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Gettysburg Meets F&M on Senior Day

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GETTYSBURG, Pa.  – After 128 years and 103 meetings on the gridiron, the all-time series between Gettysburg College (1-8, 1-7 CC) and Franklin & Marshall College (6-3, 5-3 CC) is deadlocked at 48-48-7. That won't be the case following the final weekend of the regular season as the Bullets and Diplomats battle for The Lincoln Football Trophy at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium this Saturday at 1 p.m.
 
GAME COVERAGE
Saturday's game will feature live video and live stats through https://portal.stretchinternet.com/gettysburg/.
 
THE SERIES
Gettysburg's most played rivalry goes back to the program's first varsity season in 1890. Since that initial meeting, the Bullets and Diplomats have played 103 games and the series is tied 48-48-7. Thirty-two of those contests have occurred in Gettysburg with the Orange and Blue holding a 19-11-2 edge. The two teams have met in the regular season finale every year since 1983, which marked the inaugural year of the Centennial Conference.
 
THE LINCOLN FOOTBALL TROPHY
The Lincoln Trophy is more than a wooden carving molded in the shape of a former President's hat. It contains a history that stretches back 155 years. The award was created out of two "witness trees" that stood like sentinels as the Battle of Gettysburg raged in and around the community in July, 1863. Found inside one of the trees used to create the trophy was a bullet from the battle. That relic has been safely sealed within the award, representing a bridge to the past. The Lincoln Trophy, created by local historian and woodworker Bill Hewitt, stands as a prize to be won in the battles that will continue between Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall on the gridiron. The trophy made its first appearance for teams' 100th meeting in 2014.
 
LAST MEETING
Franklin & Marshall clinched a share of the Centennial Conference title with a 51-21 victory in Barry Streeter's final game as Gettysburg head coach. The Diplomats opened with four scores for a 24-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 38-0 lead following a one-yard rush by Taalib Gerald in the third period. Justin Davidov '18 threw a pair of touchdown passes to Ryan Thompson '18 and Ty Abdul-Karim '18 to lead the Gettysburg offense over the final two quarters. Davidov finished with 161 yards passing and gained 60 yards on nine carries. Nick Rella '19 (Denville, N.J./Morristown-Beard) picked up 60 yards on six carries, while Thompson hauled in four catches for 45 yards. Jake Skinner '19(Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) led the Bullets with a dozen tackles and Logan Aikey (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg) posted eight tackles, including three for a loss. Tanner Erisman completed 19-fo-34 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns for F&M. Gerald picked up 139 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns, while K.J. Pretty hauled in 10 catches for 162 yards and a pair of scores.
 
LAST TIME OUT
Gettysburg struggled against a stout Muhlenberg defense, managing 128 totals yards in a 49-0 setback at Scotty Wood Stadium last Saturday. The Mules allowed the Bullets to reach their side of the field only twice in the game. Freshman Matt Lajoie (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape) steered Gettysburg's final drive at quarterback, completing all six of his passes for 40 yards. He also posted five rush attempts and caught a pair of passes. Senior Jake Skinner led the defense with 11 tackles, while classmate Logan Aikey posted six stops and a tackle for a loss.
 
Ursinus out-scored Franklin & Marshall 27-7 over the final 32 minutes and hit a game-winning field goal with one second left to take down the Diplomats 27-24 last Saturday. F&M jumped out to the early lead with a 26-yard field goal by junior Drew Tomlinson and an 11-yard touchdown pass from senior Tanner Erisman to senior K.J. Pretty in the first quarter. A three-yard run by sophomore Joe Hartly-Vittoria made it 17-0 with 12:37 to go in the second quarter. The Bears ran off the next 24 points before Erisman halted the momentum with a six-yard pass to Timothy Walter with 1:11 left in the game. Ursinus drove down the field quickly on its final possession and won it on a 38-yard field goal. Erisman finished 17-of-28 for 187 yards. Hartley-Vittoria picked up 115 yards on 33 carries, while Pretty finished with 104 yards receiving.
 
GETTYSBURG OVERVIEW
Gettysburg is aiming to end the season on a high note against its long-time rival. Head Coach Kevin Burke '90 secured his first victory as a head coach in 15 years with the team's win over Juniata, which was also the last program Burke coached to a victory prior to his arrival in Gettysburg as offensive coordinator.   
 
GETTYSBURG OFFENSE
The Bullets look to bounce back after suffering a shutout at Muhlenberg last Saturday. Freshman Matt Lajoie (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape) steered the team's final drive after taking over at quarterback, going 6-for-6 with 40 yards. Lajoie also carried the ball five times and caught a pair of receptions. Junior Andrew Howard (Swansea, Mass./Moses Brown School) and senior Nick Rella lead the rushing attack with a combined 729 yards this fall. Howard has scored a team-high four touchdowns and put up a career-high 119 rushing yards against No. 25 Johns Hopkins. He also paces the team with 19 receptions for 167 yards. Senior Johnny Davis (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) has become the team's top deep threat and is averaging nearly 17.4 yards per catch. Davis has 16 receptions for a team-leading 279 yards.
 
GETTYSBURG DEFENSE
Gettysburg ranks second in the CC in fumble recoveries (11) and third in sacks (28). Senior defensive end Logan Aikeyhas smashed his own school record for tackles for a loss in a season with a league-high 18.5. Aikey ranks second in the Centennial with nine sacks.  Senior linebacker Jake Skinner leads the team and ranks sixth in the conference with 80 tackles. Skinner needs nine more tackles to reach 300 for his career. Sophomore cornerback Thomeir Richardson(Trenton, N.J./Trenton Central) has picked off four passes and broken up seven passes this season.
 
GETTYSBURG SPECIAL TEAMS
Junior Justin Geisel (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day School) paces the CC with nine made field goals and he is 11-of-11 on extra-point attempts. He has hit five field goals from 37 yards or longer and his four misses have all come from 49 yards and beyond, distances that would break the program record of 48 yards. Freshman Doug Cummings(Saylorsburg, Pa./Pleasant Valley) has averaged 34.5 yards per punt since taking over as the team's punter two weeks ago.  Sophomore Thomeir Richardson (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Central) is averaging 20.5 yards per kick return this season.
 
F&M OVERVIEW
The Diplomats have played in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series in each of the last two campaigns and are currently tied with Susquehanna and Ursinus for the third spot in the conference standings. The top two teams in the league that don't qualify for NCAAs receive bids to the bowl games. Head Coach John Troxell has guided F&M to winning seasons in eight of the last nine campaigns and is 77-58 in his 13 years at the helm.
 
F&M OFFENSE
The Diplomats average 27.9 points and 348.4 total yards per game. No team in the conference has been better at converting on fourth down as F&M has gone 14-of-23 (61 percent) this fall. Senior quarterback Tanner Erisman has thrown for 1,620 yards and 14 scores, while adding three more touchdowns on the ground. In his first year as a starter, sophomore tailback Joe Hartley-Vittoria has rushed for 100 or more yards in four games this season and ranks third in the Centennial in rushing yardage. First-year Keshon Farmer broke 100 yards rushing against Dickinson and scored four touchdowns against Moravian. He leads the team with nine rushing touchdowns this fall. A first-team all-league selection in 2017, senior wideout K.J. Pretty ranks among the CC leaders in receptions (8th, 42), receiving yards (3rd, 666), and receiving touchdowns (3rd, 8). Pretty is just 78 receiving yards away from 2,000 for his career.
 
F&M DEFENSE
Franklin & Marshall is susceptible to a strong-passing attack as the team ranks eighth in the conference in passing yards allowed per game (215.8) and last in interceptions (5), but the Diplomats make up for it with a stout front that has allowed only 109.3 rushing yards per game this fall. The team has allowed only one individual 100-yard rusher all season. Senior defensive linemen Joe Granahan has posted 7.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 43 tackles, and three forced fumbles on the year. Senior linebacker Bobby McDevitt ranks second on the team with 48 tackles and seven tackles for a loss and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
 
F&M SPECIAL TEAMS
Junior Drew Tomlinson is 2-of-5 on field goals and 27-of-36 on extra-point attempts. His longest field goal make was from 26 yards. Sophomore Garrett Perschy is averaging 34.9 yards on punts this fall. First-year Mack Focht has averaged 20.6 yards per kickoff return, while junior Kevin Lammers carries on as one of the league's top punt returners. Lammers leads the CC with 13 yards per punt return.
 
SENIOR DAY
Prior to Saturday's game, Gettysburg will recognize its 16 senior football players and three senior cheerleaders. The football players competing in their final game are Logan Aikey (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg), Donovan Bennett(Vineland, N.J./Vineland), Chris Chick (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery), Johnny Davis (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah), Chase Fee (Spotswood, N.J./Spotswood), Matt Graziano (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley), Ryan Krouse (Phoenix, Ariz./Paradise Valley), Alex Martinez (Bordentown, N.J./Notre Dame), Mike McKnight (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin), John Morris (Brielle, N.J./Manasquan), Matt Randall (Massapequa, N.Y./Saint Anthony's), Nick Rella(Denville, N.J./Morristown-Beard), Nick Rollo (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial),  Trent Seibert (Cape May Court House, N.J./St. Augustine Prep), Jake Skinner (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), and Matt Yoder (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal). The three senior cheerleaders are Katie KurataAnnora Mack, and Alanna Van Wingerden.
 
HONORING VETERANS
Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall would like to thank all veterans for their service to our country. In honor of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11, Saturday's coin toss will feature veterans from both institutions. Representing Gettysburg will be Ed Southworth '64, Col. USMC Ret., and Tom McCracken '66, Navy pilot, who between them, flew over 1,200 combat missions in Vietnam. Franklin & Marshall will be represented by A. Harold (Hal) Showalter, Jr., Class of 1953 and veteran of the U.S. Army. Additionally, all veterans in attendance will be asked to stand and be recognized between the first and second quarters of Saturday's contest.

Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
at Frostburg State 42, Western New England 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 38, Husson 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Lycoming 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 49, MIT 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Randolph-Macon 23, at John Carroll 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 60, Denison 0
Box Score Photos Photos Photos
Final
St. Norbert 31, at Trine 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Berry 31, Maryville (Tenn.) 0
Video Box Score
Final
Merchant Marine 38, at Endicott 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wesley 42, at Westminster (Pa.) 34
Video
Final
at Brockport 40, Framingham State 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Alfred 14, at Salisbury 7
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Salve Regina 19
Box Score Photos
Final
at Centre 54, Washington and Jefferson 13
Video Box Score
Final
Muhlenberg 20, at Delaware Valley 13
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Ursinus 70, at Misericordia 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Susquehanna 17, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Bridgewater 21, N.C. Wesleyan 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Brevard 46, Allen 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 35, Geneva 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 52, Hanover 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Springfield 17, SUNY-Maritime 14
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Grove City 56, Morrisville State 48
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Utica 44, at Ithaca 42
@ Ithaca, N.Y.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 27, Hardin-Simmons 6
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 67, Eureka 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Bethel 41, Wartburg 14
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at St. John's 84, Martin Luther 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Averett 20, Ferrum 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Whitworth 48, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos Photos
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
at Frostburg State 42, Western New England 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 49, MIT 0
Recap Photos Box Score
Final
Randolph-Macon 23, at John Carroll 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 60, Denison 0
Box Score Photos Photos Photos
Final
St. Norbert 31, at Trine 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Berry 31, Maryville (Tenn.) 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 40, Framingham State 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Centre 54, Washington and Jefferson 13
Video Box Score
Final
Muhlenberg 20, at Delaware Valley 13
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 52, Hanover 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 27, Hardin-Simmons 6
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 67, Eureka 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Bethel 41, Wartburg 14
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at St. John's 84, Martin Luther 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Whitworth 48, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6
Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos Photos