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Stefanelli powers running attack in season-opening win

Perry Stefanelli (c) 2017 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Perry Stefanelli (c) 2017 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

WESTMINSTER, Md. – McDaniel's offense ran for 317 yards and the defense held Catholic to no first downs and just 22 yards in the second half of a 30-10 season-opening victory in non-conference football action on Saturday.

Perry Stefanelli (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) led the offensive charge for the Green Terror (1-0) with 146 yards rushing and a touchdown. Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) added 136 yards rushing to give the team two 100-yard rushers for the first time since 2004. As a team, McDaniel rushed for 317 yards and had 486 yards of total offense.

Alejandro Ros threw for 134 yards for the Cardinals (0-1), completing 10 of 35 passes.

Late in the first quarter, the Green Terror returned a punt for a touchdown but it was called back on a block in the back. Taking over at its own 46 with 1:28 showing, Cathey ripped off a 15-yard run to spark a 46-yard drive that eventually stalled inside the 10.

Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) knocked home a 25-yard field goal for the game's first points with 12:15 showing in the second quarter.

Two big plays for Catholic keyed an otherwise methodical 13-play drive that covered 78 yards in 4 minutes, 32 seconds and ended with Andrew Keleher catching an eight-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone for a 7-3 lead.

Another heavy dose of Cathey on the ensuing McDaniel possession marched the ball 58 yards in 11 plays before a Wiersberg 21-yard field goal closed the deficit to one with 2:25 to play.

The defense then forced a three-and-out before a big Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) punt return set up the offense at the Catholic 38.

Stefanelli gained nine yards on first down before Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) connected with Breon Herbert (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) for a 29-yard touchdown toss and 13-7 lead with 72 seconds showing.

Behind 17 running plays that helped eat up more than 11 minutes, the Green Terror scored touchdowns on both of its third-quarter possessions.

Koester found Bamasa Bailor (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area) for a wide-open catch-and-run score from 30 yards out with 8:16 to play then Stefanelli punched home a one-yard run with 3:07 remaining for a 27-10 lead.

A third Wiersberg field goal – this one from 31 years – 4:15 into the fourth quarter made it three straight possession with points and a 30-10 game.

Koester finished the game 12-for-17 for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) led the defense with seven tackles, including a pair of sacks. Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) added five stops.

McDaniel returns to action at Moravian in the Centennial Conference opener on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.