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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 30th meeting between McDaniel (3-1, 2-1 CC) and Juniata (1-3, 0-3 CC) in a series that dates back to 1923. The Eagles hold a 15-13-1 lead in the all-time series but the Green Terror won last year's meeting in Huntington, 20-13.
WHEN LAST WE MET: McDaniel scored a touchdown early and a touchdown late to defeat Juniata 20-13 last season. Andre Henry Jr. (Frederick, Md./Urbana) led the Green Terror with 138 yards on eight catches for the first 100-yard game by a receiver this season. Bamasa Bailor (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area) caught nine passes for a then-career-best 96 yards and both touchdowns. Kirby Breault led the Eagles with his seventh 100-yard receiving day, grabbing seven passes that included the hosts' lone touchdown.
LAST TIME OUT: McDaniel built a 20-6 lead but then needed an overtime touchdown to defeat Gettysburg 27-20 last Saturday. Andre Henry Jr. hauled in four catches for 50 yards but none were bigger for the Green Terror than his final – a 25-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone in overtime. Kevin Benavente led the Bullets with three catches for 58 yards.
WITH HONORS: Andre Henry Jr., Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Henry was named to the offensive ledger after catching the winning touchdown in overtime. He hauled in a 25-yard grab on the second play of McDaniel's half of overtime to give him four grabs for 50 yards. Brooms was tabbed to the defensive list after leading a defense that held Gettysburg to 261 yards of total offense, including just 93 rushing. Brooms recovered a fumble in the end zone for his first touchdown. He added four total tackles and 0.5 sacks. Wiersberg made an appearance on the special teams list after remaining perfect in the kicking game, converting a 37 and 38 yard field goal and hitting all three of his extra points as part of the overtime win.
LEADING THE WAY: Bamasa Bailor, 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.
LOOKING BACK: At halftime today, McDaniel will honor the 1997 Green Terror football squad on the 20-year anniversary of its CC Championship – the first of seven conference crowns in an eight-year span. That year was the first of three straight undefeated regular seasons. Ron Sermarini guided the most prolific offense up to that point, throwing for 1,675 yards and leading an offense that scored 327 points – totals bettered only in 1998 (353), 1999 (347) and 2001 (413).
WHAT A BOOT: Spencer Wiersberg is perfect through the first four contests in the kicking game. He has converted all seven of his field goal attempts, including hitting multiple field goals in three of the first four games. He has converted four kicks of 30 yards or longer. He is also 16-for-16 in extra-point attempts. He is the only CC kicker to be perfect through four weeks.
KICKIN' IT: Joey Cornwell (Rockville, Md./Rockville) has been just as solid in the punting game. He is currently second in the conference, averaging 36.8 yards per punt in his first season as the punter. After punting just four times in each of the first three games, Cornwell was called on eight times last Saturday and averaged a season-best 38.1 yards per kick. Half of his kicks landed inside the 20 and he forced three fair catches. He does not have a touchback this season. The coverage team is also second in the conference in net punting at 34.9 yards per punt. Cornwell also has a 21-yard run to his credit on a fake punt call at F&M.
DOING IT WITH ALL THE DEFENSE: The Green Terror does not have a player in the top 24 in the conference in tackles. Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) and Drew Scott are the team's top tacklers with 23 stops each. However, eight players are averaging 2.5 or more tackles per game. A different player has led McDaniel in tackles in each of the first four games. The unit currently ranks second in the CC in total defense, allowing just 286.8 yards per game.
WORKING EXTRA: The Green Terror needed overtime to defeat Gettysburg on Saturday. It was the first time since 2010 that McDaniel won a game that went to an extra session. In 2010, it was also the Bullets who were topped in Westminster when the Green Terror pulled out a 36-30 triple-overtime win with a 10-yard Woody Butler catch on Homecoming. McDaniel had dropped its last two overtime games, falling 28-21 at Catholic to open the 2016 season and dropping a 38-31 decision to Dickinson in 2012.
HE'S SO FINE: Dan Finelli (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) recorded nine tackles in Saturday to lead the defense that included his first two collegiate sacks. The sophomore entered last week's game with just eight total tackles in his first nine career games.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror offense did not reach 400 yards of total offense for the first time this season last Saturday… The 27 points scored on Saturday was a season low for McDaniel… The defense has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games… Garvin Brooms leads the team and conference with 5.0 sacks. Ray Doh is third in the CC with 4.0. McDaniel has 15 sacks as a team and has only allowed two.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 6-8 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… Tim Launtz is in his seventh season at the helm of the Eagles, entering today with a record of 24-41. He became Juniata's 22nd head coach after serving 15 years on the staff, going 1-9 in his first season as the head man. In his third year, he guided the squad to a 7-3 regular-season record and ECAC Bowl appearance. He most recently served seven seasons as the Eagles' quarterbacks coach. Prior to that, he mentored the receiving corps, defensive backs and served as special teams coordinator from 1997-99. The Huntingdon native graduated from Juniata in 1980.
THE WORD ON JUNIATA: The Eagles enter today's game off a 56-40 loss to Muhlenberg on Saturday. The Mules jumped out to a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter… Austin Montgomery completed 21 of 36 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns… Daulton Snyder caught four passes for 105 yards, including a touchdown… AJ Brocato also caught four passes but two of them were for touchdowns… Mitchell Shober led the defense with 13 tackles, including 11 solo stops. He also broke up three passes. Anton Morrow also had double-digit tackles with 12 and recovered a fumble… Joel Reighard broke up four passes… Juniata enters this week with the conference's worst defense, allowing 43.5 points per game and 469.0 yards per game. The Eagles have allowed 35 or more points in each of their three conference games this season and have twice allowed more than 50 points… Montgomery is currently second in the conference in passing, completing 63.9 percent of his passes and an average of 292.0 yards per game. His 11 touchdowns also ranks second… Justin Heisel is third in the conference, averaging 84.3 yards per game receiving. He has caught four touchdown passes and has been Montgomery's favorite target by a lot, catching 23 of the team's 85 completed passes… Montgomery has also doubles as the team's kicker. He has punted the ball nine times, averaging 35.7 yards per punt. He has also attempted Juniata's lone field goal – a 25-yard attempt late in the third quarter at Ursinus… John Maclay is second in the CC with three interceptions… Shober is the team's leading tackler with 32 stops.