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OPENING KICKOFF: Tonight's non-conference marks the 19th 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 12-6 but the Cardinals have won the last two meetings, including 39-36 the last time the two teams met in Westminster. McDaniel's last win came three years ago in Washington, D.C., 24-14.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Catholic scored 21 straight points to turn a 17-16 game into a 38-16 lead early in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-28 win over McDaniel last week. Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) scored the first three touchdowns of the season for the Green Terror, racking up 154 yards receiving on six catches. Nick Valori (Sewell, N.J./Washington Twp.) threw for 231 yards, completing 14 of 32 passes. Greg Cordivari led the Cardinals with 312 yards passing and four touchdowns. He completed 21 of 33 attempts. Alonzo Cooke grabbed seven of those receptions for 156 yards and two scores.
LAST TIME OUT: Johns Hopkins raced out to a 28-0 halftime advantage en route to a 49-7 Centennial Conference (CC) victory over McDaniel to close the 2012 regular season. Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) led the Green Terror on defense with a career-high 16 tackles – the most by a McDaniel player since Zach Martin's 19 in 2010. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the offense with 143 yards rushing. Rollins finished with 251 all-purpose yards, adding 95 kick-return yards, seven receiving yards and six punt-return yards. Jonathan Rigaud led the then-21st-ranked Blue Jays to their second straight outright CC crown with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns as part of a balanced offensive attack that piled up 524 yards of total offense.
WITH HONORS: McDaniel returns three of its four All-CC players from a year ago. Joe Rollins, a running back, earned his second straight first-team selection while Mike Cousar, a linebacker, was named to the second team for the second year in a row. Brett Haas (Laurel, Md./Atholton), a punter, was tabbed as an honorable mention and was the lone freshman named to the all-conference team. Tyler Lloyd, an offensive lineman, was an honorable mention nod.
LEADING THE WAY: Mike Cousar, Derrick Miles (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin), Mike Oliveto (Robesonia, Pa./Conrad Weiser), Joe Rollins and Pat Tighe (Point Pleasant Beach, N.J./Point Pleasant Beach) will captain the squad in 2013. All five are first-time captains and mark the most since 2009.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The Green Terror begins its 119th season of football this evening, entering play with a 62-50-6 record on opening day. This is the third straight season McDaniel has opened the season with Catholic, following a home-and-home series with St. Vincent and 12-year series with Bridgewater.
LET THERE BE LIGHT: After a 19-year hiatus from opening the season with a night game, the Green Terror and Cardinals will kickoff at night for the second straight year. Last year, Catholic prevailed 45-28 on a Friday night in the nation's capital. This year, it will be the first official game under the Yingling lights at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium. Football will be the final team that plays on the field to christen the lights in an official sense. The Green Terror hosted Juniata on Oct. 29, 2011 in Snowcoming with a noon kickoff but because of the snow, the game was played with the lights on during the afternoon. Field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse have all played night games on the field while track and field has hosted twilight meets at the facility. McDaniel is 2-4 in night games.
ROLLINS ALONG: Senior Joe Rollins enters his final year with 3,267 rushing yards in his career, which ranks third all-time in program history. He is one of just five running backs in the 30-year history of the CC to eclipse the 3,000-yard plateau in his first three seasons. Rollins needs just 139 yards to pass Rob Johnson for second place. Rollins would need a single-season program-record 2,014 yards to match Eric Frees' record of 5,281 yards from 1988 to 1991.
WANNA BE LIKE MIKE: Senior Mike Cousar led the defense in 2012 with 98 tackles from his outside linebacker position. He recorded 10 double-digit tackle games a year ago, including a career-high 16 in the finale at Johns Hopkins. Erik Klugh (71) and Derrick Miles (53) also return from among the group of five Green Terror defenders with 50 or more tackles last season.
AIRING IT OUT: The starting quarterback was the big question coming into camp. It appears Ryan Yamada (Brookeville, Md./Good Counsel) has won the job, getting the start tonight. However no matter who is under center, he will have two strong weapons back in the receiving corps. Mike Oliveto missed all of 2012 with injury and Nick O'Melia was sidelined for most of the season. In 2011, the duo combined for 48 catches and 886 yards. O' Melia opened 2012 with a 6-catch, 154-yard game at Catholic, where he caught three touchdowns.
WHAT A BOOT: The Green Terror returns punter Brett Haas after a standout rookie campaign. The only freshman to earn All-Centennial Conference honors, Haas averaged 35.4 yards per punt – the best average of any freshman punter in program history. He established a career long, unfurling a 56-yard punt in the opener at Catholic on Aug. 31. He total 1,733 yards on his 49 boots, 12 of which landed inside the 20. He also forced seven fair catches and had just four touchbacks.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Green Terror will enter the regular season with a roster of 96 players. Of those 99 players, 64 are either freshmen or sophomores. McDaniel will have a freshman class of 41 in 2013 – by far its largest class on the roster.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror has two new faces on the sidelines. Dan Beard joins the staff to coach the linebackers while one of Mike Hoyt's former players at Albright, Keith Bruno, will take the reins of the safeties. The addition of Bruno to staff shifts Earl Hoffman to the other part of the secondary as the cornerbacks coach… McDaniel returns 13 starters from 2012.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt enters his second season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 0-10. He spent the previous 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 eighth 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 30-41 record at Catholic, he has a 30-49 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 2013 season off a 3-7 campaign in 2012… Catholic lacked consistency on offense a season ago, scoring 34 or more points in all three of its wins but tallied more than 15 just once in its seven losses… The Cardinals return their top running threat from last year in Mike Pitsenberger, who rushed for 587 yards on 139 attempts. He found the end zone 10 times… Catholic does, however, enter the season with a new starting quarterback after the graduation of Greg Cordivari, who went 197-for-339 for 1,878 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. His top target Alonzo Cooke will also need to be replaced. Cooke caught 48 passes for 626 yards and six scores.