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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 70th meeting between McDaniel (2-1, 1-1 CC) and Gettysburg (0-3, 0-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1891. The Bullets lead the all-time series 51-18-1, including a 38-23 win last season. The last Green Terror victory was by a 36-30 margin in 2010.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Last season, Gettysburg scored the first 21 points of the game before hanging on for a 38-23 victory over McDaniel. Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) led the Green Terror with 256 yards passing, completing 27 of 49 passes with three touchdowns. Danny Thompson paced the Bullets with 117 yards rushing and 95 yards passing.
LAST TIME OUT: Franklin & Marshall scored the final 12 points to upend McDaniel 43-41 in a battle of unbeatens last week. Perry Stefanelli (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) led the Green Terror with career highs of 167 yards and three touchdowns. Tanner Erisman threw for 285 yards and five touchdowns for the Diplomats, who had allowed just 14 total points in the first two games before McDaniel was able to post 31 first-half points.
WITH HONORS: Perry Stefanelli, Tucker Evans (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.) 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 runing for career highs of 167 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. Evans was tabbed to the defensive list after returning a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown. He also had three tackles. Wiersberg made an appearance on the special teams list after remaining perfect in the kicking game this season, converting all five extra points and a pair of field goals.
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.
RUNNING DOWN A DREAM: The Green Terror has two of the top four rushers in the CC so far this season. McDaniel is the only team with two different players in the top seven in the league in rushing. Perry Stefanelli and Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) have been virtually splitting time in the backfield behind the stout offensive line 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). Stefanelli currently sits second in the league at 127.3 rushing yards per game while Cathey is fourth at 99.3 yards. Each back has two 100-yard rushing games this season. As a team, McDaniel is currently second in the conference 32nd in Division III in rushing offense, averaging 246.3 yards per game. In addition to the rushing game, the offensive line has allowed just one sack in the first three games.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: In addition to the combined four 100-yard rushing games by Perry Stefanelli and Matt Cathey, the Green Terror has a pair of 100-yard receiving games over the first three contests. Two weeks ago, Breon Herbert (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) posted his first 100-yard receiving game, catching five passes for 116 yards at Moravian. Last week at Franklin & Marshall, Bamasa Bailor had his first 100-yard receiving game, grabbing seven balls for 115 yards. The duo has combined for 430 yards – more than 60 percent of McDaniel's yards through the air this season. Bailor has 15 catches for 228 yards while Herbert has 10 receptions for 202 yards. They currently rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in the conference.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Tucker Evans scored his first touchdown on Saturday. The junior linebacker scooped up a loose ball and sprinted 68 yards down his own sideline for a fumble recovery touchdown. It was one of three plays on Saturday that measured 49 yards or longer for McDaniel but Evans was the only one who found the end zone on his play. Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) had a 73-yard kickoff return and Perry Stefanelli had a 49-yard run. It was the team's longest plays in each category this season.
GETTING OFFENSIVE: With 30 points in the opener, 35 in the conference opener and 41 last week, McDaniel did something it hadn't done in 13 years. The last time the Green Terror scored 30 or more points in three games was a stretch 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. The team hasn't turned the trick in four straight games since 2001.
HIGH PRESSURE FRONT: The McDaniel defense has 10 sacks this season. Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) leads the team and conference with 4.5 sacks. Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) has 2.5. The 10 sacks is third in the conference.
200-LEVEL COURSE: Will Koester turned in his 10th career 200-yard passing game last week at Franklin & Marshall with a 248-yard outing. The senior has gone over the 200-yard mark in five of his last 10 contests. He now ranks third all-time in career 200-yard passing games. Only two of the all-time quarterbacking greats are ahead of him on the list. Brian VanDeusen threw for 200 or more yards 23 times between 1992 and 1995 while Ron Sermarini turned the trick 18 times between 1996 and 1999.
TERROR TIDBITS: Perry Stefanelli had three touchdown runs on Saturday. It was the most by a player in a game for the Green Terror since Joe Rollins in 2013… The 84 combined points last week was the most in the McDaniel-Franklin & Marshall 49-game series history. The teams combined for 996 yards of total offense… The Green Terror ranks 10th in Division III in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 35 minutes, 42 seconds... The 454 yards amassed last week was a season low… McDaniel is currently second in the CC in total offense (481.7 ypg). Only Johns Hopkins is better (500.0 ypg)… Spencer Wiersberg is perfect in the kicking game this year. He's hit all 13 PATs and all five field goals.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 5-8 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… Barry Streeter, the dean of CC coaches, is in his 39th season guiding the Bullets. His 193-189-5 record not only ranks best amongst those to guide Gettysburg but is also the second most wins of anyone to coach in the conference. He has three CC titles to his credit and one appearance in the NCAA semifinals (1985). He now ranks as the longest tenured current football coach in all of Division III. His 193 wins ranks eighth among active Division III coaches.
THE WORD ON GETTYSBURG: The Bullets enter today's game off a 24-21 loss to Dickinson at home last Saturday. The Red Devils edged Gettysburg with a field goal for the second straight year in the annual battle for the Little Brown Bucket. In 2016, Dickinson won 37-34 in double overtime before Ethan Fusco hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired last Saturday… Justin Davidov went 19-for-31 for 269 yards to lead the Bullet offense… Freshman Reggie JeanCharles rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown and caught another three balls out of the backfield for 56 yards… Kevin Benavente hauled in six passes for 85 yards – both career highs for the sophomore… Logan Aikey and Ryan Greene had 2.5 sacks each as part of an eight-sack outing by the defense… JeanCharles ranks third in the conference this season with 298 rushing yards… Davidov is completing 53 percent of his passes this season but has four interceptions against just three touchdowns. He has completed 49 of 92 passes for 605 yards in three games… Gettysburg has six receivers with five or more grabs this season. Ty Abdul-Karim leads the corps with seven catches for 152 yards… Ryan Thompson has two touchdown grabs among his four catches and 95 yards… Defensively, the Bullets lead the conference with 15 sacks… Aikey has 3.5 sacks so far and Matt Graziano has 3.0… Mike McKnight leads the defense with 30 tackles and three pass breakups… Gettysburg has lost all three games in the final minute this season. Bridgewater connected on a 65-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left for a 27-24 win. Ursinus hit a 14-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds left for a 35-28 victory. Dickinson hit the game-winning field goal as time expired.