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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's non-conference marks the 18h meeting between McDaniel (0-0) and Catholic (0-0) in a series that dates back to 1912. The Green Terror leads the all-time series 12-5 but the Cardinals snapped a mini two-game skid in the series with a 39-36 win in last season's opener. McDaniel won the last meeting two years ago in Washington, D.C., 24-14.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Catholic scored the final 15 points to take a 39-36 victory over McDaniel, capping the action with a 34-yard touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:01 to play in last season's opener. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) racked up 292 all-purpose yards for the Green Terror, including 159 rushing and a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Greg Cordivari threw for 459 yards on 31 of 48 passing with three touchdowns to lead the Cardinals, who watched McDaniel score the first 19 points of the second half to erase a 24-17 halftime deficit.
LAST TIME OUT: Then-No. 12 Johns Hopkins rolled up 590 yards of offense to overcome a six-turnover day and defeat McDaniel 28-24 to close out the 2011 season. Sam Cox led the Green Terror on a defense that forced a season-high six turnovers with eight tackles, including his 25th career sack. He also had two forced fumbles and a pass breakup. Hewitt Tomlin completed 35 of 47 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Blue Jays to their first undefeated regular season in program history.
WITH HONORS: McDaniel returns two of its five All-CC players from a year ago. Joe Rollins, a running back, was a unanimous first-team selection while Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area), a linebacker, was named to the second team. Sam Cox and Jake Nichols were first-team honorees while Woody Butler was tabbed to the second team.
LEADING THE WAY: Tyler Lloyd (Broad Run, Va./Fauquier), Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) will captain the squad in 2012. White is a two-time captain while Lloyd and McLister will lead the squad for the first time as seniors.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The Green Terror begins its 118th season of football this evening, entering play with a 62-49-6 record on opening day. This is the second straight season McDaniel has opened the season with Catholic, following a home-and-home series with St. Vincent and 12-year series with Bridgewater. This is the first time since 1948 that the Green Terror has opened a game in our nation's capital and the first-time ever the squad has played a game in the month of August. The 1948 opener was a 21-6 Western Maryland victory over Catholic on Oct. 9.
OPENING STATEMENTS II: Tonight is also the first game for head coach Mike Hoyt. The 24th head coach in Green Terror history, Hoyt coaches for the first time as a college head coach after spending the last eight seasons as the defensive coordinator at Albright. Hoyt also spent time as an assistant at Centennial Conference-rival Franklin & Marshall.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: For the first time since 1992, McDaniel will open the season with a night game. On the 20th anniversary of the Green Terror's 28-0 victory at Albright – Hoyt's last stop before coming to the Hill – the squad will likely renew the tradition of opening the season with a game under the lights. Tonight's game marks the second straight season that McDaniel has played a Friday night game. The Green Terror dropped a 17-16 decision at Dickinson last year. The only other known Friday night game was a Halloween night trip to FDU-Madison in 1986, which resulted in a 14-0 loss. McDaniel is 2-3 in night games.
ISN'T IT STILL SUMMER?: For the first time in the 118-year storied history of Green Terror football, a game will be played before the calendar turns to September. McDaniel had only played five games earlier than last year's Sept. 3 opener but will now open the season in August for the first time ever. The Green Terror twice traveled to Bridgewater for a Sept. 1 game and both resulted in losses (29-20 in 2001 and 45-19 in 2007).
TWICE AS GRAND: Junior RB Joe Rollins enters his junior campaign with 2,024 career yards. He is one of three Centennial Conference (CC) unning backs all-time to rack up 2,000 or more yards in his first two seasons on the gridiron. Gettysburg's Paul Smith (1996-97) and the Green Terror's Eric Frees (1988-89) were the only other two backs to eclipse the two grand mark this early in their careers. Frees (5,281) and Smith (5,205) are the conference's all-time rushing leaders and the only two in conference history to hit 5,000 yards rushing. Rollins, a preseason All-American by Beyond College Sports Network, is already 34th in CC history and fifth in McDaniel program history.
TOP MC-PICK: The Green Terror returns its top two tacklers from a year ago. Tim McLister will quarterback the defense from his safety position after leading the squad with 71 tackles and five interceptions in 2011. McLister will once again have the assistance of Mike Cousar, who had a breakout sophomore season. The outside linebacker finished second on the team with 70 tackles, including 12.0 for loss and three sacks. Kevin White and Nick Chuong (Alexandria, Va./Annaadale) rejoin McLister in the secondary while Zach Martin (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) will line up opposite Cousar at the other outside 'backer position. Steve Wetherhold (Catasauqua, Pa./Catasauqua) and Derrick Miles (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin) return to anchor the line.
TERROR TIDBITS: Nick Valori (Treasure Island, Fla./Washington Twp. [N.J.]) threw for 1,638 yards a freshman, completing nearly 55 percent of his passes with 12 TDs… No matter who takes the first punt tonight, it will be his first collegiate boot… Mike Hoyt isn't the only new face on the Green Terror sideline this season. Hoyt retained the majority of the staff but added local product Greg Tellish to coach the tight ends and Earl Hoffman to lead the safeties. Hoyt succeeds 19-year head coach Tim Keating, who finished his career with a record of 110-83-3 and seven CC championship… McDaniel returns 15 starters from 2011.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt enters his first season at the helm of the Green Terror. He spent the last eight seasons as the defensive coordinator, culminating with being a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2011. In his first season at Albright, his defense went from allowing an average of 235.4 yards per game to 175.1 yards per contest, helping to guide Albright to an ECAC South Atlantic championship. His tenure as defensive coordinator was marked specifically by stout run defense, ranking in the top half of the Middle Atlantic Conference in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense in four of his last five seasons. His 2008 defense led the conference and ranked 33rd nationally, allowing just 16.9 points per games and appeared in the ECAC South Central Bowl… Dave Dunn is in his seventh season leading Catholic. In his debut campaign, he guided the Cardinals to a 3-7 record. In 2007, Dunn guided Catholic to its first .500 season since 2000 before putting up a 9-2 record in 2008. With a 27-34 record at Catholic, he has a 27-42 career record after serving as the first coach at Becker College in 2005, going 0-8 with the first-year program prior to his arrival in the nation's capital. He has more than 20 years of coaching experience, including time as an assistant at his alma mater University of San Diego, Indiana State, Harvard and Florida Atlantic.
THE WORD ON CATHOLIC: The Cardinals enter the 2012 season off a 5-5 campaign in 2011… Catholic won all four of its non-conference games, including three straight to open the season. The Cardinals dropped their final two ODAC games of the season by a combined 10 points… Senior Greg Cordivari returns to lead the offense after earning third-team All-ODAC last season. He was also a preseason All-American by BSN a year after completing 321 of his 505 (63.6 percent) passes for 3,282 yards and 25 touchdowns… Mike Pitsenberger joins him in the backfield after a team-best 654 yards as a sophomore... Andrew Ouellette was Cordivari's favorite target with 54 catches for 661 yards and five scores… Pitsenberger also caught 47 balls out of the backfield for 235 yards… Conor Stueckler is back to lead the defense from his linebacker position after pacing Catholic with 95 stops in 2011.