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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 96th meeting between McDaniel (3-6, 2-6 CC) and Johns Hopkins (8-1, 7-1 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 55-35-5, including wins in the last 16 meetings. The Green Terror's last win in the series came by a 41-7 margin in 2000. Today's game marks the 70th consecutive season when the two long-time rivals have been scheduled to be the final game on each other's schedules.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Johns Hopkins, ranked ninth by d3football.com at the time, built a 41-7 halftime en route to a 48-28 victory over McDaniel to close the 2016 regular season. Ben Kahn (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) led the Green Terror with 12 tackles. Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) had a pair of touchdown, scoring on a 10-yard run and returning one of two blocked punts six yards for a score. Jon Germano threw for 326 yards on 27 of 31 passing for the Blue Jays, who wrapped up their fourth straight undefeated regular season.
LAST TIME OUT: Susquehanna scored the final 20 straight points to defeat McDaniel 33-10 last Saturday. Matt Schleifer (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) led the Green Terror with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also added 87 return yards to finish with 164 all-purpose yards on the day. Cameron Ott led the River Hawks with 19 carries for 138 yards and three scores. He also caught three passes out of the backfield for 48 yards.
WITH HONORS: Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) was named to the CC Weekly Honor Rolls two weeks ago. Scott was named to the defensive ledger after leading a Green Terror defense with 11 tackles and a forced fumble on the afternoon.
LEADING THE WAY: Bamasa Bailor (Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle Area), Vince Gorgone (Clarksville, Md./Good Counsel) and Drew Scott 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.
THANK YOU, SENIORS!: Today marks the final game for 23 McDaniel seniors. Of those 22 players, no fewer than 18 have been a starter during their tenure with the Green Terror. Each has seen significant time over their careers. The group has been instrumental in helping guide the team to six wins over the last two seasons.
WON'T IT BE TWICE AS GRAND?: Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) enters the season finale needing just 54 yards passing to record the sixth 2,000-yard passing season in program history. The senior would be the first Green Terror signal caller to reach the milestone since Tom Massucci threw for exactly 2,000 yards in 2009. Brian VanDeusen has three of the other four 2,000-yard seasons while Ron Sermarini rounds out the list. Koester is already third all-time with 4,849 career passing yards. If he throws for 151 or more yards today, he would become just the 24th CC quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a career.
THAT'S TWO IN A ROW: Matt Schleifer had been a big part of the offense and return game all season but over the last two games, he has found the end zone for the first time in his career. He caught a 17-yard slant pass from Will Koester at Ursinus two weeks ago before snagging a 21-yard pass last week at Susquehanna early in the third quarter. Only Schleifer and Bamasa Bailor have receiving touchdowns in consecutive games this season. Bailor scored in back-to-back games to open the season.
RUN AROUND: Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) has rushed for 700 yards this season – the most by a Green Terror running back in a single season since Joe Rollins ran for 1,374 in 2013. Cathey has toted the ball 169 times this year. In his first start, he ran the ball 32 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns against Juniata on Sept. 30 for his third 100-yard rushing game over the first five contests. However since then, Cathey has run for just 198 over the last four games.
THAT'S A LOOSE BALL: The Green Terror defense has recovered nine fumbles this season. It is the most fumbles the team has recovered since recovering 10 in 2013. Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and Tucker Evans (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.) have each recovered multiple fumbles this year. Brooms has three recoveries while Evans has a pair. Evans returned one of his 68 yards for a touchdown at Franklin & Marshall earlier in the season. Drew Scott has forced two of those fumbles.
TERROR TIDBITS: Bamasa Bailor needs 10 yards to become the 11th player in program history with 700 receiving yards in a season. He needs eight catches to match Mike Oliveto's program record with 63 receptions in 2015… Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) is third in Division III with his 1.44 field goals per game. He has the program record with 30 career 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 6-13 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… Jim Margraff is in his 28th season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 208-86-3 in his tenure with the Blue Jays. After earning a share of three consecutive conference titles, Margraff led Johns Hopkins to its first outright claim to the title and NCAA tournament bid in 2005 and once again took the outright crown in 2009 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. In 2010, the squad once again shared the CC title before taking the outright title again in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Blue Jays have also claimed four ECAC titles in his tenure. Margraff is also the state of Maryland's all-time wins leader when he picked up career win No. 175 in 2014. His team holds conference record for consecutive regular-season wins (45) and consecutive conference victories (40), which were snapped on Sept. 30.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays, ranked 21st in the latest d3football.com poll, enter today's game off a 57-14 victory over Juniata last week. Johns Hopkins scored the first 37 points of the game to take a 37-0 lead just 38 seconds into the second half. The Blue Jays rolled up 627 yards of total offense – its third game with 600 or more yards of total offense this season… David Tammaro threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns on 18 of 27 passing… Brett Cagglano caught three passes, totaling 101 yards… Ryan Cary ran for 102 yards on just six carries… Nine different Blue Jays had a carry in last week's game and 12 different players caught a pass from four different quarterbacks… Since having its 40-game conference winning snapped with a 21-17 loss at Ursinus on Sept. 30, Johns Hopkins has outscored its last four opponents by a 185-45 margin with more than half of those points allowed coming in a 31-24 win at Muhlenberg… The Blue Jays lead the conference in total offense (507.6 ypg) and scoring (38.9 ppg)… Johns Hopkins also has the conference's best scoring defense, allowing 16.2 points per game… Tammaro leads the CC in passing, throwing for an average of 310.5 yards per game and completing 64.5 percent of his passes. He has 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season… Luke McFadden is the conference's top receiver, hauling in 51 passes for 1,006 yards. He also has nine TD grabs… The Blue Jays have 15 different players who have run the ball and 18 different players who have caught a ball this season. In total, 16 different players have scored a touchdown this year… Jamie Sullivan is leading the conference in scoring with 86 points. He has converted 41 of his 43 extra-point attempts this season and 15 of his 22 field-goal attempts. His 15 field goals is second in Division III… Addison Quinones leads the defense with 59 tackles. Ian Lodge and Robby Johnson have also reached 50 tackles with 54 and 53, respectively… Mike Kalanik is second in the CC with 9.0 sacks… The Blue Jays would secure at least a share of their ninth straight CC title with a victory today and would claim their seventh straight outright crown with a win and Franklin & Marshall loss to Gettysburg. Johns Hopkins would claim the conference's NCAA tournament automatic qualifier with a win.