catching a career-high nine balls for a career-best 140 yards and both Green Terror scores.
WITH HONORS: Matt Cahill and Tommy Prazenica (Frederick, Md./Frederick) each earned a spots on their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Cahill earned the offensive nod after catching nine passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns - all career highs. Prazenica was named to the defensive ledger after making a career-high 12 tackles on Saturday.
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Cahill, Austin Herr (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor), Aaron Slaughter, Mike Weick and Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) will all captain the squad in 2009. The five captains are the most named by the Green Terror since five players led the 2003 squad. Three of the four elected to the post this season are two-time captains. Cahill, Slaughter and Zwilsky were all captains in 2008 as well. They are the 11th, 12th and 13th two-time captains during Tim Keating's tenure.
DOUBLE BACK FOR 133: For the first time since Oct. 15, 1994, the Green Terror allowed two opposing rushers to break the 100-mark in a game. Teddy Conrad ran for 133 yards on 29 yards, including 91 yards and three touchdowns before halftime. Travis Evans did most of his work after the break, putting up 87 of his 133 yards, including both of his touchdowns, in the second half. Evans put up his yardage on 20 carries, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Conrad averaged 4.6 yards per touch. Through the first six games of 2009, the Green Terror had allowed just two 100-yard rushers combined. In that 1994 game, Dickinson ran for 452 yards - the same year the Red Devils rushed for a CC-record 532 against Gettysburg and a conference-record 3,337 yards in 10 games.
TOM TERRIFIC: Tom Massucci threw for 219 yards on Saturday. It was the third time in seven games this season that the sophomore signal caller eclipsed the 200-yard mark through the air. However, it was the first time he reached the mark in a Green Terror loss. Massucci threw the ball 45 times - the most attempts in his 11 collegiate appearances. He completed 21 passes, one off his career high. For the year, Massucci has completed 54.9 percent of his passes, hitting on 129 of 235 attempts for 1,402 yards. He has thrown 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: For the first time in his career, senior Matt Cahill caught two touchdown passes in the same game. He entered Saturday with eight touchdowns in his career before catching a four-yard score as the first-quarter clock expired and then a 17-yarder in the third quarter. It wasn't just the touchdowns that led to Cahill's career day. The wideout caught nine passes for 140 yards - both career highs. The 140 yards accounted for more than half of the Green Terror offense, which put up just 263 total yards.
A SCARY TREND: The Green Terror and Diplomats have played 42 times in football. Of those 42 games, there have been two ties. Both have come on Halloween. The two teams played to a 14-all draw in 1942 before again battling to a 14-all deadlock in 1959. Both of those contests took place in Lancaster. Today will be the first time the two teams have met in Westminster on Halloween. While NCAA rules have since changed to not allow games to end it ties, that doesn't mean overtime is not a possibility. The last two Franklin & Marshall-McDaniel games in Westminster have been tied at the end of regulation. In 2005, a field goal on their first overtime possession gave the Diplomats a 17-14 win. Two years ago, it was a five-yard touchdown pass on the first overtime possession and forced fumble that gave Franklin & Marshall the win.
RUNNING WITH THE DEVELIN: T.J. Develin has rushed for 510 yards this season, accounting for more than two-thirds of the Green Terror 751 net rushing yards this season. He enters today's game needing just 34 yards to match his 2008 total. For his career, he has rushed for 1,360 yards and is just 48 yards from breaking into the top 15 all-time on the career rushing list.
KICKIN' BACK: On Saturday, Al Desiderio ran a kickoff back 77 yards to open the second quarter. It was the first kickoff the Green Terror allowed to be returned for a touchdown since Johns Hopkins' Richard Hill took the game's opening kickoff 90 yards for a score on Nov. 10, 2007. There is some symmetry between the two kickoffs. Both returns took 14 seconds off and clock and both were the same direction on the turf at Scott S. Bair Stadium - into the north end zone.
LINE 'EM UP: The Green Terror defensive line as a unit has keyed a defense that ranks sixth in Division III in sacks, averaging 3.71 per game. Mike Ford (Drexel Hill, Pa./Haverford Twp.) leads the team with 7.5 sacks. His 1.04 per game average ranks him tied for 14th in the nation.
TERROR TIDBITS: A second-quarter touchdown after an interception was the first points off turnovers allowed by the Green Terror defense all season... McDaniel allowed a receiver to gain 100 yards for the second straight week.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 17th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 102 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 102-68-3, guiding the program to seven CC championships and a pair of NCAA playoff wins. Before coming to the Hill, Keating notched a 26-23 record in five seasons at Wesley... John Troxell is in his fourth season at Franklin & Marshall. He is 17-20, guiding the Diplomats to 4-6 records each of the last two seasons after going 3-7 in his inaugural year at the helm. Troxell took the reins following five seasons as an assistant coach at Lafayette, serving as video coordinator, running backs coach, recruiting coordinator and special teams coach for the 2004 and 2005 Patriot League champions.
THE WORD ON FRANKLIN & MARSHALL: The Diplomats enter today's game off a 20-7 win over Muhlenberg on Saturday... Franklin & Marshall built a 20-0 lead over the game's first 13:20. John Harrison and Jarrell Diggs each threw a touchdown pass and Barry Lovett returned a fumble 69 yards to account for the Diplomat points... Harrison moved into fifth place all-time on the Franklin & Marshall single-season list with 1,973 passing yards this season. His 3,330 career passing yards already places the sophomore in the top 10... Harrison's 21 touchdown passes matches Geno Pagnozzi's program record for a single season... George Eager has made 50 receptions for 634 yards, catching nine TDs. His 50 catches is tops in the conference... He also has two kickoff returns for touchdowns, averaging a CC-best 30.4 yards per return. Between his receiving and return yards, Eager ranks third in the CC in all-purpose yards, averaging 142.0 per game... Franklin & Marshall has the conference's top ranked passing offense (290.6 ypg)... The league's best pass defense (143.3 ypg) limited Muhlenberg to 103 yards through the air last week... The Diplomats also have the CC's top defense, allowing 272.0 yards per game... The F&M defense ranks second to only McDaniel with 23 sacks... Sam Massaro is third in the conference, pacing the Diplomat defense with 57 tackles. Massaro, Mark Surma and C.T. Marsh each have 4.0 total sacks... Franklin & Marshall has a record of 9-6-2 on Halloween with the only two ties coming against the Green Terror.