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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 71st meeting between McDaniel (1-2, 0-2 CC) and Gettysburg (0-3, 0-2 CC) in a series that dates back to 1891. The Bullets lead the all-time series 51-19-1 but the Green Terror won in overtime last season 27-20 to snap a six-game losing streak in the series.
WHEN LAST WE MET: McDaniel built a 20-6 lead but then needed an overtime touchdown to defeat Gettysburg 27-20 last season. Andre Henry Jr. hauled in four catches for 50 yards but none were bigger for the Green Terror than his final – a 25-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone in overtime. Kevin Benavente led the Bullets with three catches for 58 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: Each team scored on their first offensive possession and added a second-quarter touchdown before Franklin & Marshall tacked on a third score in the fourth quarter for a 21-14 win over McDaniel. Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) led the defense with 10 tackles. Joe Hartley-Vittoria carried the ball 26 times for 112 yards with a touchdown.
LEADING THE WAY: Paul Flagg (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown), Markos Katrakazis (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown), Angelo Payne (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) and Jared Staub (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) will captain the squad in 2018. All four seniors are first-time captains.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Sophomore Jake Morris (Crapo, Md./Cambridge-South Dorchester) caught his first pass in the third quarter last week. The tight end, who has seen significant action as the team's long snapper, snagged an 11-yard gain on a first down midway through the first period.
HOLD ON: The first quarter last week featured just one possession by each team. McDaniel churned 75 yards over 11 plays to eat up 5 minutes, 6 seconds of the first-quarter clock. Franklin & Marshall countered with a 15-play drive, covering 72 yards in 8:54 to tie the game at 7-all with just 52 seconds remaining in the first period. The Green Terror got its second possession with 51 seconds on the clock and still held the ball when the second quarter started.
WHAT A BOOT: As if his Week Two 38.1-yard-per-punt average wasn't good enough for Joey Cornwell (Rockville, Md./Rockville), he one-upped himself last Saturday. The senior averaged 40.5 yards on eight punts that included a 51-yarder that pinned the Diplomats inside their own five-yard line in the fourth quarter – one of three he dropped inside the 20. Cornwell enters Week Four with a conference-best 38.9-yard-per-punt average.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: McDaniel enters this week with the third-ranked defense in the conference. The Green Terror is allowing just 15.7 points per game and 264.0 yards per game. Its pass defense is also third at 149.3 yards per game while the rush defense is currently fourth at 114.7 yards per game. McDaniel has not had a season where its scoring defense is less than 20.0 ppg and 300.0 ypg since the 2004 defense allowed 13.1 ppg and 253.3 ypg.
BALANCING ACT: Eight of the Green Terror's starting defenders have recorded 10 or more tackles through the first three games. Jarius Ransom leads the team with 27 stops after back-to-back double-digit tackle games. Kiree Moore (Arlington, Va./Westlake) has just seven tackles on the year but has broken up four passes, including two last Saturday.
BALANCING ACT, PART II: Much like the other side of the ball, the offense has also been balanced in its first three games of 2018. John Chamberlin (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) became the first player on the team to find the end zone a second time, scoring from one yard out in the second quarter. Chamberlin leads the rushing attack with 198 yards while Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) has 133 yards and Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) has netted 85 yards. Davon Ingram (Sparrows Point, Md./Dundalk) leads the receiving corps with 12 catches for 155 yards but three other receivers have 70 or more yards.
TERROR TIDBITS: McDaniel lost the time of possession battle for the second straight week and fell to 0-12 under Mike Dailey when the opponents holds the ball longer in a game… The Green Terror is 0-2 this season when scoring first but 1-0 when the opponent gets the first score… This is the first of three straight weeks of Homecoming games for McDaniel. The Green Terror is also Juniata's Homecoming foe next weekend before returning home for its own Homecoming festivities on The Hill.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his third season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 7-16 record, going 3-7 in his each of his first two campaigns 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 one season coordinating the pass game and working specifically with the wide receivers… Kevin Burke is in his first season at the helm at Gettysburg, posting an 0-3 record to start his tenure. Burke was named head coach following 14 years as offensive coordinator. He has helped the Bullets become one of the top offensive teams in the Centennial Conference and Division III. Since installing a unique set known as the "Spread Wing" in 2005, Gettysburg has led the Centennial Conference in total offense five times, rushing offense seven times, and passing offense twice. Before arriving at Gettysburg, Burke served as the head coach at Juniata College from 1998-2003. He coached at Stony Brook and Hamilton College before a stint as the offensive coordinator at Juniata. Burke went on to coach at Norwich University before returning to Juniata.
THE WORD ON GETTYSBURG: The Bullets enter today's game off a 30-7 loss to Dickinson, falling to the Red Devils in the annual battle for the Little Brown Bucket for the third straight season. The previous two defeats had come by a field goal… Gettysburg has been outscored 106-31 in the first three games of the season… The Bullets jumped out to a 7-0 lead last Saturday on a Kevin Sawtell 30-yard punt return before the Red Devils pitched a shutout the rest of the way. Mike Welsh led the offense with 70 yards passing (7-for-17) and 35 yards rushing. Ryan Finlay threw the ball 11 times, completing four passes for 67 yards. Mike McKnight led the defense with 10 tackles… Welsh is the team's leading rusher with 111 net yards on 44 carries. He is completing 36.1 percent (26 of 72) of his pass attempts for 263 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions… Evan Tannenbaum is second in the CC in punting average at 38.5 yards per punt… The Gettysburg offense is last in the CC in scoring (10.3 ppg), yards (210.3 ypg), third-down conversion (15 percent). The Bullet defense is ninth in scoring (35.3 ppg) and yards (381.3 ypg).