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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 49th meeting between McDaniel (3-3, 2-3 CC) and Muhlenberg (6-0, 5-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1927. The Mules took a 40-13 victory last season in Westminster to make it eight wins in a row and 10 in 11 years to take a 23-22-3 lead in the all-time series. The Green Terror's lone win during the stretch came by a 16-9 margin in Allentown in 2010.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Muhlenberg jumped out to a 12-3 lead after the first quarter en route to a 40-13 victory over McDaniel last week. Bamasa Bailor led the Green Terror with nine catches for 96 yards. James Diggs recorded 168 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Mules, who outgained their hosts 469-272 on the day.
LAST TIME OUT: McDaniel was idle last week. Dickinson scored the first 10 points before McDaniel closed to within one score three different times but the Red Devils held on for a 27-20 win two weeks ago. Breon Herbert (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) blocked a punt and picked it up for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for the Green Terror while Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) scored two touchdowns among his 10 rushes, accounting for 50 yards on the ground. Jeremy Walsh ran for 97 yards on 18 carries for the Red Devils.
LEADING THE WAY: Paul Flagg (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Markos Katrakazis (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown), Angelo Payne (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Jared Staub (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) will captain the squad in 2018. All four seniors are first-time captains.
NO FLY ZONE: The Green Terror enters the second half of the season with the conference's top passing defense, allowing an average of just 159.7 yards per game. Only Juniata (275) and Catholic (226) have thrown for more than 200 yards against McDaniel this season. The Green Terror limited Moravian to just 70 yards through the air and Gettysburg to just 90.
THEY'RE DEFENSIVE: Through six games, McDaniel is also tops in the conference in scoring defense (15.8 ppg) and total defense (256.7 ypg). It has been a team effort. Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) leads the defense with 58 tackles. However, seven other starters on defense have no fewer than 20 stops. The Green Terror is currently second in the CC in sacks (21) and tackles for loss (57). Ransom has a team-high 10.0 tackles for loss while Garvin Brooms (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) is second in the CC with 6.5 sacks.
HOMECOMING BLOCK PARTY: McDaniel blocked three Dickinson punts two weeks ago. It was the first time the unit had blocked three kicks in the same game since blocking three PATs last season against Muhlenberg – also on Homecoming. Breon Herbert's fourth-quarter blocked punt also resulted in him being able to scoop the ball up for a touchdown. It was the first blocked punt for a touchdown by the Green Terror since Matt Cathey had one against Johns Hopkins on Nov. 12, 2016.
GOING LONG: McDaniel connected on a pair of 45-yard receptions against Dickinson. Ben Igo (York, Pa./York Suburban) hit Davon Ingram (Sparrows Point, Md./Dundalk) in the third quarter to set up a Matt Cathey touchdown on the next play. In the fourth quarter, Igo connected with Aaron Grant (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall) for another 45-yard completion.
AIN'T THAT SPECIAL: Dustin Miller (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson West Lawn) has been all over the field on kickoff and punt coverage. The senior has seven tackles on special teams – almost double any other Green Terror player. His four tackles on punt coverage are nearly a third of the team's punt coverage tackles and twice as many as any other individual player. On kickoff coverage, he has three tackles, which is bettered only by Sam Welcher's (Clonnton, Md./Gwynn Park) four.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: Matt Cathey rushed for two touchdowns against Dickinson. It was the first multiple-touchdown game by any Green Terror back this season. He scored on runs of two yards and three yards and is now second on the squad with three rushing scores. It was his third career multiple-touchdown game.
RED ZONE RUN: Entering the Dickinson game, McDaniel was 15-for-16 on its red-zone trips. However, the Green Terror was just 2-for-4 against the Red Devils. The Green Terror has scored 13 touchdowns when from inside the opponents' 20. Of those 13 scores, 12 have been rushing touchdowns.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror has lost seven straight games coming off the bye week. The last victory was a 35-0 home win over Susquehanna in 2010…Four of McDaniel's first six games this season have been decided by seven points or fewer… The Green Terror is 3-0 this season when kicking off to start the game and 0-3 when receiving the opening kickoff.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his third season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 9-17 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… Nate Milne is in his first season at the helm of the Mules, winning his first six games at the head man after serving the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator. In Milne's years as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, the Mules compiled a record of 25-8, averaging 33.3 points and 428.0 yards per game. He spent the previous seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at Susquehanna.
THE WORD ON MUHLENBERG: The Mules enter today's game off a 34-31 win at Thomas More last Saturday. A James Diggs touchdown and Todd Spirt PAT tied the game at 31-all with 7:54 to play in the fourth quarter. Thomas More missed a 34-yard field goal with 2:08 to play before Muhlenberg was able to move 77 yards in eight plays. Spirt connected on a 20-yard field goal as time expired to keep the Mules undefeated on the year… Since opening the year with a 14-3 win over Dickinson, Muhlenberg is averaging more than 40 points per game… The Mules are second in the conference in total offense (468.7 ypg) and scoring (37.2 ppg)… The defense currently ranks third in total defense (300.5 ypg) and scoring (18.3 ppg). Muhlenberg has the best rush defense in the conference (56.8 ypg) but worst pass defense (243.7)… Diggs leads the Mules rushing attack at 95.3 yards per game and has scored seven touchdown… Michael Hnatkowsky is second in the conference in passing with 272.0 yards per game. He has thrown for at least 199 yards in all six games this year and has multiple touchdown throws over each of the last four weeks… Max Kirin has caught six TD passes among his 26 grabs. He leads the squad with 406 yards receiving… Frankie Feaster leads the CC with 7.0 sacks.