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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 92nd meeting between McDaniel (2-7, 2-6 CC) and Johns Hopkins (9-0, 8-0 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 51-35-5, including wins in the last 12 meetings. The Green Terror's last win in the series came by a 41-7 margin in 2001. Today's game marks the 66th consecutive season when the two long-time rivals have been scheduled to be the final game on each other's schedules.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Johns Hopkins raced out to a 28-0 halftime advantage en route to a 49-7 CC victory over McDaniel to close the 2012 regular season. Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) led the Green Terror on defense with a career-high 16 tackles – the most by a McDaniel player since Zach Martin's 19 in 2010. Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) led the offense with 143 yards rushing. Rollins finished with 251 all-purpose yards, adding 95 kick-return yards, seven receiving yards and six punt-return yards. Jonathan Rigaud led the then-21st-ranked Blue Jays to their second straight outright CC crown with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns as part of a balanced offensive attack that piled up 524 yards of total offense.
LAST TIME OUT: Nick O'Melia (Taneytown, Md./Francis Scott Key) caught his third touchdown with 17 seconds left. At that point, McDaniel trailed 42-41 and a simple extra-point would tie the game and send the team to almost a sure overtime at Susquehanna last Saturday. Instead, Seth McFall (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) looked to Britton Hastings (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area), who adjusted after the pass was tipped, caught the pass and spun to his right and into the end zone for a 43-42 win. For the Green Terror, McFall completed 20 of 29 passes for a career-high 229 yards to lead the offense. Joe Rollins ran for 182 yards and two scores on 21 carries.
WITH HONORS: Seth McFall, Eddie Kendall (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Boro) and Aqil Tweedy (Fredericksburg, Va./Colonial Forge) were named to the CC Weekly Honor Roll last week. McFall was named to the offensive ledger after throwing for a career-high 229 yards on 20 of 29 passing with three touchdowns. Kendall earned the defensive nod after recording eight tackles, forcing a fumble and blocking a kick. Tweedy made an appearance on the special teams list after racking up 108 kickoff return yards on six attempts as well as recovering a blocked field goal. That was in addition to time at wide receiver and cornerback.
LEADING THE WAY: Mike Cousar (Easton, Pa./Easton Area), Derrick Miles (Glen Mills, Pa./Bayard Rustin), Mike Oliveto, Joe Rollins and Pat Tighe (Point Pleasant Beach, N.J./Point Pleasant Beach) will captain the squad in 2013. All five are first-time captains and mark the most since 2009.
THANK YOU, SENIORS: Today marks the final home game for up to 19 McDaniel seniors. Of those 19 players, no fewer than 12 have been a starter this season. Nine of those 12 have been multiple-year starters for the Green Terror.
McFALLBACK PLAN: Seth McFall made his first start of the season on Saturday. The junior signal caller completed 20 of his 29 attempts, throwing for a career-high 229 yards. It was his first 200-yard passing game. He also connected with Nick O'Melia for three touchdown passes – the first three-TD game for a McDaniel quarterback since last year's season opener at Catholic.
ROOKIE BIG TIME: One week after making a 49-yard catch for his first collegiate catch, freshman Britton Hastings added an eight-yard snag at Susquehanna on Saturday. However, neither of those plays compared to the catch that doesn't appear in the box score. Trailing 42-41 with 17 seconds left, head coach Mike Hoyt elected to go for the win in regulation. Seth McFall's pass to the freshman was tipped up at the line of scrimmage on the two-point conversion attempt. Hastings, however, adjusted from his spot in the end zone and came back into the field of play, made the catch, turned right and ran into the end zone for the successful conversion and win.
WANNA BE LIKE MIKE: After not being able to line up in victory formation for 686 days, Mike Cousar nabbed an interception on Sept. 14 to seal the 21-14 win over Moravian and allow the offense to take that knee. Well 56 days later, the senior did it again. On the first play after the Green Terror took the lead, Cousar knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble to once again allow for the victory formation in the team's second win.
MISTER DO-IT-ALL: Sophomore Aqil Tweedy has been a solid receiver, catching 16 passes and a touchdown this year. He's spent as a kick returner and plenty of time on the other special-teams groups. However, two weeks ago with injuries taking their toll, Tweedy needed to step in and play some defense as well. Last week, he started at cornerback. He started at kick returner. And, he still played some wide receiver. On defense, he recorded three tackles and had an interception. He also recovered a fumble. As a kick returner, he returned six kickoffs for a total of 108 yards. He also tracked down a blocked field goal late in the second quarter that set up the Green Terror's go-ahead touchdown just before halftime.
GOING LONG: One play after Susquehanna took a 20-7 lead with 5:34 to play in the second quarter, McDaniel handed the ball to Joe Rollins at its own 23-yard line. The senior tailback broke through the line and was gone for a 77-yard touchdown scamper for the longest run of his collegiate career.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: The Green Terror enters this week's game with a roster of 94 players. Of those 94 players, 63 are either freshmen or sophomores. McDaniel will have a freshman class of 42 in 2013 – by far its largest class on the roster.
TERROR TIDBITS: The 43 points scored by the offense on Saturday was the most since tallying 52 in the 2009 opener against St. Vincent… Joe Rollins recorded his 22nd 100-yard rushing game on Saturday. He needs 50 yards to move into fourth place on the CC's all-time list. He would need a 249-yard game for the single-season program record… The Green Terror has had three offensive plays of 60 or more yards this season and eight that have gone for 40 or more… McDaniel has been flagged for a CC-high 60 penalties this season and drawn a CC-high 64… The same 22 Green Terror players have not been the starters in any two games this season.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Hoyt is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror, entering today's game with an overall record of 2-17, picking up his first win on Sept. 14 – a 21-14 victory over Moravian. He spent the previous 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… Jim Margraff is in his 24th season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 166-81-3 in his tenure with the Blue Jays. After earning a share of three consecutive conference titles, Margraff led Johns Hopkins to its first outright claim to the title and NCAA tournament bid in 2005 and once again took the outright crown in 2009 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. In 2010, the squad once again shared the CC title before taking the outright title again in 2011 and 2012. The Blue Jays have also claimed four ECAC titles in his tenure. Margraff led Johns Hopkins to the program's 500th win last week with a 45-30 win over Franklin & Marshall, which also secured the outright conference championship.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays enter today's game ranked 11th in the latest d3football.com poll and eighth in the AFCA coaches poll. Johns Hopkins defeated Franklin & Marshall 45-30 last Saturday to claim its third straight outright CC championship and NCAA bid. It was also the program's 500th all-time victory. The Blue Jays are 500-476-58 all-time… Brandon Cherry ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns… Cherry enters today's game with 932 rushing yards… Robbie Matey has completed 73 percent (187-for-256) of his passes this season for 2,087 yards.