Moravian at McDaniel
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WHEN LAST WE MET: Jake Nichols (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) converted his first two collegiate field-goal attempts to lead McDaniel to a 13-10 victory last season. The Greyhounds outgained the Green Terror by a 226-158 margin and had a chance to tie the game with 1:22 to play but Ian Heck's 45-yard field goal from the right hash came up just short. Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) led a second consecutive solid defensive effort from McDaniel with a career-best nine tackles and three pass breakups.
LAST TIME OUT: Catholic scored the final 15 points to take a 39-36 victory over McDaniel, capping the action with a 34-yard touchdown and two-point conversion with 1:01 to play last Saturday. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) racked up 292 all-purpose yards for the Green Terror, including 159 rushing and a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Greg Cordivari threw for 459 yards on 31 of 48 passing with three touchdowns to lead the Cardinals, who watched McDaniel score the first 19 points of the second half to erase a 24-17 halftime deficit.
HEAD OF THE CLASS: Joe Rollins was named CC Special Teams Player of the Week after he returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown as part of his 120 kick returns yards in the game. The 120 yards was part of a bigger day for the starting running back, who racked up 292 all-purpose yards.
WITH HONORS: Joe Rollins and Jerome Hill (Baltimore, Md./Northwestern) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Rollins, in addition his Player of the Week nod, was named the offensive ledger after rushing for 159 yards on 36 carries. He also caught three passes for 13 yards as part of his 292 all-purpose yards. Hill earned the defensive nod after recording seven tackles and adding two pass breakups.
OPENING STATEMENTS: McDaniel snapped a four-year steak of losing its CC opener last season, defeating Juniata 3-0 in the season and league lidlifter. The Green Terror returns to opening the conference slate against Moravian after a one-year hiatus. The Greyhounds have won each of the three CC meetings when the two teams meet in the first conference game of the season. The Green and Gold are 13-15 in conference openers since the inception of the CFC. The Green Terror dropped its first eight openers after the creation of the CFC in 1983 – all to Gettysburg. For the first 20 years, McDaniel and Gettysburg squared off with the Bullets holding a slight 11-9 advantage. Ursinus was the first opponent on the Green Terror's CC schedule for the next four years. McDaniel won the first three of those meetings.
LEADING THE WAY: Sam Cox, Tom Massucci, Diego Weiner (Miami, Fla./Riverside Military Academy [Ga.]) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) will captain the squad in 2011. The quartet is all first-time captains for the Green Terror. Weiner and White earned the nod as juniors. It marks the first time since 2008 that McDaniel will be led by a completely new group of captains.
MR. 4,000: Senior QB Tom Massucci became the 28th CC signal caller to join the 4,000-yard club on Saturday. He entered the season needing just 17 yards and threw for 75 on 9 of 28 passing to finish the day with 4,058 for his career – a total which ranks 27th in conference history. He was already third in the Green Terror record books. He accomplished the feat in just 25 career games and 393 completions, averaging 10.33 yards per completion and 162.32 yards per game.
AHEAD OF THE GAME: McDaniel put 36 points on the scoreboard in the opener on Saturday and is way ahead of its pace in 2010 where the team ranked ninth in the CC in scoring offense at 18.3 points per game. The Green Terror did not reach the 36-point mark until halftime at Catholic last year – the third game of the season. In 2011, McDaniel reached 36 points just 46:57 into the season compared to the 148-minute, 32-second mark of 2010. Officially, the Green Terror scored 36 points in a span of 41:32 to register the third-most points by a CC team in its opener this year. Only Johns Hopkins (45) and Gettysburg (42) – the top two offensive teams a year ago – scored more in their openers this season. Eight of McDaniel's points came on defense and special teams.
SAFETY HATS REQUIRED: The Green Terror recorded a safety on Saturday for the first time since Nov. 12, 2005 in the season finale against Johns Hopkins. After Donny Sherman (Darlington, Md./Havre de Grace) set McDaniel up in good field position for its first possession of the second half, the Green Terror was forced out of field-goal range and forced to punt after a three and out. Jake Nichols spun a punt to the half-yard line, pinning the Catholic offense in its own end zone. On the next play, Bill Gerdes (Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck) stood the Cardinal running back up two yards deep, leading to two points for McDaniel. The Green Terror also took the drive after the ensuing free kick 57 yards on nine plays for a touchdown and 26-24 lead.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: Joe Rollins amassed 292 all-purpose yards on Saturday and it was the return game where the most damage was done. He got his hands on three kickoffs and rolled up 120 yards but the second of runbacks that was the big one. After a modest 32-yard return late in the first quarter, the sophomore took the next Cardinal boot 90 yards to the house midway through the second quarter, responding to a Catholic touchdown and putting his team back in front, 17-10. For the rest of the day, the Cardinals elected to squib kick, leading – in part – to an average starting field position of the Catholic 49 for the Green Terror. After the Rollins return for a score, McDaniel averaged a starting field position of its own 42 on kickoffs alone.
STILL ROLLINS ALONG: It wasn't just the kick-return game that featured Joe Rollins. The sophomore running back touched the ball on 39 of his team's 80 offensive plays, which outside of the 71 snaps Tom Massucci took was more than 433 percent more touches than any other Green Terror offensive player. Rollins ran the ball 36 times for 159 yards – his third career 100-yard rushing game and first as the team's starting tailback. He also caught three passes out of the backfield for 13 yards. Rollins 159 yards rushing was more than twice as many as any other conference back in the opener.
RUNNING OUT OF ROOM: For the second time in the last two seasons, the McDaniel run defense held an opponent to fewer than 15 yards on the ground. On Saturday, two errant snaps resulting a loss of 38 yards helped the cause but the Green Terror held Catholic's leading rusher Mike Pitsenberger, who finished 2010 with 901 yards rushing, to just 47 yards on 18 carries. In the end, the Cardinals netted just 14 yards on 26 attempts. Last season, essentially the same front seven limited Moravian to 13 net yards rushing.
A PLAYER TO BE NAMED LATER: Last year, CJ Billera made the decision to leave McDaniel and transfer closer to Moravian, which is closer to his hometown of Emmaus. In his first two collegiate seasons, Billera racked up 2,020 all-purpose yards. He caught 70 passes for 663 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 49 kick returns for 969 yards and 45 punt returns for 372 yards. Little did everyone know at the time but it would be the beginning in a series of events affecting both the Green Terror and Greyhounds. In late May, President Dr. Roger Casey announced the hiring of Paul Moyer as the new Director of Athletics at McDaniel. Moyer spent the last 11 years as Director of Athletics at Moravian. In early July – before Moyer officially assumed his duties on the Hill – Moravian announced the hiring of Scot Dapp as its new Director of Athletics. Dapp spent the last 24 years as head football coach. At the time of Dapp's promotion, Jeff Pukszyn was promoted to head football coach.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel fell to 33-14-3 in season openers at home and 4-5 under head coach Tim Keating… Catholic torched the Green Terror secondary for 459 yards – the most yards allowed passing ever. It marks the second time in two years that a team threw for more than 400 yards against McDaniel… The Green Terror leads the CC in three of the four special teams categories – kickoff returns (25.9), punt returns (12.7) and kickoff coverage (45.6). McDaniel is fourth in punting (34.8)… The Green Terror leads the league in rush defense and is last in pass defense after one week… McDaniel was penalized 11 times for 111 yards on Saturday – the most of any CC team in Week One. The 21 combined penalties was more than every other game. The other 10 games averaged 12.3 penalties.
COACHES' CORNER: Tim Keating is in his 19th season at the helm of the Green Terror. His 108 victories are the most by any McDaniel coach. Keating enters today's game with record of 108-76-3, guiding the program to seven CC championships and a pair of NCAA playoff wins. Before coming to the Hill, Keating notched a 26-23 record in five seasons at Wesley… Jeff Pukszyn is in his first season as the head coach at Moravian after serving the last 10 years as assistant head coach. He joined the staff as a part-time coach in 1997 after a three-year playing career under former head coach and current Director of Athletics Scot Dapp that saw him named to the All-Middle Atlantic Conference first team in 1994 and 1996. The two-time captain joined the staff full time in 1999 as defensive coordinator, a position he retains as the head man.
THE WORD ON MORAVIAN: The Greyhounds enter this week's game off a 44-6 season-opening loss at Widener last Saturday. Chris Haunt guided the Pride to victory, completing 28 of 44 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns… Matt Johnson led the Moravian offense with 168 yards through the air on 15 of 34 passing. Junior RB CJ Billera, who transferred back home after playing his first two seasons with the Green Terror, ran for 18 yards on eight carries in his Greyhound debut. He also returned one kickoff for 22 yards… Jake Hillebrand led the Moravian defense with 11 tackles and forced a fumble. Rees Judge had eight stops and an interception, which he returned 24 yards to set up the first of two Ian Heck field goals… Heck, who went 6-for-11 on field-goal attempts last year, converted from 28 and 23 yards on Saturday… The Greyhounds were able to muster just 27 yards rushing against Widener – the second fewest yards on the ground of any CC team in the 2011 opener… Johnson started the 2010 season as a defensive back, recording 19 tackles, before moving to quarterback. As the starting signal caller, he won six of the seven games he started, completing 93 of 157 for 1,319 yards and nine touchdowns against just three interceptions. Johnson was also the team's second leading rusher with 378 net yards… Joe Teegan joins Billera in the backfield after leading the team with 557 yards rushing in 2010… Seth Payne anchors the defensive line at nose tackle after earning second-team All-CC honors a year ago. He had 39 tackles, including 6.0 for loss… Allen Petros flanks Payne to one side, earning a first-team All-CC nod last year after 52 tackles, including 16.0 for loss and 8.5 sacks.