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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 14th meeting between McDaniel (1-7, 1-6 CC) and Susquehanna (1-7, 1-6 CC) in a series that dates back to 1961. The Crusaders lead the all-time series 7-6 after a back-to-back wins, including a 42-38 win last year in Westminster. The Green Terror won the inaugural CC showdown 35-0 in 2010.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Susquehanna scored the final 12 points to win an offensive showdown, defeating McDaniel 42-38 last season. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the Green Terror with a season-high 266 yards rushing and a career-best four touchdowns. Ryan Yamada (Brookeville, Md./Good Counsel) was 14-for-23 for 163 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start. McDaniel rolled up a season-best 449 yards on total offense. Mike Ritter paced the Crusaders 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.
LAST TIME OUT: After going down 7-0, Juniata scored 42 straight point to open up a 42-7 lead early in the fourth quarter en route to a 42-21 victory over McDaniel last Saturday. Mike Oliveto (Robesonia, Pa./Conrad Weiser) recorded six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown to lead the Green Terror in the passing game while Neil DeLuca (Freeland, Md./Hereford) led the way in the run game with 42 yards on nine carries. Deonte Alston paced the Eagles with 138 yards on 21 rush attempts while Ward Udinski added 118 on 14 carries. Both had a rushing touchdown while Zach McCaulley scored four times to go with his 56 yards running.
WITH HONORS: Brandon Jones (Middle River, Md./Eastern Tech) was named to the CC Weekly Honor Roll last week. Jones earned the defensive nod after recording a career-high 12 tackles and a pass breakup. He also recovered a fumble.
LEADING THE WAY: Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area), Derrick Miles (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin), Mike Oliveto, 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.
McFALLBACK PLAN: Seth McFall (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) saw his first action of the season at quarterback in the fourth quarter on Saturday. In his two series as signal caller, he guided two touchdown drives, going 5-for-7 for 90 yards and a touchdown pass.
CATCHING HASTINGSLY: Britton Hastings (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) made his first collegiate catch in the fourth quarter on Saturday. On the first play of the Green Terror's final drive, Seth McFall dropped back from his own 27 and unloaded a 49-yard bomb to Hastings that the freshman hauled in to set up a first down at the Juniata 24.
YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST: Six plays after the Seth McFall-to-Britton Hastings connection, senior Neil DeLuca capped his career-high 42-yard rushing day with a three-yard run for his first career touchdown. DeLuca finished as the team's top rusher, gaining 42 yards on nine carries.
NOT ON HIS ROLL: Saturday marked the first time Joe Rollins did not lead the team in rushing anytime in his career when he had more than four rush attempts. Rollins finished last Saturday with 41 yards on 10 carries that included a 28-yard scamper on the first play from scrimmage. Neil DeLuca was the leading rusher with 42 yards. Since Rollins took over as the primary tailback late in his freshman year, the only two games in which he did not finish as the leading rusher prior to Saturday was the first two games last year when he played a combined five offensive plays.
THREE-HEADED MONSTER: A trio of McDaniel defenders reached double figures in tackles last Saturday. Brandon Jones led the way with a career-best 12 tackles. Making his first start at middle linebacker, the sophomore made 10 more tackles than he had made in any previous game. His previous career high was two in his collegiate debut at Catholic last season. He also had a pass breakup and fumble recovery. Taylor Rush (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional) added 11 tackles while Luke Fernandez (Manchester, Md./Manchester Valley) made a career-high 10 stops, more than doubling his previous career high. Fernandez also had two pass breakups.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Sean Montgomery (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) racked up 96 yards on five kickoff returns. Added to his 35 receiving yards and three rush yards, he finished with a career-best 134 all-purpose yards.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Green Terror enters this week's game with a roster of 94 players. Of those 94 players, 63 are either freshmen or sophomores. McDaniel will have a freshman class of 42 in 2013 – by far its largest class on the roster.
TERROR TIDBITS: Ryan Yamada threw a career-high four interceptions on Saturday. It was the most picks by a Green Terror quarterback since Tom Massucci threw four against Moravian on Sept. 11, 2010… Joe Rollins enters this week's game with 5,856 all-purpose yards, which is fourth in CC history. His 4,431 rushing yards is fifth in CC history. He needs 63 to reach Andrew Kase (Johns Hopkins, 2006-09)…McDaniel has been flagged for a CC-high 53 penalties this season and drawn a CC-high 55… The same 22 Green Terror players have not been the starters in any two games this season.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 1-17, picking up his first win on Sept. 14 – a 21-14 victory over Moravian. 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… Steve Briggs is in his 24th season at the helm of the Crusaders. He enters today's game with a 125-116 record. He guided Susquehanna to a Liberty League championship in the team's final season with the conference in 2009. In his 23 seasons in charge, he has compiled 15 non-losing seasons.
THE WORD ON SUSQUEHANNA: The Crusaders enter today's game off a 41-36 loss at Franklin & Marshall on Saturday. Mark Rosenbaum threw for 318 yards on 22 of 33 passing with a pair of touchdowns. Denzell Walker caught 11 of the passes, including two touchdowns, for 201 yards … Spencer Hotaling was named CC Special Teams Player of the Week after going 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts last Saturday as well as going 3-for-3 in extra-point attempts. Among his three field goals was a career-long 43-yarder.