Series Record: GC 48-47-7
In Lancaster: GC 34-33-5
In Gettysburg: Tied 14-14-2
In Centennial Play: F&M 17-15-1
First Meeting: 11/22/1890 (F&M 68-0)
Last Meeting: 11/12/2016 (F&M 28-21)
Last F&M Win: (28-21) 11/12/2016
Series History: Saturday's game marks the 103rd meeting between Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall in a series that began with a 68-0 Franklin & Marshall win in 1890. Gettysburg has a one-game edge in the series at 48-47-7.
The series took a 16-year hiatus when the Bullets went to the Middle Atlantic Conference University Division and the Diplomats went to the College Division in 1959. It resumed in 1976, and after five consecutive games in the month of September, the rivalry returned to a November showdown in 1981.
The Lincoln Trophy: Since 1890, the teams have used one road to travel between each institution, the Lincoln Highway. In honor of the namesake of the highway, the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln, and his importance to the town of Gettysburg, a special trophy, called the "Lincoln Football Trophy" is handed out to the winner of the Gettysburg-Franklin & Marshall football game. The Lincoln Trophy is a replica wooden stovepipe top hat that was created in 2014 and donated by a local craftsman, Bill Hewitt. The wood used are from the remains of two witness trees from the town of Gettysburg that President Lincoln would have passed during his visit following the battle in 1863.
Postseason Scenarios: The Diplomats are tied with Johns Hopkins entering the final week of action, but the Blue Jays own the tiebreaker with a victory over F&M earlier this season. A win by both the Blue Jays and F&M would result in Co-Champions, but the Blue Jays would receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. That would make F&M the next highest remaining team in the Conference which gives the Diplomats the top seed in the MAC-CC Bowl with a chance of getting an at-large to the NCAA Tournament. An appearance in the NCAA Tournament would be the first in program history. A Hopkins loss combined with an F&M victory would give the Diplomats the Conference Championship outright and the automatic bid.
Centennial Champions: A win on Saturday would give F&M at least a share of the Centennial Conference Championship for the first time since 2004. The 2004 squad finished in a five-way tie for first with an 8-3 record. F&M has won 13 conference championships in the history of the program, including six CC Crowns (1986, 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 2004).
Seniors: Eleven seniors will be playing their final regular season home game at Shadek Stadium on Saturday. The F&M football class of 2017 has put together a 26-13 record over four years with two playoff berths. The class includes: Dillon Alderfer, Zachary Bradley, Taylor Collison, Pietro Gaspari, A.J. Gasser, Taalib Gerald, Jeff Leone, Vincent Moffett, Ben Okun, Fortunato Perri, Michael Sullivan.
POTW: Ben Okun was named the Centennial Conference (CC) Defensive Player of the Week, announced on Sunday. The honor was the first for Okun this season and the fifth for a member of the F&M team.
Okun led the Diplomat defense with seven solo tackles, including a sack, a forced fumble and a pick six in a 42-28 win at Ursinus. He returned his theft 55 yards that jumped started a 21-0 F&M run.
Records Watch: Taalib Gerald became the fourth player in program history to reach 2,000 yards and has 2,220 yards heading into the week, while Andy Surtz '97 sits on top at 2,913. Gerald is second with 27 rushing touchdowns with Keith Wert '78 owning the record at 28. His 32 touchdowns scored rank second, while his 192 points are also second. Dale Amos '90 holds both records with 35 touchdowns and 210 points, respectively.
CC Rankings: F&M ranks at the top of multiple statistical categories around the conference. Tanner Erisman leads the conference with a 164.7 passing efficiency and passing scores (23). K.J. Pretty is first in touchdowns (11) and second with 110.3 receiving yards per game. Joe Granahan sits first with 12 sacks and third with 13.5 tackles for a loss.
F&M Last Week: Franklin & Marshall defeated Ursinus 42-28 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action Saturday afternoon. With the win, F&M improved to 8-1, 7-1 CC while the Bears dropped to 6-3, 5-3 CC.
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Tanner Erisman completed 18-of-27 passes for 233 yards and two scores. Dillon Alderfer was the top target with seven grabs for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin Lammers had four grabs for 49 yards and K.J. Pretty ended with two catches for 28 yards. Taalib Gerald had 153 yards on 35 rushes with two touchdowns and added 40 more on three receptions.
Ben Okun led the defense with seven solo tackles, including two for a loss and one assist. He also recorded a sack, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and had one interception that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown. Vincent Moffett had eight tackles (6s) and Mekhi Holley, along with Joe Granahan, both ended with seven stops each. Granahan had a sack and forced a fumble while Holley was in on a sack with Sebastian Silva-Muniz. Vincent Speranza added a pick and returned it for an 89-yard score and Jeff Leone as finished the game with an interception for F&M.
Gettysburg Last Week: Muhlenberg College spoiled the final home game for the Gettysburg College seniors and Head Coach Barry Streeter with a 39-14 decision at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium on Saturday.
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Justin Davidov set a personal high with 23 completions to 12 different receivers and threw for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also picked up 30 yards rushing to become Gettysburg's all-time leader in rushing yards for a quarterback.
Andrew Major hauled in four passes for a career-high 88 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Mike McKnight and Jake Skinner each tallied 13 tackles to pace the defense, with Skinner adding 3.5 tackles for a loss. Frank Olmo recorded a dozen tackles, while classmate Nick Corbi notched a personal high with 10 stops.
The Last Meeting: Franklin & Marshall scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into a 28-21 victory over Gettysburg last year on Nov. 12, in Gettysburg.
Zachary Bradley completed 10-of-17 passes for 101 yards and Tanner Erisman tossed for 62 yards on eight completions. Erisman added another 96 yards on 21 rushes with one score and Dave Shellhammer racked up 56 yards on 15 touches. Dillon Alderfer led the receivers with 57 yards on four catches.
Brendan Daly and Steve Elf both picked up seven tackles to pace the defense. Jeff Leone also had six tackles and added three pass breakups for the Diplomats. Marlen Fenstermacher ended with five tackles and Ben Okun picked up four stops.
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