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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 49th meeting between McDaniel (2-0, 1-0 CC) and Franklin & Marshall (2-0, 1-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1904. The Diplomats lead the all-time series 32-16-2 and have won the last 13 meetings after the Green Terror took seven straight between 1997 and 2003.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Franklin & Marshall took an 18-0 lead in to the locker room en route to a 25-7 victory over McDaniel last season. Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) led the Green Terror with eight tackles to go with a pair of pass breakups. Taalib Gerald paced the Diplomats with 119 yards on 21 carries. He also caught three passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns out of the backfield.
LAST TIME OUT: McDaniel racked up more than 500 yards of total offense and shut out Moravian for the final three quarters in a 35-14 victory last Saturday. Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) threw for 289 yards, completing 20 of 28 passes with two touchdowns to lead the Green Terror. Eli Redmond led the Greyhounds with 65 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving.
WITH HONORS: Will Koester and Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Koester was named to the offensive ledger after throwing for 289 yards, completing 20 of 28 passes with two touchdowns. He found eight different receivers on the day. He also ran the ball four times for 11 yards, including his first collegiate rushing touchdown. Brooms was tabbed to the defensive list after keying the defense with five tackles and 2.5 sacks.
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.
SECOND-HALF STRONG: The Green Terror has yet to allow a second-half point this season. In Week One against Catholic, the Cardinals hit a field goal as the first half expired for their last points of the game. Last week at Moravian, the Greyhounds found the end zone with 19 seconds to play in the first quarter and did not score again. Through the first two games this season, McDaniel is outgaining its opposition 529-110, including by a staggering 293-38 on the ground.
TICK-TOCK: McDaniel enters the third week of the season with the top time of possession in the conference, holding the ball for an average of 39:38. Only five teams in Division III average holding the ball longer. In the second half of games this season, the Green Terror is controlling clock by an even larger margin at 21 minutes, 14 seconds.
SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST: In his 2017 season debut, Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) rushed the ball 24 times for a career-high 136 yards. Cathey followed that performance up with another 136-yard outing in Game Two at Moravian. He toted the ball 28 times last Saturday and found the end zone for the first time this season. His 52 carries and 272 yards are already a career-best for a season after just two games. As a freshman, he had 49 carries for 240 years and then carried the rock 39 times as a sophomore for 198 yards.
YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST: Will Koester knew how to score touchdowns before Saturday. After all, he had thrown for 23 of them in 17 career games for the Green Terror. However, late in the third quarter at Moravian, the senior finally held the ball in the end zone. On second-and-goal from one yard out late in the third quarter, Koester called his own number and dove between his center and right guard for his first career rushing touchdown. He finished the day with four carries for 11 yards. He also did well with his arm, completing 20 of 28 passes for his ninth career 200-yard passing game (289) and his 11th multiple-touchdown passing game.
DOUBLE CENTURY: McDaniel has a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since the 2014 opener. In addition to Matt Cathey's 136 yards rushing, Breon Herbert (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) caught five passes for his first collegiate 100-yard receiving day. He finished with 116 yards that included a 50-yard reception to set up the Green Terror's second touchdown.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: With 30 points in the opener and 35 points last week, McDaniel did something it hadn't done in 13 years. The last time the Green Terror scored 30 or more points in back-to-back games was a stretch of three straight games in 2004. The Green Terror won 34-0 at Catholic on Sept. 18 before reaching 30 in consecutive weeks following the bye. McDaniel defeated Ursinus 50-10 on the road on Oct. 2 then returned home to top Gettysburg 31-0 on Oct. 9. That was the last time the Green Terror scored 30 or more points three times in the same season.
HIGH PRESSURE FRONT: The McDaniel defense has six sacks this season. Garvin Brooms and Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) lead the way with 2.5 each. Conversely, the Green Terror offensive line has not allowed a sack this season.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel has had seven drives of 10 or more plays. All have consumed more than five minutes of game action and all but one resulted in points… The Green Terror has run 160 plays this season compared to 107 for its opponents… McDaniel won in Bethlehem for the first time since 1978. The Greyhounds had won all five previous CC meetings at home… The Green Terror has not started a season 3-0 since 2010… McDaniel is second in the conference in scoring defense (12.5 ppg)… The Green Terror and Diplomats are the only 2-0 teams meeting in the CC this week.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 5-7 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… John Troxell is in his 12h season at Franklin & Marshall. He is 63-54, guiding the Diplomats to a 9-2 record and ECAC South Atlantic title in 2009 after back-to-back 4-6 records and a 3-7 inaugural season at the helm. He added three ECAC Bowl games over the next four seasons, including a 38-14 win over Delaware Valley in the Southeast Bowl in 2013. In 2016, he guided the Diplomats back to the postseason after a 7-3 regular season with a spot in the Centennial-MAC Bowl. Troxell took the reins following five seasons as an assistant coach at Lafayette, serving as video coordinator, running backs coach, recruiting coordinator and special teams coach for the 2004 and 2005 Patriot League champions.
THE WORD ON FRANKLIN & MARSHALL: The Diplomats enter today's game off a 52-7 victory over Juniata in the CC opener last weekend… Tanner Erisman completed 21 of 25 passes for 312 yards to lead the offense… K.J. Pretty accounted for 208 of those yards, hauling in eight passes… In addition to the 345 yards passing, F&M also ran the ball for 235 yards with five touchdowns for 580 yards of total offense… The Diplomat defense notched seven sacks last week… Franklin & Marshall enters Week Three with the conference's top scoring offense (50.0 ppg) and top scoring defense (7.0 ppg)… Erisman is completing passes at an 83.7-percent clip for 524 yards in the first two games… Pretty has 316 yards receiving on 14 catches in two games. He also has three touchdown grabs… Defensively, Ben Okun has a team-high eight tackles – all of them solo stops… Joe Granahan has four sacks this season. The Diplomats have a CC-high 10 as a team… Taalib Gerald scored two touchdowns last week and now has 22 for his career. He is second in program history, needing six to tie the Diplomat record… Franklin & Marshall is second in the conference in time of possession, averaging 36:46 over the first two games… This is the second-to-last game on Sponaugle-Williamson Field. The Diplomats and Muhlenberg will meet in the finale on Sept. 30. That game will make the final time that a CC game that will take place on grass.