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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 17th meeting between McDaniel (0-1, 0-0 CC) and Moravian (0-1 0-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1972. The Greyhounds hold a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series, including three wins in the first three meetings since the renewal of conference foes in 2007. The Green Terror snapped that streak with a 13-10 victory in 2010 in Westminster and made it back-to-back victories with a 35-14 home win last season.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) matched a 41-year-old program record with 311 rushing yards to lead McDaniel to a 35-14 win over Moravian in the CC opener last season. The then-sophomore tailback was a large part of an offense that put up 436 total yards. Rollins added 20 yards on a kickoff return to give him a career-best 331 all-purpose yards. In addition to Rollins' big day, which included three touchdown runs, Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) added two receptions for 102 yards to account for the majority of then-freshman Nick Valori's (Treasure Island, Fla./Washington Twp. [N.J.]) 135 yards passing. The rookie completed 7 of 9 attempts in his first collegiate start.
LAST TIME OUT: Catholic scored 21 straight points to turn a 17-16 game into a 38-16 lead early in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-28 win over McDaniel last week. Nick O'Melia scored the first three touchdowns of the season for the Green Terror, racking up 154 yards receiving on six catches. Nick Valori threw for 231 yards, completing 14 of 32 passes. Greg Cordivari led the Cardinals with 312 yards passing and four touchdowns. He completed 21 of 33 attempts. Alonzo Cooke grabbed seven of those receptions for 156 yards and two scores.
WITH HONORS: Nick O'Melia and Erik Klugh (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. O'Melia was named the offensive ledger after leading the Green Terror with six catches for 154 yards, including three touchdowns. He caught scores of 62 and 60 yards among his grabs. Hill earned the defensive nod after recording a career-high 14 tackles and adding a pass breakup.
LEADING THE WAY: Tyler Lloyd (Broad Run, Va./Fauquier), Tim McLister (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun) and Kevin White (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Haverford Twp.) will captain the squad in 2012. White is a two-time captain while Lloyd and McLister will lead the squad for the first time as seniors.
OPENING STATEMENTS: McDaniel has won back-to-back CC openers after dropping four straight. After a one-year hiatus, the Green Terror returned to opening the conference slate against Moravian after last year. The Greyhounds won each of the first three CC meetings when the two teams meet in the first conference game of the season. The Green and Gold are 14-15 in conference lidlifters 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.
BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR: All four of the Green Terror touchdowns in the opener were scored through the air. Furthermore, Francis Scott Key High School graduates were on the receiving end of all four of Nick Valori's scoring tosses. Nick O'Melia caught the first three, including strikes of 62 and 60 yards before Keith Woodrow (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) got in on the action.
YOU'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST: For Keith Woodrow, his touchdown catch with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter last Friday was extra special. It was not only the sophomore's first touchdown reception but the two-yard catch along the back line of the end zone was also his first collegiate reception.
'BACKING IT UP: All three of McDaniel's starting linebackers in Friday night's opener reached double figures in tackles. Erik Klugh led the way with 14 stops from his middle linebacker position. Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) and Zach Martin (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) reach recorded 12 tackles from their outside linebacker spots. The trio combined for 38 of the team's 94 total tackles.
IN THE NICK OF TIME: In his 10th career start last Friday, Nick Valori threw for 231 yards on 14 of 32 passing. For the sophomore, it was his sixth collegiate 200-yard passing game. As has been the case in half of his 200-yard passing games, Nick O'Melia was his favorite target. The junior wideout has had more than 100 yards receiving in three of his quarterback's 200-yard outings.
TWICE AS GRAND: Junior RB Joe Rollins enters his junior campaign with 2,024 career yards. He is one of three CC running backs all-time to rack up 2,000 or more yards in his first two seasons on the gridiron. Gettysburg's Paul Smith (1996-97) and the Green Terror's Eric Frees (1988-89) were the only other two backs to eclipse the two grand mark this early in their careers. Frees (5,281) and Smith (5,205) are the conference's all-time rushing leaders and the only two in conference history to hit 5,000 yards rushing. Rollins, a preseason All-American by Beyond College Sports Network, is already 34th in CC history and fifth in McDaniel program history.
IN A PINCH: Senior Matt Emerson (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) had one of his most productive offensive day in a Green Terror uniform even though the wide receiver did not catch a pass all night. Instead, he ran the ball five times for 47 yards in the absence of starting RB Joe Rollins.
TERROR TIDBITS: Nick Valori needs 131 yards to reach 2,000 for his career. He will be the 10th Green Terror signal caller to reach that mark… Brett Haas (Laurel, Md./Atholton) averaged 37.6 yards on five punts in his collegiate debut. He established a career long with a 56-yard boot for his first career punt… McDaniel has not won in Bethlehem since 1979. Moravian has won the first two meeting as CC foes at home… The Green Terror converted all three of its trips into the red zone last week.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his first season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 0-1. He spent the last eight seasons as the defensive coordinator, culminating with being a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2011. In his first season at Albright, his defense went from allowing an average of 235.4 yards per game to 175.1 yards per contest, helping to guide Albright to an ECAC South Atlantic championship. His tenure as defensive coordinator was marked specifically by stout run defense, ranking in the top half of the Middle Atlantic Conference in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense in four of his last five seasons. His 2008 defense led the conference and ranked 33rd nationally, allowing just 16.9 points per games and appeared in the ECAC South Central Bowl… Jeff Pukszyn is in his second season as the head coach at Moravian after serving 10 years as assistant head coach. He enters today's game with a record of 2-9 after a 2-8 debut campaign. 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 today's game off a 24-0 home loss to Ithaca last Saturday. Clay Ardoin led the Bombers on the ground with 206 of the team's 331 yards rushing… Ryan Davies and Jimmy Lahue split time at quarterback for Moravian. Davies went 6-for-12 for 53 yards while Lahue was 6-for-14 for 53 yards… Ithaca outgained the hosts 456-146 overall, including 331-34 in the run game… Vince Reed made five catches for 44 yards while Will McLaughlin snagged two passes for 33 yards… Joe Tegan led the running game with 17 yards while Lahue had five runs for 13 yards in addition to his day passing… Brandon Lesko and Kevin Bracken paced the Greyhound defense with 10 tackles each. Bracken added a pass breakup… Rocco Del Priore added nine stops while Travis King had seven tackles and a forced fumble… Tegan led the Moravian offense in 2011 with 84 rushes for 349 yards and two of the Greyhounds' nine TDs on the ground… Moravian returns just 13 of its 24 starters from last year.