St. Vincent at McDaniel
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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's game marks the third meeting between McDaniel (0-0) and St. Vincent (0-0). The two squads played to a scoreless deadlock in 1938 but the Green Terror notched the first decision in the series last year in Latrobe to take a 1-0-1 advantage in the all-time series.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Making his first career start, Joe Lapkowicz (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp.) completed 12 of 13 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns to lead McDaniel to a 38-7 victory over St. Vincent in last season's opener. In the most offensive day since racking up 556 yards at Gettysburg on Oct. 9, 2004, the Green Terror outgained the Bearcats by a 407-66 margin, including 208-21 on the ground. Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) rushed for 111 of those yards - a career best - for his second collegiate 100-yard rushing day. He also added three touchdown carries. Saum Sami (Fruitland, Md./JM Bennett) racked up 101 of McDaniel's 199 receiving yards on four catches, including a touchdown.
LAST TIME OUT: The Green Terror capped the 2008 season, falling 27-10 at Johns Hopkins for its second consecutive 1-7 Centennial Conference (CC) season. Sophomore Andrew Kase recorded his second 200-yard rushing day against McDaniel, running for 211 yards to give the Blue Jays their eighth straight win against the Green Terror.
WITH HONORS: The Green Terror returns a quartet of 2008 All-CC players to the 2009 roster. Travis Wenrich (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser), a second-team defensive back, earned his second all-conference nod. Mike Weick (Holland, Pa./Penn Charter), a linebacker, joined Wenrich on the second team. Austin Herr (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor), the team's center, and Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) earned honorable mention honors.
OPENING STATEMENT: McDaniel begins its 115th season of football this afternoon, entering play with a 60-48-6 record on opening day. St. Vincent is the Green Terror's fourth different opening-day opponent in head coach Tim Keating's 17-year tenure. The Bearcats replaced a 12-year series with Bridgewater last season. Keating is 7-9 in his previous 16 openers.
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.), Austin Herr, Aaron Slaughter, Mike Weick and Eric Zwilsky 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.
WANNA BE LIKE MIKE: Senior LB Mike Weick returns to anchor the middle of the Green Terror defense after leading the CC with 123 tackles (12.3 per game). He earned preseason All-American accolades from Consensus Draft Services as a second-team nod in their annual selection. Weick reached double figures in eight of the 10 games a year ago, including in each of the final seven games of the season.
INSIDE-OUT: McDaniel makes one key change to its coaching staff to open 2009 with the arrival of Mike Dailey as defensive coordinator. Dailey, a 19-year veteran of the Arena Football League (AFL), replaces Eric Van Heusen as the head of the defense. In 12 seasons as a head coach, Dailey compiled a record of 115-83, spending seven years at the helm of the Firebirds organization and five years leading the Colorado Crush. Dailey earned Coach of the Year honors after leading Albany to the 1999 AFL title. He guided Colorado to the 2005 championship.
MASS-IVE IMPROVEMENT: When 2008 opened, no one knew quite what to expect from the quarterback position. One thing was certain at that point, though. Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) was fourth on the depth chart at that point. Midway through the season, the initial question still hadn't really been answered. However, the fourth quarter at Ursinus on Oct. 25 began to give some clarity to the quandary that had plagued the coaching staff. Massucci made his first appearance of the season, completing 4 of 7 passes for 41 yards. Massucci started the final two games of the year, finishing with a team-best 405 yards passing. He went 40-for-104 with four interceptions and no touchdowns. Massucci is expected to make his third consecutive start under center this afternoon.
KICKIN' IT: The Green Terror opens 2009 with questions in the kicking game. With the graduation of Jay Leonard, McDaniel is in search of a placekicker. It appears that freshman Nick DeLuca (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) will be the first one to get a shot this afternoon. However, the coaching staff hasn't ruled out going to sophomore Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) for either kickoffs or field goals. With returning punter Travis Wenrich not 100 percent, it is likely that punting duties will fall on the left foot of Nichols - at least for the time being.
LINE 'EM UP: For the second time in as many years, the Green Terror returns its offensive line virtually in tact from the previous year. After returning four of the five starters from 2007 to 2008, McDaniel does much of the same from 2008 to 2009 - albeit a different four. The Green lost only left tackle Joe Bowers to graduation. Austin Herr will anchor the line at center, even though with an injury to Patrick Floyd (Bethesda, Md./Walt Whitman) is likely to be the starting right tackle early in the year. That move shifts Jason Bryan (Earleville, Md./Bohemia Manor) from his guard position of last year back to the center position he was used to as a sophomore. Paul Selfinger (Birdsboro, Pa./Daniel Boone) makes the shift to left tackle, replacing Bowers. Ian Proctor (Silver Spring, Md./Blair) will reprise his role as the starting left guard while sophomore Tanner Cannavo (Houston, Del./Sussex) is expected to make his first collegiate start, getting the nod at right guard.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror returns 17 of its 22 starters from the 2008 squad... McDaniel was chosen to finish eighth in the nine-team CC in the annual preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors. Johns Hopkins is the preseason favorite... Today's game is the second installment of the Division III version of an AFC North showdown. McDaniel, home of the Baltimore Ravens preseason training camp, hosts St. Vincent, the Pittsburgh Steelers' preseason home.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating enters his 17th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 98 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters the 2009 campaign with record of 98-65-3, 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... Bob Colbert enters his third season leading St. Vincent. Colbert was hired in 2006 to bring back varsity football after a 40-plus year hiatus. A native of Pittsburgh's North Side, Colbert got his start in coaching at Gallaudet, where he was head coach at age 23 - while still a student at Maryland. From 1972-75, he served as the defensive backs coach at Colgate before moving to the NFL as an assistant to the defensive staff with the Washington Redskins (1976) and administrative assistant to the Baltimore Colts (1977-79). In 1982, he returned to the college ranks where he spent time at Ohio Wesleyan, Cornell, Dartmouth, James Madison and Bridgewater. Colbert is 1-19 in his first two years with the Bearcats.
THE WORD ON ST. VINCENT: The Bearcats enter their third season of varsity football after not having a program since 1962. After going winless in its return to the varsity level in 2007, St. Vincent notched its first win of the modern era with a 23-22 win at Gallaudet on Sept. 13... The Bearcats were not shut out in any of the 10 games last season after being held scoreless twice in 2007. St. Vincent, despite its 1-9 record, was within two scores of its opponents in four of the nine losses... The Bearcats return their top three rushers from 2008. Jarius Marlow, Zach Mihalko and Joe Yezovich accounted for 856 yards. As a team, St. Vincent finished with 750 net yards on the ground... Kevin Corona, penciled in to start under center, threw for 851 yards in his rookie season, completing 52.5 percent of his passes (73-for-139) with six touchdowns.