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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 89th meeting between McDaniel (5-4, 4-4 CC) and Johns Hopkins (6-3, 6-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 48-35-5, including wins in the last nine meetings. Today's game marks the 83rd consecutive season when the two long-time rivals have been scheduled to be the final game on each other's schedules.
WHEN LAST WE MET: McDaniel wrapped up the 2009 season with a 38-14 loss to Johns Hopkins. The Blue Jays racked up 425 yards of total offense and held the ball for more than 35 minutes to notch their ninth straight victory over the Green Terror and wrap up their fifth CC championship. Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) finished with 162 yards, completing just eight of his 26 pass attempts to finish a 5-5 sophomore campaign with 2,000 yards passing, becoming the third different signal caller in program history to throw for 2,000 yards in a season, joining all-time greats Brian Van Deusen and Ron Sermarini.
LAST TIME OUT: Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) made his only catch of the game count most, catching a 10-yard touchdown from Tom Massucci to cap a Homecoming thriller and lift McDaniel to a 36-30 three-overtime victory over Gettysburg last Saturday. It was freshman Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) who did the lion's share of the work for the Green Terror, capping his 34-carry, 294-yard rushing day with a 15-yard carry in the third overtime to set up the Massucci-to-Butler score two plays later.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Joe Rollins was named CC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for a career-high 294 yards. A key part of the Green Terror's 36-30 triple-overtime victory over Gettysburg on Saturday. He recorded McDaniel's first 200-yard rushing game since 2005, carrying the ball 34 times for the highest single-game total since Joe Brockmeyer ran for a program-record 311 in 1970. Rollins added 31 yards receiving for 325 all-purpose yards. He also ran for a touchdown, sprinting 65 yards on the first play of the second half.
WITH HONORS: Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) earned a spot on the CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Cox was tabbed to the defensive ledger after Cox after matching his career high with 10 tackles, helping hold the vaunted Gettysburg offense to just 150 yards of total offense after halftime. He added a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss and had a forced fumble.
LEADING THE WAY: Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.), Chris Kolb (Keymar, Md./Francis Scott Key) and Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) will captain the squad in 2010. The three captains are the fewest named by the Green Terror since 2007 when it was just Brad Baer and Ryan Mellinger guiding the team. Cahill and Slaughter become the first three-time captains in the history of the program. Kolb will join his senior teammates as a first-time captain.
CATCHING ON: Entering the game tied with Teron Powell (1998-2001) for the career receptions record with 145, Matt Cahill caught a pass on the McDaniel's first offensive play to break the deadlock. Cahill finished the day with six catches and now has 151 for his career. With his 68 yards, he now has 1,947 receiving yards for his career, which ranks third all-time. He needs 53 yards to join Powell and Andy Steckel as the only Green Terror receivers with 2,000 yards in their careers.
JUST ROLLINS ALONG: A week after turning in McDaniel's second 100-yard rushing day of the season, Joe Rollins took it to a new level on Saturday. The freshman running back turned in a 34-carry, 294-yard performance for the second-best day rushing in program history. The outing has been bettered by only Joe Brockmeyer's program-record 311 yards against Johns Hopkins on Nov. 21, 1970. It was also the second-best rushing day for a freshman in CC history and the most yards by any conference back since Swarthmore's Ken Smith ran for 317 against Franklin & Marshall in 2000. Rollins' 294 yards was the sixth-best single-game performance in Division III this year – and best by a freshman, eclipsing Anna Maria's Robert Small by 26 yards. Small had a 24-carry, 268-yard outing against Castleton on Oct. 16.
THE BUTLER DID IT: It seems lately that all Woody Butler does is catch touchdown passes. After missing the first four games of the season with injury, Butler has caught six passes in the five games since the bye week. Of those six receptions, four have gone for touchdowns, including the game-winning score in triple overtime on Saturday. As a freshman, his lone reception of the year went for a score before catching three touchdowns a year ago, including two of his three catches in the opener.
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: A week after not being able to close out a game in which it held a lead at halftime, McDaniel overcame a halftime deficit for the first time all season. In fact, the Green Terror was 0-23 when trailing at halftime since rallying from a 14-3 halftime deficit against Randolph-Macon with 21 second-half points for a 24-14 victory on Oct. 21, 1996. That game was highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown pass from Brad Baer to Matt Cahill on the Green Terror's second play of the third quarter. On Saturday, McDaniel trailed 23-9 at halftime before coming back for the triple-overtime win.
SAM, I AM: Senior Sam Cox has been a key part of the Green Terror defensive line over the last two years. On Saturday, he matched his career high with 10 tackles, adding a sack and forced fumble. Cox has also been instrumental in a run defense that is allowing 110.89 yards per game – a total which ranks 45th in Division III. Cox was a cog in the defense that slowed the vaunted Gettysburg offense in the second half, allowing just 150 yards after the intermission after the Bullets racked up 314 first-half yards.
TRIPLE THREAT: For the second time since the NCAA went to the current overtime procedure in 1996, the Green Terror played in a triple-overtime game. McDaniel's 36-30 win over Gettysburg on Saturday marked the third CC game that went to triple overtime. McDaniel and Dickinson have been involved in two of them. The Red Devils defeated Johns Hopkins 13-7 in 1997 and downed the Green Terror 25-22 in 2005. Saturday marked only the fifth time that a game involving a CC team even went to double overtime. McDaniel defeated Catholic 37-36 on Sept. 17, 2005 – the last time the Green Terror won an overtime game, dropping its three attempts since that date. It was the team's first overtime game since falling to Franklin & Marshall 24-17 in 2007.
RUN, RUN RUDOLPH: As a team on Saturday, McDaniel ran for 360 yards. It was the most yards the Green Terror racked up on the ground since gashing Gettysburg for 470 on Oct. 9, 2004. Joe Rollins did most of the work for McDaniel on Saturday, rushing for 294 of the team's 360 yards. Ray O'Hara (Yardley, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) added 63 yards and quarterback Tom Massucci netted three yards on five carries, including his second career rushing touchdown.
STARTING STRONG: For the second straight game, Joe Rollins gave the Green Terror a shot in the arm to start the second half. Two weeks ago, the freshman opened the second half with a 48-yard dash to the end zone to stretch McDaniel's advantage to 21-13. Last week, the 5-foot-6 tailback took the first play of the third quarter 65 yards to paydirt, pulling the hosts within 23-16. The 65-yard run was the Green Terror's longest play of the season.
TWO POINTS!: For the second time in three weeks, Chris Kolb pulled off the rarest of feats – he returned a botched PAT for two points. He is the only player in the conference this season to do so even once. There have only been a total of 10 defensive extra points scored in all of Division III this season and no other conference has successfully executed more than one. Prior to Kolb at Ursinus on Oct. 23, the last Green Terror player to return a blocked extra point for two points was in 2001 when Scott Stolzenburg returned a blocked Susquehanna PAT for two points on Sept. 8, 2001.
THRILLING THE ALUMS: For the fourth time in the last six years, McDaniel has had its Homecoming game come down to the wire. In three of those four games, overtime was needed for a decision. The stretch started in 2005 when the Green Terror and Franklin & Marshall played to overtime. Brandon Kline hit a 25-yard field goal on the Diplomats' first OT possession before blocking Jay Leonard's 20-yard attempt for a 17-14 win. The next year, Jay Leonard hit a career-long 46-yard field goal with 2.8 seconds to play in regulation, breaking a 14-all deadlock for a 17-14 victory. In 2007, Franklin & Marshall and McDaniel once again played to overtime. The Diplomats scored on a five-yard touchdown on their sixth play of OT before forcing a Green Terror fumble inside the 10-yard line for a 24-17 win. Last week, it was triple overtime between McDaniel and Gettysburg after both kickers missed field goals in the final 5:33 of regulation.
TERROR TIDBITS: Matt Cahill has caught a pass in 23 consecutive games – one of eight CC receivers to have an active streak of at least 20 games… Chris Kolb made his eighth interception of the season in overtime on Saturday and needs one to match Carroll "Splinter" Yingling's 1967 record of nine… The Green Terror rolled up 500 yards of total offense for the first time since notching 556 at Gettysburg in 2004.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 18th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 108 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters this week with record of 108-74-3, 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… Jim Margraff is in his 21st season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 135-78-3 in his tenure with the Blue Jays. After earning a share of three consecutive conference titles, Margraff led Johns Hopkins to its first outright claim to the title and NCAA tournament bid in 2005 and once again took the outright crown last season and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Blue Jays have also claimed three ECAC titles in his tenure.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays enter today's game off a 24-9 victory at Franklin & Marshall and has a chance to claim a share of its sixth CC title… Hewitt Tomlin threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Sam Wernick on Johns Hopkins' first possession of the second half to propel the Blue Jays to a 17-0 second half, overcoming a 9-7 halftime deficit at Franklin & Marshall for a win in their 1,000th game… Tomlin finished the day 20-for-29 passing for 313 yards… Tucker Michels caught nine of those passes for 125 yards while Wernick had four receptions for 124 yards… Tomlin leads the CC in passing yards, averaging 280.7 yards per game. His 289.1 yards per game of total offense is also tops in the league… Wernick is averaging a conference-best 114.1 yards per game receiving. He is the only CC receiver with more than 1,000 yards. His 164.8 all-purpose yards per game and 14 touchdowns are also best in the conference… Alex Lachman is the best kicker in the CC with 66 points. He is 36 of 40 on extra-point attempts and 10 of 14 on field-goal tries… With a 34-yard field goal in the third quarter on Saturday, Lachman broke a tie with Ben Scott for the CC and Johns Hopkins field goals made record with the 44th of his career… Lachman is also the career kick scoring record holder with 266 points by kicking… Ryan Piatek leads Johns Hopkins with 90 tackles – a total which ranks second in the conference. He also has 11.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks as well as three interceptions and two pass breakups… The Blue Jays are best in the conference on third downs, converting 48.6 percent of their attempts… The offensive line has allowed a CC-low eight sacks this season… The defense is tied for the conference lead in the red zone, allowing opponents to score just 63.3 percent of time (19 of 30) while the offense is second, converting at an 89.5 percent rate (34 of 38)… Johns Hopkins is 24-4 in November since 2005 and needs a win and Moravian victory over Muhlenberg to claim a share of its sixth CC crown.