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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 65th meeting between McDaniel (0-4, 0-3 CC) and Gettysburg (4-0, 3-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1891. The Bullets lead the all-time series 46-18-1, including a 44-37 win last season that snapped a two-game winning streak by the Green Terror.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Gettysburg rolled up 676 yards of total offense as part of a game that featured 1,140 yards and 81 points, defeating McDaniel 44-37 last season. Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) caught eight passes for the Green Terror, accounting for 203 of Nick Valori's (Treasure Island, Fla./Washington Twp. [N.J.]) 329 passing yards. For O'Melia, he was the first receiver to reach 200 yards receiving since 1993 while Valori had the first 300-yard passing game since 2002. O'Melia also caught all three of Valori's touchdown tosses. Aden Twer had a 200-yard receiving day of his own for the Bullets, catching seven passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Ted Delia and Kyle Whitmoyer both had 100 yards on the ground. Delia went for 109 while Whitmoyer had 100.
LAST TIME OUT: Ursinus scored the first 10 and last 14 points of the game to bookend a 40-21 CC victory over McDaniel last Saturday. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) amassed a career-best 362 all-purpose yards to lead the Green Terror, running for 223 yards on 15 carries and recording another 139 on four kickoff returns. It was his third career 200-yard rushing game. Chris Curran threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bears, who outgained McDaniel 435-415 on the day but held a 303-132 advantage at halftime.
WITH HONORS: Joe Rollins and Erik Klugh (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Rollins earned the nod on offense and special teams while Klugh was named to the defensive ledger. Rollins led the offense with 223 yards rushing, averaging 14.9 yards on his 15 carries. He also broke off two runs of 60-plus yards. In the return game, he broke three long runs to help him finish with 139 yards on four attempts. Klugh led the defense with nine tackles.
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.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: After just two games and six returns back as the returner, Joe Rollins is leading the CC in kickoff return average at 32.8 yards per return, which also ranks 15th in Division III. After returns of 23 and 35 against Muhlenberg, Rollins started his day against Ursinus with a 14-yard return. From there, he broke off returns of 48, 45 and 32 yards to give him 139 on the day. Donny Sherman (White Hall, Md./Havre de Grace) is also fifth in the CC and 80th in Division III, averaging 23.2 yards on his six returns. As a team, McDaniel ranks fifth in the league with a 21.3 yard-per-return average.
ROLLING AGAIN: In addition to his 139 return yards, Joe Rollins notched his third career 200-yard rushing day and reached double-digit games with 100 or more yards rushing. The junior finished with 223 yards on just 15 carries, averaging 14.9 yards per touch. All told, Rollins finished with a career-best 362 all-purpose yards. His 2,348 career yards ranks 27th in conference history. In 2012, he leads the CC at 108.0 rushing yards per game and 173.3 all-purpose yards per game.
TWICE AS GRAND: With his 118 passing yards on Saturday, Nick Valori became the 10th Green Terror signal caller. The sophomore has 2,044 yards and is completing just shy of 55 percent of the passes in his career. His 146.0 yards per game over his career currently ranks fourth-best all-time.
LAUNDRY DAY: Despite being flagged eight times for 61 yards on Saturday, McDaniel has the fewest penalty yardage in the CC, averaging 42.5 yards in penalties through the first four games. The 22 penalties on the season is second fewest in the league. The Green Terror entered play last Saturday havin been whistled just 14 times in the first three games.
STEELE CAGE: Junior FB Patrick Steele (Lutherville, Md./Boys Latin School of Maryland) entered last Saturday's game with 24 career rush attempts – 11 of which came through the first three weeks of 2012. On his second touch last week, Steele reached the end zone for the first time with a one-yard run that capped a 4-play, 80-yard drive with 7:06 to play in the third quarter.
SECOND-HALF STRONG: On Saturday, Ursinus finished the game with a slight 435-415 advantage in total offense. However, the margin was 303-132 in the first half. That continued a trend for the season. The Green Terror has been outgained in all four games this season but have held the yardage advantage in the second half in three of the four games, including a 238-132 edge last week. McDaniel has also been outscored 82-30 in the first half of games this season.
BACK IT UP: Two of the Green Terror's starting linebackers are in the conference's top 10 in tackles. Outside linebacker Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) ranks third in the league with 40 stops while middle linebacker Erik Klugh is tied eighth with 34 tackles. Zach Martin (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) is fourth on the team with 21 tackles, having played in only three games. The trio has also combined for 3.5 sacks and five pass breakups.
TERROR TIDBITS: Joe Rollins' runs of 63 and 65 yards in the third quarter on Saturday were McDaniel's longest plays of the season… The Green Terror is trying to avoid its first 0-5 start since 1986, when the squad went winless in Dale Sprague's first season at the helm… McDaniel has been outscored 45-10 in the first quarter of games this season… The Green Terror's three rushing touchdowns have been by three different players. None are by Joe Rollins… McDaniel has just two sacks this season after recording 81 over the last three years.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his first season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 0-4. 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… Barry Streeter, the dean of CC coaches, is in his 34th season guiding the Bullets. His 171-162-5 record not only ranks best amongst those to guide Gettysburg but is also the most wins of anyone to coach in the conference. He has three CC titles to his credit and one appearance in the NCAA semifinals (1985).
THE WORD ON GETTYSBURG: The Bullets enter play today off a 35-24 win at Susquehanna last Saturday. Gettysburg recorded 28 points in the fourth quarter to rally from a 10-point halftime deficit… The 4-0 start is the best for the Bullets since starting the 1987 season with a 6-0 mark and is 3-0 in CC play for the first time since 1995 when Gettysburg won its first five CC games… Kody Smith threw for 201 yards on 17 of 30 passing and ran for another 68 on 12 carries… For the season, Smith has thrown for 698 yards and seven touchdowns through the first four games, completing 58.6 percent of his passes… The Bullets are outrushing their opponents 1,354-219 through the first four games of the season. The 338.5 yards per game ranks fourth in Division III. Ted Delia has 359 yards rushing while Smith has 289 to lead the running attack… Three Gettysburg receivers have more than 100 yards receiving. Aden Twer leads the corps with 12 catches for 157 yards while Kyle Davis has seven snags for 149 yards. Freddy Caruso has 105 yards receiving on five grabs… The Bullets have the league's top scoring offense (45.2 ppg) and scoring defense (9.5 ppg)… Gettysburg also has the CC's best rush defense, allowing just 54.8 yards per game on the ground.