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OPENING KICKOFF: Tonight's non-conference marks the 20th 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 12-7 but the Cardinals have won the last three meetings, including 45-28 the last time the two teams met in Washington, D.C. McDaniel's last win came four years ago in Washington, D.C., 24-14.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Catholic jumped out to a 27-0 lead en route to a 48-16 win over McDaniel in last year's opener. Derrick Miles led the Green Terror on defense with a career-best 12 tackles while Erik Klugh chipped in 11 tackles – all solo stops. Mike Cousar added 11 tackles, including a sack, and also caught an 18-yard pass off a fake punt in the fourth quarter. Joe Rollins led the offense with 118 yards on 22 carries. He also had both touchdowns. Ryan Yamada (Brookeville, Md./Good Counsel) went 17-for-41 for 218 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: Johns Hopkins, ranked 12th by d3football.com at the time, jumped out to a 28-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 52-21 victory over McDaniel to close the 2013 regular season. Seth McFall (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) went 21-for-35 for 287 yards and three touchdown passes to lead the Green Terror, including 11 of those completions to Mike Oliveto (Robesonia, Pa./Conrad Weiser). In the most receptions by a McDaniel player since 2009, Oliveto amassed a career-high 155 yards. Braden Anderson led a balanced attack for the Blue Jays with 142 yards passing on 17 of 25. Daniel Wodicka had six receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.
WITH HONORS: The Green Terror had a pair of all-conference performers last season. Joe Rollins was named to the first team at running back and was also tabbed Offensive Player of the Year. Mike Cousar was tabbed honorable mention at linebacker. McDaniel will have to replace both All-Centennial Conference (CC) performers in 2014.
LEADING THE WAY: Brandon Jones (Middle River, Md./Eastern Tech) and Mike Oliveto will captain the squad in 2014. The two captains mark the fewest under Mike Hoyt and is the first time in program history since 2007 that just two players will serve in the role. This is the second straight year that Oliveto will serve as a captain.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The Green Terror begins its 120th season of football this evening, entering play with a 62-51-6 record on opening day. This is the fourth straight season McDaniel has opened the season with Catholic, following a single game with Juniata, a home-and-home series with St. Vincent and 12-year series with Bridgewater.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Tonight marks the third straight season that the Green Terror and Cardinals will kick off under the lights. Catholic has come out on top of both night games in the series, winning 45-28 two years ago in the nation's capital and 48-16 last season in Westminster. This is the third time in the last four seasons that McDaniel has played a Friday night game and fourth straight year with a single night game on the slate. The Green Terror is 2-5 in night games all-time.
NOWHERE TO ROLL: McDaniel enters the 2014 season without arguably its top offensive threat the last three seasons. The Green Terror will need to find a replacement – or replacements – for running back Joe Rollins, who racked up 4,641 rushing yards over his career. His career total ranked second in program history. Rollins rushed for 1,374 yards a year go and earned CC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Sophomore Corey Downey (Richmond, Va./Benedictine) is the only true running back on the roster with collegiate carries, rushing eight times for 23 yards as a freshman. Fullback Matt Miller (Rockville, Md./Winston Churchill) also has four carries out of the backfield.
CATCHING ON: The most experience on the 2014 Green Terror roster comes at the wide receiver position. McDaniel lost only one of its top seven threats in the receiving game from a year ago. Mike Oliveto and Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) both return to anchor the corps after amassing more than 500 receiving yards in 2013. Oliveto led the way with 47 catches and 559 yards while O'Melia had a team-best seven touchdown grabs among his 38 receptions, amassing 540 yards. Sean Montgomery (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) and Keith Woodrow (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) also return to the wideout position after double-digit catches last year. Aqil Tweedy (Fredericksburg, Va./Colonial Forge) also had 16 receptions a season ago but will spend most of his 2014 season at defensive back.
AIRING IT OUT: The question entering camp was which signal caller would be the one getting the ball to that experienced receiving corps. Seth McFall and Ryan Yamada both saw action under center last year. McFall went 46-for-71 for 606 yards and seven touchdowns with just two interceptions over the last three games of the season. Yamada threw for 1,295 yards, completing 128 of 258 passes with five touchdowns. Yamada threw 16 picks, however. Sophomore Matty Callahan (Germantown, Md./Northwest) also came into preseason with a year of collegiate experience, running the show in the Green Terror JV games as a freshman. In all, McDaniel has nine quarterbacks on its opening day roster.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Green Terror opens the season with 107 players on its roster. Of that 107, 78 are either freshmen or sophomores (72.8 percent), including 47 first-year players. McDaniel has just 11 players listed as seniors on the roster, seven of which have an additional year of eligibility if they choose to use it.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror has three new faces on the sidelines. James Rooths joins the staff to on the defensive side of the ball and will coach the cornerbacks. On the offensive side, Ty Reid and Luke Wright joins the staff. Reid will take control of the quarterbacks, leaving Aaron Bartolain to focus solely on his offensive coordinator duties, while Wright, a local product, will coach the running backs… The Green Terror will look to improve on its league-worst 41.2-points-per-game allowed last year… The Green Terror returns 12 starters from 2013.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt enters his third season at the helm of the Green Terror with an overall record of 2-18, picking up his first win on Sept. 14, 2013 – 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… Dave Dunn is in his ninth 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 36-45 record at Catholic, he has a 36-53 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 2014 season off a 6-4 campaign in 2013… Catholic will have to replace a number of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. In addition to the loss of quarterback EJ Montgomery, who threw for 1,226 yards last year, the Cardinals will also have to replace Mike Pitsenberger (1,055 rushing years) out of the backfield and its top five receivers from 2013... Tim Murphy is the leading receiver back after a 10-catch, 115-yard season… TJ Tutone threw for 851 yards, completing 58.7-percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns… On defense, Catholic graduated six of its top eight tackles from a season ago. Only RJ Allison and his 61 total tackles and Vinny Canigilia with his 41 stops return among the players to record 40 or more tackles in 2013. The group also accounted for 16.0 sacks… The offense averaged 29.5 points per game last year while the defense allowed just 18.2 points per game.