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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 93rd meeting between McDaniel (1-8, 0-8 CC) and Johns Hopkins (9-0, 8-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 52-35-5, including wins in the last 13 meetings. The Green Terror's last win in the series came by a 41-7 margin in 2000. Today's game marks the 67th consecutive season when the two long-time rivals have been scheduled to be the final game on each other's schedules.
WHEN LAST WE MET: 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Susquehanna scored the final 14 points of the game to top McDaniel 24-16 on Saturday. Brandon Jones (Middle River, Md./Eastern Tech) led the Green Terror on defense with 12 tackles and forced a pair of fumbles. He also had one pass breakup. On offense, Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) led the way with nine catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. Matty Callahan (Germantown, Md./Northwest) recorded his fifth 200-yard passing game, completing 27 of 41 passes for 262 yards. Ian Richardson led the Crusaders with 113 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also threw an eight-yard score. Nick Crusco went 23-for-31 for 246 yards.
WITH HONORS: Nick O'Melia, Brandon Jones and Brett Haas (Laurel, Md./Atholton) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. O'Melia earned a spot on the offensive ledger after leading the Green Terror with 137 yards receiving on nine catches. He added a touchdown grab. Jones earned the defensive nod after leading the way with 12 tackles while forcing two fumbles and breaking up another pass. Haas made an appearance on the special teams list after punting six times for 271 yards, averaging a career-best 45.2-yards per kick. He unfurled a career-long 65-yarder and had three punts downed inside the 20.
LEADING THE WAY: Brandon Jones and Mike Oliveto 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.
AERIAL ATTACK: Matty Callahan threw for 262 yards on Saturday, completing 27 of 41 attempts for this fifth 200-yard passing game of the season. The five 200-yard passing games in the same season marks the most for a Green Terror signal caller since Tom Massucci '12 eclipsed the 200-yard mark five times during his sophomore season in 2009. Callahan has thrown for 200 or more yards in three consecutive weeks, turning the trick for the first time since Ron Sermarini '00 did it to close out the 1996 season. Callahan has thrown for 931 yards over the last three weeks to move into the top five in the conference with 1,630 passing yards on the year.
O-ME, O-MY: Nick O'Melia caught a career-best nine passes last Saturday, amassing 137 receiving yards to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the third straight week. Against Dickinson, the senior caught six passes for 105 yards before grabbing six balls for 112 yards at Juniata on Nov. 1. Last week, he reeled in a season-best performance to become the first receiver no fewer than the last 10 years to reach the century mark in three straight weeks.
BACKING IT UP: Brandon Jones led the defense a week ago with a career high-tying 12 tackles. He also forced two fumbles and broke up another pass. The junior led the linebacking corps, whose starters combined for 28 tackles on the day. Matt Quattrone (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area) made eight stops while Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) also made eight tackles and also recovered a fumble. The trio accounts for three of the team's top four tacklers this year. Scott leads the way – and all CC freshmen – with 57 stops while Quattrone has 49 in just six games played. Jones has 47 stops and has forced a team-best three fumbles.
WHAT A BOOT: Brett Haas unfurled a career-long 65-yard punt early in the second quarter on Saturday to pin Susquehanna at its own three-yard line. On the day, the junior punted six times and averaged 45.2 yards, which is a single-game best. He dropped three balls inside the 20-yard line and had just his sixth touchback in 60 punts this season. On the year, his 38.0-yard-per-kick average ranks second in the conference. He also has a CC-high 16 punts inside the 20 and has forced a CC-high 11 fair catches. He has also had four punts of 50-plus yards and two that have travelled more than 60.
TURNOVERS FOR SALE: After going 16 quarters without a forcing a turnover, the Green Terror has forced 10 turnovers over the last four games. McDaniel had just six total turnovers through the first five games of the season – five of which came in the season opener. After the bye, the Green Terror turned Franklin & Marshall over twice before forcing Dickinson and Juniata to turn the ball over three times each. McDaniel recovered two Susquehanna fumbles last week.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Green Terror enters this week with 104 players on its roster. Of that 104, 75 are either freshmen or sophomores (72.1 percent), including 45 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: Billy Adkins III (Delmar, Del./Delmar) became the 18th different Green Terror player to catch a pass this year with his 11-yard catch in the third quarter on Saturday. In total, 22 players have contributed yards on offense… The Green Terror has thrown for 200 or more yards in eight of the nine games this season.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his third season at the helm of the Green Terror with an overall record of 3-26, 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… Jim Margraff is in his 25th season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 176-82-3 in his tenure with the Blue Jays. After earning a share of three consecutive conference titles, Margraff led Johns Hopkins to its first outright claim to the title and NCAA tournament bid in 2005 and once again took the outright crown in 2009 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. In 2010, the squad once again shared the CC title before taking the outright title again in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Blue Jays have also claimed four ECAC titles in his tenure. Margraff is also the state of Maryland's all-time wins leader when he picked up career win No. 175 two weeks ago.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays enter today's game off a 33-14 win over Franklin & Marshall last week to claim at least a share of the conference title for the sixth straight year and secure the CC's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament… Johns Hopkins scored the final 23 points of the game last week to overcome a 14-10 deficit early in the third quarter. Braden Anderson threw for 165 yards on 15-for-30 passing while also carrying the ball seven times for another 73 yards. Bradley Munday was Anderson's favorite target, catching seven passes for 96 yards… Anderson is completing 65.5 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 1,953 yards with 18 touchdowns. He needs just 47 yards to become the third CC signal caller to reach 2,000 yards through the air this season… Munday and Quinn Donaldson lead the receiving corps. Munday has 40 catches for 589 yards with six scores while Donaldson has 36 grabs for 606 yards and five TDs… Stuart Walters leads four Blue Jays with no fewer than 260 yards rushing, carrying the ball 118 times for 651 yards… The Hopkins offense leads the conference in total offense (444.8 ypg) and scoring (39.3 ppg)… The defense's 14.0 points per game allowed is also best in the CC… Keith Corliss leads the Blue Jay defense with 67 tackles… Johns Hopkins can claim its fourth straight outright title with a win this afternoon and record its third undefeated regular season in four years.