Click on the image below for a preview of this week's football game on Adobe Spark.
OPENING KICKOFF: Tonight's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 20th meeting between McDaniel (3-5, 2-5 CC) and No. 20 Susquehanna (7-1, 6-1 CC) in a series that dates back to 1961. The River Hawks have won the last four meetings on the field to take an 12-7 lead in the all-time series although they later vacated the 2015 victory. The Green Terror last won 43-42 in Selinsgrove in 2013.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Susquehanna scored a pair of first-half touchdowns in a 20-3 victory over McDaniel. Habeeb Baba (Bristol, Pa./Truman) established a career high with eight tackles to go with an interception and pass breakup in his first collegiate start. Nicholas Brotzman completed 18 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.
LAST TIME OUT: Ursinus scored 21 straight points to turn a 13-9 edge into a 34-9 lead late in the third quarter, defeating McDaniel 37-16 last Saturday. Daqwan Hill (Germantown, Md./The Avalon School) led the Green Terror with 55 all-purpose yards, scoring both touchdowns. Kyle Wiggins led the Bears with 127 rushing yards on 31 carries.
LEADING THE WAY: Tracey Easton (Waldorf, Md./North Point), Nah'shon Godfrey (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College), 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.
LIGHT IT UP: Tonight marks the first time since 2015 that McDaniel will play a night game. Every season between 2012 and 2015, the Green Terror opened the season with a night game against Catholic. The Cardinals won three of those four meetings. McDaniel is 3-6 all-time in night games. This is the first of back-to-back years that the Green Terror and River Hawks are scheduled to kick off under the lights. The two teams are set to return the engagement with another 6 p.m. kickoff next season in Westminster.
BIG PLAY POTENTIAL: The last two McDaniel games this season have featured big plays all over the field. There have been seven offensive plays that have gone for 40 or more yards – all in the passing game. Jevon Hamilton (White Plains, Md./St. Charles) had two of those receptions, including an 85-yard reception against Muhlenberg for the Green Terror's longest play from scrimmage in 15 years. Hamilton also snagged a 40-yard pass at Ursinus. Brendan Bandy (Abington, Md./Patterson Mill) also had a 50-yard reception against the Bears. Muhlenberg had pass plays of 51 and 93 while Ursinus completed touchdown passes of 75 and 74.
UP AND GOOD: Peyton Denlinger (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) converted a season-long 43-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter last week at Ursinus. It was the first made field goal for the sophomore since making two against Gettysburg on Sept. 28. The 43-yarder was a season long for Denlinger. His last three attempts have come from 40 yards or longer.
DAQWAN DOES IT: Daqwan Hill scored two touchdowns on Saturday and leads the team with five scores this season. He and Perry Stefanelli are the only players who have found the end zone more than once this year. Stefanelli has a pair of touchdown runs. Eight other offensive players have one touchdown each. Hill has the money back on third down. He has touted the ball 14 times on third down and has converted half of those times. Four of his five touchdown runs have come on third down. He also has three other first-down runs.
STOP WHERE YOU ARE: Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) is currently second in the conference in tackles, averaging 9.3 stops per game. He has recorded six or more tackles in all eight games this season and has reached double figures in four of those contests. Ransom is also tied for fourth in tackles for loss with 12.0 for the year. He is also third in both forced fumbles and fumbles recovered.
TERROR TIDBITS: In the current iteration of the conference schedule, McDaniel has not won a game in the second half of the schedule, dropping its last 11 games after the bye. The Green Terror is 0-14 in October and November over the last three years… The McDaniel defense had its 20th takeaway of the season with its ninth interception on Saturday. It was the defense's first pick in five games, however. The Green Terror is still plus-14 on the year in turnover margin.
COACHES' CORNER: Demarcus White is in his first season as head coach, debuting with back-to-back wins and enters this week with a 3-5 record. 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… Tom Pertkovich is in his fifth season at the helm of the River Hawks, entering today with a record of 34-16. He became Susquehanna's 30th coach in 2015 after serving the previous 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Muhlenberg. He spent the last five seasons as the Mules' offensive coordinator and had previous stints as special team's coordinator and offensive line coach. He began his coaching career at Muhlenberg in 2003 when he was named running backs coach, a position he held through the 2004 season. He moved to Division I Holy Cross as tight ends coach before taking over as running backs coach at Colgate in 2006. He returned to the Mules' staff a year later.
THE WORD ON SUSQUEHANNA: The River Hawks enter today's game on a five-game winning streak after a 24-17 overtime loss to Muhlenberg on Sept. 21. Susquehanna topped Gettysburg 53-13 last Saturday and have outscored its last five opponents by a 189-50. The River Hawks have had only three games decided by one possession this season. In addition to the overtime loss to Muhlenberg, Susquehanna defeated Johns Hopkins 28-27 on Sept. 14 and Dickinson by a 24-17 final on Oct. 5… Da'Avian Ellington led the River Hawks against the Bullets last week with 150 yards rushing on 19 carries. Jaden Buchanan caught two passes for 72 yards, including a 63-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. Mikah Christian had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown… Susquehanna enters the weekend in the top three in the conference in nearly every offensive category. The River Hawks lead the league in yards per rush at 4.7. They are also second in scoring (34.5 ppg), rushing yards (176.9 ypg), passing touchdowns (17), competition percentage (59.0 pct) and first downs (172)… The Susquehanna defense is also tops in yards allowed (248.8 ypg) and second in scoring (15.9 ppg). The River Hawks are the only defense in the top three in the CC against the run (2nd, 72.6 ypg) and pass (2nd, 176.1)… Michael Ruisch is completing 60 percent of his passes for 1800 yards and 16 touchdowns against just six interceptions… Ellington enters this week needing just 118 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He is the only CC running back within 280 yards of 1,000 through eight games… Christian has been a favorite target of Ruisch this season with 25 catches for 468 yards and six scores. Kyle Good has a team-high 30 catches for 314 yards while Mitch Carsley has 27 receptions for 258 yards… Cole Dixon leads the defense with 63 tackles and four pass breakups.