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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 22nd meeting between McDaniel (1-0, 0-0 CC) and Moravian (0-1, 0-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1972. The Greyhounds hold a 14-7 advantage in the all-time series, including three wins in the first three meetings since the renewal of conference foes in 2007 as well as the last three years. The Green Terror snapped that streak with a 13-10 victory in 2010 in Westminster and made it back-to-back victories with a 35-14 home win in 2011 before winning again in 2013, 21-14.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Moravian racked up 673 yards of total offense en route to a 55-27 win over McDaniel in the CC opener for both teams last season. Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) led the Green Terror with 126 all-purpose yards, scoring a touchdown on both offense and special teams. Chris Negron led the Greyhounds with 167 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Mike Hayes went 20-for-22 through the air, throwing for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
LAST TIME OUT: 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 victory last Saturday. Perry Steffanelli (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) led the offensive charge for the Green Terror 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, completing 10 of 35 passes.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) was named the CC Defensive Player of the Week after keying the defensive effort last Saturday. He finished the day with a team-high seven tackles, including a 3.5 for loss. He also had 2.0 sacks.
WITH HONORS: Perry Stefanelli and Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Stefanelli was named to the offensive ledger after keying a 317-yard rushing attack with a career-high 146 yards rushing. He ran the ball 26 times and scored a touchdown. Wiersberg was tabbed to the special teams list after going perfect in the kicking game. He was 3-for-3 in extra-point attempts and hit all three fields, converting from 25, 21 and 31 yards.
LEADING THE WAY: Bamasa Bailor (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area), Vince Gorgone (Clarksville, Md./Good Counsel) and Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) will captain the squad in 2017. Gorgone is a two-time captain after also leading the squad as a junior while Bailor and Scott are first-time captains.
OPENING STATEMENTS: McDaniel has won three of its last seven CC openers, snapping a four-year skid, but has dropped three straight decisions to Moravian. The Green Terror last defeated Moravian 21-14 in Westminster in 2013. After a one-year hiatus, the Green Terror returned to opening the conference slate against Moravian in 2011. The Greyhounds won each of the first three CC meetings when the two teams met in the first conference game of the season. The Green and Gold are 15-19 in conference lidlifters since the inception of the CFC. The Green Terror dropped its first eight openers after the creation of the CFC in 1983 – all to Gettysburg. For the first 20 years, McDaniel and Gettysburg squared off with the Bullets holding a slight 11-9 advantage. Ursinus was the first opponent on the Green Terror's CC schedule for the next four years. McDaniel won the first three of those meetings.
TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE: Perry Stefanelli and Matt Cathey each eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark last Saturday. Stefanelli posted a career-best 146 yards on 26 carries while Cathey touted the rock 24 times for 136 yards – his first collegiate 100-yard rushing game. It marked the first time since Oct. 9, 2004 that the Green Terror had two players rush for more than 100 yards in a game (Brad Baer, 15-166; Broderick Mayback, 14-126). All told, the offensive line unit of Jared Staub (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key), Paul Flagg (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Michael Martucci (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Vince Gorgone and Josh Disharoon (Bivalve, Md./J.M. Bennett) helped McDaniel run the ball 61 times for 317 yards – its most since running for 360 in a triple-overtime win over Gettysburg on Nov. 6, 2010 and the most in a regulation game since 2004.
HOLD ON TO THE ONE YOU LOVE: Behind its 61 rush attempts, the Green Terror offense was able to control the clock and held the ball for 41 minutes, 5 seconds on Saturday. It was the first time since Nov. 7, 2009 that McDaniel was able to control the ball for more than 40 minutes in a single game. The defense played its own role in that, holding Catholic to a 3-for-15 showing on third downs. In the second half alone, McDaniel's offense had the ball for 23:03.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE: In the second half last Saturday, not only did the Green Terror defense post a shutout but the unit also held Catholic without a first down. The Cardinals could muster only 22 yards of total offense. For the game, the front line held Catholic to just 47 yards rushing and only starting running back Nick Esposito finished with positive rushing yards (14 rushes, 55 yards).
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Matt Schleifer (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) hauled in six punt returns and was able to rack up 78 return yards. He averaged 13.0 yards per return – the second-best average in the conference last week – but that number could have been larger if not for a pair of penalties that negated more than 60 additional yardages of return.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel was one of three CC teams to hold its non-conference opponent to 10 or fewer points last week… The 19 pass attempts were the fewest in a game since 2012… This marks the second straight year the Green Terror has traveled to Moravian after a flip in the conference schedule this season. McDaniel is winless in its five trips to Bethlehem with the Greyhounds as members of the CC.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 4-7 record, going 3-7 in his debut campaign as the head man after seven seasons as an assistant on the staff. Dailey joined the Green Terror staff in 2009 with a pedigree of success at all levels of football that included compiling a record of 115-83 and two championships in 12 years as a head coach in the Arena Football League (AFL), leading the Albany Firebirds and Colorado Crush that included winning league titles in 1999 and 2005. For his first six seasons on the McDaniel sidelines, he served as defensive coordinator. His scheme put pressure on opposing quarterbacks game-in and game-out, recording 101 sacks and 55 interceptions. He helped produce 12 All-Centennial Conference selections, including four first-team nods. In 2015, Dailey shifted responsibilities to the offensive side of the ball – something he is renowned for from his days in the AFL. He spent last season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Jeff Pukszyn is in his seventh season as the head coach at Moravian after serving 10 years as assistant head coach. He enters today's game with a record of 24-38. After three 2-8 campaigns in his first three seasons, the Greyhounds posted a 5-5 mark in 2014. In 2015, the squad finished 8-3 with a trip to the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series. He joined the staff as a part-time coach in 1997 after a three-year playing career under former head coach and recently retired Director of Athletics Scot Dapp that saw him named to the All-Middle Atlantic Conference first team in 1994 and 1996. The two-time captain joined the staff full time in 1999 as defensive coordinator, a position he retains as the head man.
THE WORD ON MORAVIAN: The Greyhounds enter today's conference opener off a 30-27 loss at King's to open the season last Thursday… The Monarchs converted the game-winning field goal from 38 yards out with 1:37 to play. Moravian could not get a first down its ensuing possession, allowing King's to run out the clock… Doug Erney completed 16 of 29 passes for 212 yards last week as a freshman signal caller for the Greyhounds. Erney also ran for 131 yards on 16 carries, accounting for 343 of Moravian's 373 yards of total offense. He ran for a pair of third-quarter touchdowns, covering 34 and 58 yards… Nick Petros hauled in two passes for 56 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown grab with 5:32 to play, setting up Jon Miller's extra point to tie the game at 27-all… Aaron Hudson, the top receiving threat last year, hauled in three passes for 48 yards… Eli Redmond was Erney's favorite target, grabbing six balls but for just 34 yards… Jackson Buskirk and Steve Ewald led the defense with 12 and 11 tackles, respectively… Justice Anderson broke a pair of 30-plus-yard kick returns in the second half, covering 31 and 34 yards as part of 137 return yards by the team on the day… Moravian was third in the CC last year offensively with 4,811 yards of total offense but lost three-year starting quarterback Mike Hayes' 6,643 yards to graduation. The Greyhounds also graduated their top rushing threat in Chris Negron, who was a first-team All-CC performer in 2016 with 1,020 yards rushing.