McDaniel nabs 21-17 win over Catholic

Nick Bender © 2009 David Sinclair/McDaniel College
Nick Bender © 2009 David Sinclair/McDaniel College

Lapkowicz scrambles for go-ahead score; Wenrich keys late defensive stand

WESTMINSTER, Md. - Joe Lapkowicz (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp.) turned a bad snap on the game-tying field goal attempt into a four-yard touchdown run with 2:20 to play, lifting McDaniel to a 21-17 victory over Catholic in non-conference football action on Saturday.

Travis Wenrich (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) recorded a season-best 12 tackles to key the Green Terror (2-1) on defense. He also added two pass breakups and an interception, of which the interception and one breakup came after Lapkowicz's go-ahead score.

Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) completed 17 of 35 passes for 198 yards to give head coach Tim Keating his 100th career victory at the helm of the Green Terror. Of the 22 combined completions between Massucci and Zach Swope (Jessup, Md./Hammond), 12 were to Nick Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Twp.), who amassed a career-best 140 yards. The other six McDaniel receivers caught 10 passes for 144 yards.

Rich Barry led the Cardinals (0-3) on offense with 142 yards rushing on 23 carries. Dylan Knight completed 6 of 15 passes for 117 yards but also ran for 85 yards on 10 carries. As a team, Catholic rolled up 426 yards of total offense - the most of any team so far in 2009. The rush defense, which entered the game ranked 22nd in Division III (54.0 ypg), allowed 223 yards on the ground.

Taking over at midfield with 6:37 to play, the Green Terror offense misfired on its first two plays before Swope found Ryan Procaccini (Hockessin, Del./Wilmington Friends School) for 17 yards to set up a first down at the Catholic 33.

A 14-yard connection with Bender and another eight-yard hook up with T.J. Develin (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) put the ball at the 11-yard line.

A sack before a Ray O'Hara (Yardley, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) nine-yard run on third down set up first-and-goal from the six.

Facing fourth down and a three-point deficit, the Green Terror sent the field goal unit on the field. A low snap forced Lapkowicz, the holder, to scramble to his left. A wide-open half of the field allowed the senior to scamper into the end zone untouched for a 20-17 advantage. Nick DeLuca (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) hit the all-important PAT to ensure the Cardinals would need a touchdown to win.

With 2:12 on the clock, Catholic opened the ensuing drive at its own 34 before a pass interference call moved the ball near midfield.

Wenrich picked off the pass on the next play off a Patrick Desmond (Frederick, Md./Frederick) tip at the McDaniel 30 and returned it to the 37.

A penalty forced the drive to start at the 27. After two timeouts, three plays and four yards, the Green Terror was forced to punt back to Catholic.

Matt Cantafio set up at his own 36 with 47.7 seconds on the clock, hitting Pete Lamacchia for 16 yards, Spencer Robinson for 14 and Scott Ritter for 12 to move the ball to the McDaniel 22 with 11 seconds to play.

A Mike Ford (Drexel Hill, Pa./Haverford Twp.) tipped pass at the line and Wenrich breakup along the back of the end zone as time expired preserved the win for McDaniel.

After a sloppy first quarter in which neither team could score, a bad snap to start the second quarter was recovered by Ford at his own 44 to give the Green Terror possession.

Keyed by 26 yards in penalties by the Cardinals, including pass interference call in the end zone that was intercepted, Develin capped the 7-play, 56-play march for a 7-0 lead.

Catholic needed just 37 seconds on its next drive to even the game, using a Barry 46-yard run to make it a 7-all game with 9:55 to play before halftime.

A 22-yard touchdown catch by Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) capped a 7-play drive that gave McDaniel a 14-7 lead with 2:21 to play in the half.

A Thomas Breslin 29-yard field goal cut the deficit to 14-10 at halftime before Knight found Alonzo Cooke for a 63-yard pass play on the team's second possession of the third quarter to key a 6-play drive that started inside the Cardinals' one-yard line.

McDaniel returns to action at Dickinson on Saturday. Game time is 1:30 p.m.