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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 72nd meeting between McDaniel (3-2, 2-2 CC) and Dickinson (1-4, 1-3 CC) in a series that dates back to 1904. The Green Terror leads the all-time series 37-34-1, including a 14-7 victory last season in Westminster. The Red Devils had won 10 of the last 11 meetings prior to last year.
WHEN LAST WE MET: McDaniel found the end zone midway through the fourth quarter to top Dickinson 14-7 in a defensive battle last season. Breon Herbert (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) hauled in four passes for the Green Terror but none bigger than final one – a 58-yard touchdown grab that broke a 7-all tie. Claude Richardson led the defense with 10 tackles, including three for loss. Pat Irwin led the Red Devils with 16 tackles – one of four player to reach double-digit stops. Jimmy Turner added 14 while Ned Emala and Tyler Heisey had 12 and 10, respectively.
LAST TIME OUT: Juniata converted a two-point conversion in overtime to defeat McDaniel 42-41 last Saturday. Matt Schleifer (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) led the Green Terror with 254 all-purpose yards. He hauled in five passes for a career-best 145 yards while also racking up 105 kickoff return yards and four punt return yards. Bamasa Bailor (Carlilse, Pa./Carlisle Area) also had 100 yards receiving, grabbing nine passes for 129. Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) had career highs of 32 carries and 164 yards on the ground for an offense that rolled up 535 total yards. Austin Montgomery led the Eagles with 219 yards passing and three touchdowns but he also caught the game-winning two-point conversion on a trick play in overtime.
WITH HONORS: Matt Schleifer, Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) and Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) were named to their respective CC Weekly Honor Rolls last week. Schleifer was named to the offensive ledger after catching five passes for 145 yards receiving, including a 68-yard reception for the longest offensive play of the season. He also had 109 total return yards to give him 254 all-purpose yards on the day. Doh was tabbed to the defensive list after leading the defense with nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. He also had a pass breakup. Wiersberg made an appearance on the special teams list after hitting a pair of field goals, including a career-long 46 yarder to force overtime.
LEADING THE WAY: Bamasa Bailor, Vince Gorgone (Clarksville, Md./Good Counsel) and Drew Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) will captain the squad in 2017. Gorgone is a two-time captain after also leading the squad as a junior while Bailor and Scott are first-time captains.
40-40 VISION: After Juniata scored the go-ahead touchdown with 18 seconds left on Saturday, the Green Terror used a pair of 40-yard plays to force overtime. After Breon Herbert's kickoff return set up the offense at its own 30 with 11 seconds left, Will Koester (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) hit Herbert down the far sideline for a 41-yard gain that moved the ball to the Juniata 29 with four ticks remaining. After a timeout, Spencer Wiersberg trotted out for the longest attempt of his career. The senior, after a timeout by the defense, drilled the 46-yard attempt to force overtime.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN: Spencer Wiersberg, who had his streak of eight made field goals snapped with a miss from 35 yards out with 2:34 to play in regulation, got another chance to force overtime. Last season, Wiersberg won the Ursinus game with a then-career long 43-yard field goal last season, going toward the same uprights. On Saturday, he trotted out for the longest attempt of his career and drilled the 46-yarder. It was the Green Terror's longest field goal since Jay Leonard beat Gettysburg with a 46-yarder – also at the same uprights – on Oct. 7, 2006.
EXTRA TIMES TWO: The Green Terror has gone to overtime in back-to-back games for the first time in program history. It is just the second time a conference team has played an extra session in consecutive weeks. Muhlenberg did it in 1998, defeating Ursinus 6-3 on Oct. 31 before knocking off Grove City 34-31 on Nov. 7. Kenyamo McFarland caught the game-winning score in both games for the Mules. The last time McDaniel played multiple overtime games in the same season was 2005. The Green Terror topped Catholic 37-36 on Sept. 17 on a Meikos Parker one-yard run and Jay Leonard extra-point. McDaniel later lost that season at Dickinson (25-22) and at home to Franklin & Marshall (17-14).
300-LEVEL COURSE: Will Koester threw for a career-high 354 yards on Saturday. He competed 22 of 34 passes for his second career 300-yard passing game. It was the 11th time in his career he threw for 200 or more yards in a game. The 354 yards was the most by a Green Terror quarterback in a single game since Matty Callahan threw for 388 at Juniata on Nov. 1, 2014 and it is the sixth highest single-game total in program history.
GOING LONG: McDaniel had 10 total plays last Saturday that went for 20 or more yards. However, three of those plays went for 40 or more yards – all in the passing game. Entering last week, the Green Terror had just one offensive play that went for more than 40 yards. Against Juniata, Matt Schleifer caught a 68-yard pass for the longest play from scrimmage since 2015. Schleifer also caught a 46-yard pass that was tipped by his teammate Bamasa Bailor. Breon Herbert had the final 40-yard play, catching a 41-yarder that set up the game-tying field goal.
DOH-RAY-ME: Ray Doh made nine tackles on Saturday and now leads the defense with 32 stops on the year. He had 2.5 tackles for loss and enters play today second in the conference with 9.5 tackles for loss on the season. Doh is also second on the team to Garvin Brooms' (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) 5.5 sacks with 4.0 of his own.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror is 3-0 when scoring fewer than 40 points this season but 0-2 when reaching the 40-point mark… McDaniel has lost both of its games by a combined three points, holding a fourth-quarter lead in both contests… Matt Cathey, Bamasa Bailor and Matt Schleifer all contributed more than 100 yards to the offense. Schleifer had a career-best 254 all-purpose yards.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his second season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 6-9 record, going 3-7 in his debut campaign as the head man after seven seasons as an assistant on the staff. Dailey joined the Green Terror staff in 2009 with a pedigree of success at all levels of football that included compiling a record of 115-83 and two championships in 12 years as a head coach in the Arena Football League (AFL), leading the Albany Firebirds and Colorado Crush that included winning league titles in 1999 and 2005. For his first six seasons on the McDaniel sidelines, he served as defensive coordinator. His scheme put pressure on opposing quarterbacks game-in and game-out, recording 101 sacks and 55 interceptions. He helped produce 12 All-Centennial Conference selections, including four first-team nods. In 2015, Dailey shifted responsibilities to the offensive side of the ball – something he is renowned for from his days in the AFL. He spent last season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Brad Fordyce is in his first season at the helm of the Red Devils, entering today with a record of 4-4. He spent the past two seasons as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Bucknell. No stranger to the Centennial Conference, Fordyce served seven seasons as the defensive coordinator at Susquehanna and was also on the McDaniel staff for nine season, including the final four years as defensive coordinator.
THE WORD ON DICKINSON: The Red Devils enter today's game off a 38-7 loss at Susquehanna on Saturday… A nine-yard Phillip Butler touchdown run with 5:06 to play in the first quarter accounted for Dickinson's only points. The offense netted just 162 yards of total offense. Robert Geiss was just 7-for-18 for 41 yards through the air… Five different Red Devil defenders had double-digit tackles led by Matt Butz and Tyler Heisey, who had 13 stops each… Dickinson enters this week ranked last in the conference in total offense, averaging just 300.0 yards per game and has the worst scoring offense (10.6 ppg)… The defense ranks in the middle of the pack of the conference, allowing 360.8 yards per game in total… Daniel Salamone, Kyle Donahue and Chris Longo have done the lion's share of the work in the passing game. The trio has combined for 63 of the team's 89 receptions. Salamone leads the way with 26 grabs while Longo has a team-best 270 yards. The trio has nearly three-quarters of the receiving yards… Jeremy Walsh and Phillip Butler have split the workload in the backfield. Walsh has 74 carries for 260 yards while Butler has 62 rushes for 200 yards. Butler has the Red Devils' only two rushing touchdowns… James Turner leads the conference with 60 tackles, including 7.5 for loss. He is the only player in the conference averaging double-digit stops… Heisey and Butz have 42 and 41 tackles, respectively… Dickinson has allowed 38 or more points in three of its first five games and has not held a team under 20 in 2017.