WESTMINSTER, Md. – Susquehanna scored the final 12 points to win an offensive showdown, defeating McDaniel 42-38 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday.
Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the Green Terror (0-9, 0-8 CC) with a season-high 266 yards rushing and a career-best four touchdowns. For Rollins, his fifth career 200-yard rushing day put him over 1,000 yards for the second straight season. The junior now has 1,100 on the year to give him 3,124 for his career and move him into third place in program history, passing Joe Brockmeyer.
Mike Ritter paced the Crusaders (5-4, 4-4 CC) with six catches for 167 yards. Three of his six receptions went for touchdowns, including a 64-yard pass play that gave his team the eventual victory with 6:01 to play.
McDaniel took a 38-30 lead when Ryan Yamada (Brookeville, Md./Good Counsel) floated a 29-yard pass into the back corner of the end zone, where Keith Woodrow (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) adjusted and reached back over the defender to haul in his third touchdown grab of the year. The ensuing point-after attempt was blocked to keep it an eight-point game with 13:14 to play in the game.
After a three-and-out by Susquehanna, the Crusaders got the ball back three plays later on a Bill Mancini interception near midfield.
A penalty and three straight Connor McGrath runs moved the ball inside the Green Terror 5 before Taylor Kolmer hit Denzell Walker two plays later with a three-yard touchdown pass that pulled the visitors within 38-36 with 7:47 to play.
The ensuing two-point conversion failed before the Susquehanna defense did its job once again – this time with a Will Dyson interception that gave his offense the ball at its own 40.
Facing second-and-14 after a first-down sack, Kolmer found Ritter over the middle and the receiver did the rest of the work, going 64 yards for a 42-38 lead. Once again, the two-point conversion failed to keep it a four-point game.
McDaniel had one last chance, getting the ball back with 27 seconds left at its own 26. The Green Terror moved into Crusader territory with 3.7 seconds left. Mancini came up with his second big play of the quarter, however, recording a sack to end the game.
On the Green Terror's first possession, Yamada hit Aqil Tweedy (Stafford, Va./Colonial Forge) for a 43-yard gain and Rollins punched it in one-play later from two yards out to take a 7-0 lead just 3:03 into the game.
A 23-yard Kolmer-to-Ritter connection capped a five-play, 36-yard drive after a fumble to knot the game at 7-all with 50 seconds left in the period.
A 20-yard Rollins run keyed an immediate McDaniel response. Yamada hit JT Kotowski (Colonia, N.J./Colonia) from eight yards out to cap a nine-play, 68-yard march to take a 13-7 lead with 11:15 showing in the second quarter.
A roughing-the-kicker penalty in the midst of an eight-play, 80-yard drive that included 53 Rollins rushing yards stretched the lead to 19-7 with 4:40 to play until the break.
A Jared Minori interception gave the Crusaders one last chance before halftime and the visitors took advantage, moving 28 yards in four plays and 40 seconds to pull within 19-14 at intermission.
One play into the second half, Rollins broke off a 68-yard run – his second longest of the day after a 71-yarder in the first half – to stretch the lead back to 25-14 just 24 seconds into the period.
Jalon Scott, however, took the ensuing kickoff back 84 yards for a touchdown to draw Susquehanna back within 25-21.
A 37-yard Spencer Hotaling field goal closed the deficit to 25-24 with 10:50 to play in the third quarter.
Rollins converted from one yard out on the next Green Terror drive, capping a 10-play, 60-yard march to stretch the lead to 32-24 with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter.
After an exchange of punts, Kolmer hit Ritter for a 56-yard scoring strike to make it a two-point game with 38 seconds to play in the period.
Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) matched his career high with 14 tackles to lead the McDaniel defense. Derrick Miles (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin), Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun), Roger McGuinn (Warrenton, Va./Fauquier) and Joe Soellner (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) all added eight tackles apiece.
Yamada was 14-for-23 for 163 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start. Tweedy led the receiving corps with five catches for 70 yards. McDaniel outgained an opponent for the first time this season, rolling up a season-best 449 yards on total offense to Susquehanna's 397. The 286 rushing yards for the Green Terror was also a season best.
The Crusaders scored 29 of their 42 points off turnovers, cashing in on all five McDaniel miscues.
The Green Terror concludes the season at No. 13 Johns Hopkins on Saturday. Game time is 12 p.m.