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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's non-conference game marks the first-ever meeting between McDaniel (0-0) and Misericordia (0-0).
LAST TIME OUT: Johns Hopkins, ranked 16th at the time, scored 21 of the final 28 points to top McDaniel 42-17 in the 2018 regular-season finale. Brendan Bandy (Abington, Md./Patterson Mill) led the Green Terror with seven catches for 70 yards. Anthony Crawley led the defense with 14 tackles. Stuart Walters ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Blue Jays.
WITH HONORS: The Green Terror returns two of its five all-conference selections from a year ago. Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) returns after being tabbed a first-team linebacker. He also earned third-team all-region honors from D3football.com after leading the defense with 92 tackles. Nah'shon Godfrey (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) was a second-team honoree at defensive back. He had 61 stops to go with eight pass breakups and an interception.
LEADING THE WAY: Tracey Easton (Waldorf, Md./North Point), Nah'shon Godfrey, Jake Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.), Kofi Siga (Upper Marlboro, Md./Largo) and Perry Stefanelli (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) will all captain the squad in 2019. All five are first-time captains. It marks the most captains since the Green Terror also had five in 2013.
OPENING STATEMENTS: The Green Terror begins its 125th season of football this afternoon, entering play with a 65-53-6 record on opening day. After eight straight seasons of opening against Catholic McDaniel will take on Misericordia in the opener for the next two years. It is the first new opponent on the Green Terror schedule since a home-and-home series against St. Vincent in 2008 and 2009.
BACKING IT UP: Jarius Ransom returns to lead the defense after recording 92 tackles in his first season with the team, including 48 solo stops. The senior linebacker reached double-digit tackles in six games in 2018, adding 2.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, which ranked third in the conference. He also had three pass breakups.
OH, MY: The Green Terror will open 2019 in search of some new go-to targets on offense. McDaniel lost all but 28 of its rushing yards in 2018 but will see Perry Stefanelli return to the lineup after missing the last 16 games with injury. Having not seen action since Week 4 of 2017, he brings 1,320 career rushing yards and 10 touchdowns to the attack. The Green Terror also lost its top three receivers from last year. Brendan Bandy, Aaron Grant (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall) and Ryan O'Toole (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) all bring experience to the receiving corps.
KICKING BACK: Peyton Denlinger (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) and John Compere (Millersville, Md./Severna Park) split the kicking duties in 2018. Denlinger was 7-for-8 in field goals and 6-for-8 in extra points while Compere went 1-for-2 in field goals and 11-for-12 in extra points. Denlinger will start 2019 as the primary guy on field goals while Compere will handle kickoffs. Denlinger will also start the year handling punting duties, taking over for all-conference punter Joey Cornwall and Denlinger will be the primary kicker in 2019.
IN THE TRENCHES: While the Green Terror returns plenty on the defensive line, 2019 will open with some holes to fill on the offensive line. Sam Welcher (Clonnton, Md./Gwynn Park), Mason Brown (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora), Ben Stapleton (Purcellville, Va./Loudoun Valley) and Kofi Siga all saw significant action on the defensive side last year. Offensively, McDaniel will have to replace a pair of all-conference linemen on the left side with the graduation of Paul Flagg and Jared Staub. Tracey Easton returns to the middle after starting all 10 games last year while Orbell Keshishi (Silver Spring, Md./Blake), Chris Greene (Essex, Md./Kenwood), JT Uhler (Columbia, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) and Joe Hynes (Point Boro, N.J./Point Pleasant Boro) all have experience on the line.
NEW FACES: McDaniel takes to the field with a new head man in 2019. Demarcus White was elevated to head coach following the retirement of Mike Dailey in the spring. His staff will feature two new coordinators. Derrick Johnson returns to the Green Terror as defensive coordinator and will continue the scheme put in place by White when he arrived in 2016. Scott Browning takes over as offensive coordinator with nearly four decades of coaching experience, replacing Chris Bassler, who took over the Westminster High School program. Paul Flagg remains at McDaniel after four years as an offensive lineman, working with the line and tight ends. Chris Inge returns to his alma mater to work with the receivers while Alex Kuyinu rounds out the staff as defensive line coach.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel has 70 freshmen on the opening-day roster – part of the record 141-man roster.
COACHES' CORNER: Demarcus White makes his head coaching debut this afternoon. He has served the last three seasons on staff as defensive coordinator. Since arriving in 2016, his scheme has consistently put pressure on opposing offenses. In each of the previous three seasons, his defenses finished in the top six in the conference in total defense, pass defense and sacks. The unit produced 74 sacks and 20 interceptions in the last three seasons. He has helped produce five all-conference defenders in those three seasons, including a first-team selection in linebacker Jarius Ransom last season. He previously had stops at Iona, ASA College and Rutgers prior to his time on the Hill… Mark Ross begins his eighth season at Misericordia in 2019, entering the year with a record of 13-58. The only coach in program history, he was named Middle Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year in 2018 after leading the Cougars to an 8-3 record, including a 7-1 mark in the MAC. He previously spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca and has also coached at East Stroudsburg.
THE WORD ON MISERICORDIA: The Cougars enter the 2019 season off a record-setting 2018. After registering just five total wins in its first six seasons as an intercollegiate program, Misericordia jumped to an 8-3 record in 2018 that culminated with an appearance in the MAC-Centennial Bowl Series, where the Cougars lost to Ursinus, 70-14… Brady Williams is back as signal caller after earning MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors last season. He threw for 1,986 yards and completed 63 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions. As a junior he had five 200-yard games that included a 339-yard, four-touchdown outburst against Wilkes… David Cromwell returns to the backfield after rushing for 706 yards a year ago. He was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2018… Williams, however, has just one of his top six receivers back in 2019. Only Isaiah Williams and his 824 yards and seven TDs returns in his aerial arsenal… Defensively, three of Misericordia's top five tacklers are back. Michael Becke (72 tackles), John Pearson (65) and Zachary Orzell (55) anchor the defense in 2019.