McDaniel rolls to 38-7 victory in opener at St. Vincent

McDaniel rolls to 38-7 victory in opener at St. Vincent

LATROBE, Pa. – Making his first career start, Joe Lapkowicz (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp.) completed 12 of 13 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns to lead McDaniel to a 38-7 victory over St. Vincent in the football opener for both teams on Saturday.

In the most offensive day since racking up 556 yards at Gettysburg on Oct. 9, 2004, the Green Terror (1-0) outgained the Bearcats (0-1) by a 407-66 margin, including 208-21 on the ground.

Eric Zwilsky (Knoxville, Md./Brunswick) rushed for 111 of those yards for his second collegiate 100-yard rushing day. He also added three touchdown carries.

Saum Sami (Fruitland, Md./JM Bennett) racked up 101 of McDaniel’s 199 receiving yards on four catches, including a touchdown.

Anthony Johnson and Sean Hufgard led the St. Vincent defense with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.

Mike Ford (Drexel Hill, Pa./Haverford Twp.) forced a fumble on the Bearcats’ first play that Travis Wenrich (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) recovered to set up the offense at the St. Vincent 36. After Zwilsky gained five yards on the first two plays and a short completion set up fourth down at the Bearcat 29, Lapkowicz threw an interception that Antoine Barber returned 75 yards for a 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Zwilsky rushed for 23 of the 51 yards the Green Terror needed to knot the game.

On an 11-play drive that consumed 5 minutes, 36 seconds, McDaniel ran the ball 11 times for the game-tying score – a one-yard Zwilsky dive.

Knotted at 7, a 12-yard sack by Etai Gamliel (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) dropped St. Vincent back inside the one-yard line, facing a fourth-and-32.

After a 22-yard punt gave the Green Terror the ball inside the 25-yard line, the offense couldn’t net a single yard and was forced to settle for a 40-yard Jay Leonard (Westminster, Md./Westminster) field goal to take a 10-7 lead with 8:45 remaining in the first half.

Three passes from Lapkowicz to Saum on the final drive before the half ended gained 69 yards but a blocked field goal kept it a 10-7 game at the intermission.

Opening the second half with the ball, Lapkowicz found Zwilsky for a 26-yard completion and Zwilsky reeled off a 27-yard run up that middle before turning to the left side and finding the end zone for a 17-7 advantage, capping a 5-play, 60-yard march that needed just 2:09.

After the defense forced a three-and-out, Lapkowicz needed just 3 minutes, 22 seconds to find Sami for a 32-yard pass play that capped a 7-play, 69-yard drive for a 24-7 lead with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

A 34-yard catch-and-run down the left sideline by Matt Cahill (Havertown, Pa./Haverford Twp.) with 8:54 to play in the contest capped a quick four-play drive for a 31-7 lead.

Zwilsky put a bow on the Green Terror’s first road win in its last nine tries with an 11-yard scamper to the end zone with 2:56 on the clock.

The McDaniel defense, which didn’t have a player with more than six tackles, finished with five sacks, including 1.5 by Albert Leech (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson).

For the Green Terror, the victory marks the first time the squad has been over .500 since finishing 2005 with a 5-5 record. McDaniel improves 60-48-6 on opening day.

The Green Terror returns to action in the home opener against Moravian on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.