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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's non-conference marks the 24th meeting between McDaniel (0-0) and Catholic (0-0) in a series that dates back to 1912. The Green Terror leads the all-time series, 14-9. The Cardinals had won five of the previous six meetings before McDaniel won 30-10 last season in Westminster.
WHEN LAST WE MET: 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 to open 2017. 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Johns Hopkins put up 447 yards and 49 points in the first half to top McDaniel 56-21 to close out the 2017 regular season. Matt Cathey led the Green Terror with 130 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown runs. David Tammaro threw for 290 yards on 20 of 24 passing in the first half for the then-21st-ranked Blue Jays, who secured its ninth straight conference title and an NCAA berth with the victory.
WITH HONORS: The Green Terror returns three of its seven all-conference selections from a year ago. Matt Schleifer (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) returns after being tabbed a first-team return specialist. He racked up 1,296 all-purpose yards, including 1,025 in the return game. Joey Cornwell (Rockville, Md./Rockville) and Jared Staub (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) were second-team selections a year ago. Cornwell, a punter, averaged 36.7 yards per punt to rank second in the conference. Staub anchored the offensive line from his left tackle spot. The line allowed a conference-low 11 sacks in 2017.
LEADING THE WAY: Paul Flagg (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Markos Katrakazis (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown), Angelo Payne (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Jared Staub will captain the squad in 2018. All four seniors are first-time captains.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The Green Terror begins its 124th season of football this afternoon, entering play with a 64-53-6 record on opening day. This is the eighth straight season McDaniel has opened the season with Catholic, following a single game with Juniata, a home-and-home series with St. Vincent and 12-year series with Bridgewater. This is the final year that the season will open with Catholic. The Green Terror will begin a two-year agreement with Misericordia in 2019.
BORN TO RUN: McDaniel returns a stable of running backs in 2018. Matt Cathey, John Chamberlin (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Isaac Murray (Baltimore, Md./Atholton) and Perry Stefanelli all return to the backfield after combining for 1,518 yards on 336 carries a year ago. Cathey ended up with the lion's share of the work (190 rushes for 830 yards) after injuries to Stefanelli and Chamberlin limited their action). The Green Terror also returns three starting offensive lineman. Josh Disharoon (Bivalve, Md./J.M. Bennett) will return to right tackle while Paul Flagg and Jared Staub will hold down the left side. The line allowed a conference-low 11 sacks last season and propelled the Green Terror to a rushing attack that averaged 155.9 yards per game.
DOWN IN FRONT: The entire defensive front four returns intact for 2018. Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) and Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) combined for 14 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss off the ends in 2017. Markos Katrakazis and Ben Stapleton (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) return to the inside. Katrakazis was fourth on the team with 43 tackles last year while Stapleton added 24 stops.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Matt Schleifer is back to anchor the return game after a first-team all-conference nod a year ago. He averaged a conference-best 16.0 yards per punt return, including a 92-yard return for touchdown to close the season against Johns Hopkins. He was also fourth in the CC in kick returns, averaging 21.2 yards per return.
KICKING IT: Joey Cornwell will be back after an all-conference junior season as punter. He was second in the league last year, averaging 36.7 yards per kick. Of his 50 punts, he dropped nine inside the 20 and forced 10 fair catches.
NEW FACES: Third-year head coach Mike Dailey brought in three new faces for his staff in 2018. With the departure of Mike Hohensee, Tyler Hartranft joins the staff to mentor the quarterbacks. He spent the last three years coaching at King's, his alma mater where he threw for nearly 6,000 yards in his career. Paul Amakihe joins the staff to coach linebackers after coaching last year at SUNY Cortland. Mike Georgetti joins the staff to coach the kickers and punters.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel has 48 freshmen on the opening-day roster – part of the record 131-man roster… The Green Terror will need to replace Spencer Wiersberg in the kicking game and will be turning to a freshman on kickoffs and field goals in 2018.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey starts his third season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 6-14 record, going 3-7 in his each of his first two campaigns 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 one season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Mike Gutelius opens his second season as head coach, guiding the Cardinals to a 5-5 opening campaign last season. He joined Catholic with more than two decades of coaching experience that includes 14 years as a coordinator. A 1992 alumnus, he served the previous seven seasons as defensive coordinator at Lindsey Wilson, helping guide the program to three straight NAIA Football Championship Series appearances. He was selected as the 2015 American Football Coaches Association NAIA Assistant of the Year. Before Lindsey Wilson, Gutelius spent six seasons as Concord's (W.Va.) assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Prior to Concord, he spent two seasons as defensive ends coach at Wingate. He has also coached at La Verne and St. Norbert. Additionally, Gutelius has also coached at Catholic, joining the staff immediately after graduation and spent one season as an assistant coach in 1992.
THE WORD ON CATHOLIC: The Cardinals enter the 2018 season off a 5-5 campaign in 2017. It was the Cardinals first non-losing season since 2013… Last year was Catholic's first in the NEWMAC, posting a 3-4 record in its first season outside of the ODAC… The Cardinals led its new conference in passing last year, averaging 217.0 yards through the air but was fifth in total offense (320.4 ypg) after netting just 103.4 yards per game on the ground… Alejandro Ros returns to quarterback the offense after a 1,430-yard sophomore campaign. He completed 49.0 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions… Four receivers caught 20 or more passes last year and three (Onani Moore, 27-288; Kyle Catalano, 24-301; Andrew Lunarola (21-338) return in 2018… Chance LeGrand accounted for nearly half of the Cardinals yards on the ground (431 of 1034) as a rookie.. Catholic graduated its top four defenders from a defense that allowed 29.4 points per game a year ago.