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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 90th meeting between McDaniel (2-7, 2-6 CC) and Johns Hopkins (9-0, 8-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 49-35-5, including wins in the last 10 meetings. The Green Terror's last win in the series came by a 41-7 margin in 2001. Today's game marks the 64th 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 completed a 5-5 season in 2010 with a 34-10 loss at Johns Hopkins. Hewitt Tomlin completed 23 of 37 passes for 340 yards – his eighth career 300-yard passing game – to lead the Blue Jays to a share of the CC crown. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the Green Terror on offense with 63 yards rushing. Matt Cahill finished his career with a 5-catch, 54-yard afternoon to become the third player in program history with 2,000 yards receiving. Cahill completed his career with a program-record 156 receptions and 2,004 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: Susquehanna scored the final 16 points of the game to defeat McDaniel 29-14 last Saturday. Nick Valori (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.) completed 20 of 31 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Terror, who got six catches from Mike Oliveto (Robesonia, Pa./Conrad Weiser) and five from Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown). Oliveto's six catches were worth 80 yards while Butler's had 74 yards receiving. Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) caught four balls for 33 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown.
WITH HONORS: Nick Valori and Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Valori was named to the offensive list after throwing for 220 yards, completing a career-high 20 passes in his 30 attempts. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another. McLister earned the defensive nod after recording eight tackles, including one for loss.
LEADING THE WAY: Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson), Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, Md./Seneca), Diego Weiner (Miami, Fla./Riverside Military Academy [Ga.]) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) captain the squad in 2011. The quartet is all first-time captains for the Green Terror. Weiner and White earned the nod as juniors. It marks the first time since 2008 that McDaniel will be led by a completely new group of captains.
THANK YOU, SENIORS: Today marks the final game for up to 14 McDaniel seniors. Among the group is six of the team's starters on offense, defense and special teams. All six have been multiple-year starters for the Green Terror, which has amassed 14 wins over the last four years.
ROLLED UP: Joe Rollins was bottled up for a season-low 56 yards rushing in Saturday's loss at Susquehanna. The sophomore tailback carried the ball 21 times but was stopped in the backfield seven times for a loss of 11 yards – just the second time this season he had 10 or more yards lost on rushes in a game. He still has 1,265 yards rushing this season, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Eric Frees' junior (1,545 yards) and senior (1,594) seasons and Rob Johnson's senior (1,560) season are the only three better single-season performances in program history. Rollins is already eighth on the career list with 1,888 yards. He needs five yards to pass Jamie "Boo" Harris (1998-2001) for eighth and 38 yards to make it to sixth and pass Broderick Maybank (2002-05). With 112 yards, he will become the sixth player in program history to reach 2,000 yards rushing. in a career.
O-ME, OH MY: Joe Rollins isn't the only player climbing up the charts in the record book this season. Sophomore WR Nick O'Melia is making a charge at the single-season receiving mark. O'Melia enters today's game with 636 receiving yards on just 32 receptions. He currently ranks 13th on the single-season list but needs just 197 yards to break Butch Schaffer's 1994 record of 833 receiving yards. He needs 68 yards today to break into the top 10. His eight touchdown receptions is already tied for fifth.
SPREAD THE LOVE: Nick Valori recorded his fifth 200-yard passing day of the season on Saturday, throwing for 220 yards. The rookie signal completed a career-high 20 passes in 31 attempts. Those 20 passes went to six different receivers and three Green Terror players caught no fewer than four passes – the first time that happened in 364 days, a 36-30 triple-overtime win over Gettysburg. Mike Oliveto caught a team-high six passes for 80 yards while Woody Butler had five catches for 74 yards. Nick O'Melia snagged four balls for 33 yards, including a 28-yard second-quarter touchdown reception. Only O'Melia has had more catches in a single game this season for McDaniel, catching eight passes for 203 yards against Gettysburg. Butler also had a six-catch outing this year (130 yards at Muhlenberg).
SLOW START: For the first time this season, McDaniel and its opponent combined for a scoreless first quarter. In fact, it was the first time since the 2010 opener that the scoreboard read 0-0 after 15 minutes of play. In that game, the Green Terror defeated Juniata 3-0 on a Bill Castor (Morrisville, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) 27-yard field goal with 10:54 left in the second quarter. On Saturday, neither team was able to dent the scoreboard until the Crusaders found the end zone with 9:18 on the second-quarter clock. In the 36 quarters of action this season, McDaniel and its opponents have played a scoreless quarter just four times.
ONE-TRICK PONY: The conference's top-10 list of total offense leaders, which takes into accounting rushing and passing yards, has nine quarterbacks. There is one player on the list who has not attempted a pass attempt – McDaniel sophomore RB Joe Rollins. Rollins enters this weekend ranked eighth in total offense, averaging 140.6 yards per game. His 1,265 rushing yards is enough to earn him a spot on the list despite the zero passing yards. Green Terror QB Nick Valori is sixth in total offense with 38 rushing yards and 1,531 passing yards to average 174.3 yards of total offense per game.
BREAKING IT DOWN: Defensive lineman Bill Gerdes (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) and linebacker Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) have been stout against the run this season, leading the way with 42 and 41 tackles on running plays, respectively. For Gerdes, 80.8 percent of his stops have come on running plays while Cousar has made 65.1 percent of his tackles against the rush. Tim McLister has split his 65 tackles nearly evenly on run and pass plays. He has 33 tackles on running plays and a team-best 31 tackles on passing plays. His 65th stop came on a punt. On special teams, Jesse Jarvis (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) has made the most tackles on kickoff coverage (8). Kicker Jake Nichols is one of four players tied for second on the kickoff coverage team with four stops.
TERROR TIDBITS: Despite being held to a season-low 56 yards rushing on Saturday, Joe Rollins still leads the conference in rushing (140.6 yards per game) and all-purpose yards (178.2)… Three different Green Terror receivers caught no fewer than four passes on Saturday… McDaniel has allowed 29 or more points in six of its seven losses this season.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 19th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 110 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 110-82-3, 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 22nd season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 146-78-3 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 in 2009 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. In 2010, the squad once again shared the CC title. The Blue Jays have also claimed four ECAC titles in his tenure.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays enter today's game off a 28-23 victory over Franklin & Marshall last week to extend their current winning streak to 14 games… Johns Hopkins has already claimed the outright CC title this year – its seventh crown – but is in search of its first undefeated regular season in program history and the seventh undefeated regular season in conference history… After the Diplomats took a 17-14 lead with 2:19 to play in the third quarter on a drive that consumed more than nine minutes, the Blue Jays needed just 2:14 to respond with an eight-play drive that gave the hosts the lead for good. Scott Barletta polished off the 65-yard march with a two-yard run. The drive included Hewitt Tomlin completions of 28 yards to Dan Wodicka and 30 yards to Scott Cremens… Tomlin finished the day 18-for-26 for 219 yards. Wodicka caught five passes for 105 yards… Tomlin leads the league with 282.1 passing yards per game, throwing for 1,975 yards in his seven games this season. He has a CC-high 21 touchdown tosses… Wodicka is one of two CC receivers averaging more than 100 yards per game receiving. He is second in the league at 111.4 yards per game. He has 62 total receptions for 1,003 yards… Taylor Maclow leads the defense with 68 tackles and four pass breakups… Kale Sweeney has 51 tackles, including a team-high 8.5 for loss. He and Maclow share the team lead with 4.5 sacks each… Sam Eagleson has three interceptions… The Blue Jays lead the conference in a multitude of offensive categories, including scoring offense (44.2 ppg), passing offense (301.0 ypg), total offense (490.3 ypg), pass efficiency (153.9), first downs (231) and third-down conversion (52.0 percent). The defense is also tops in the CC in scoring (10.8 ppg), passing (130.9 ypg), rushing (91.9 ypg), total yards (222.8 ypg), pass efficiency (90.2), opponent first downs (117), third-down conversion (22.7 percent) and sacks (29)… With the victory last week, head coach Jim Margraff became the first CC mentor to reach 100 conference wins.