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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 97th meeting between McDaniel (3-6, 2-6 CC) and Johns Hopkins (8-1, 7-1 CC) in a series that dates back to 1894. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 56-35-5, including wins in the last 17 meetings. The Green Terror's last win in the series came by a 41-7 margin in 2000. Today's game marks the 71st 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 put up 447 yards and 49 points in the first half to top McDaniel 56-21 to close out the 2017 regular season. Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) led the Green Terror with 130 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown runs. David Tammaro threw for 290 yards on 20 of 24 passing in the first half for the then-21st-ranked Blue Jays, who secured its ninth straight conference title and an NCAA berth with the victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Susquehanna scored a pair of first-half touchdowns in a 20-3 victory over McDaniel. Habeeb Baba (Bristol, Pa./Truman) established a career high with eight tackles to go with an interception and pass breakup in his first collegiate start. Nicholas Brotzman completed 18 of 27 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.
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: In his first collegiate start, freshman Habeeb Baba established a career high with eight tackles. He also had his first career interception and had a pass breakup. Baba had four tackles in the first eight games of the season.
DOUBLED UP: Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) recorded his sixth double-digit tackle outing of the season. He recorded 10 or more tackles in all five home games and also got to double figures at Gettysburg on Sept. 22. Among his 12 tackles last Saturday were three for loss.
NEGATIVE PLAYS ARE A POSITIVE: On Saturday, the Green Terror defense recorded nine tackles for loss. It was the fifth time in nine games this season that the defense had no fewer than nine tackles in the backfield. McDaniel had posted just four such games in the last two seasons combined.
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE: Isaac Murray (Columbia, Md./Atholton) and John Chamberlin (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) have combined for 1,074 yards rushing this season. The duo has each touted the rock more than 100 times. Murray is averaging 5.5 yards on 106 carries. He has a 63-yard run among his 583 yards rushing. He also has four touchdowns. Chamberlin is averaging 3.9 yards on 127 carries. He has a 53-yard run and four touchdowns among his 491 yards.
BOOTING IT: Joey Cornwell (Rockville, Md./Rockville) enters this week averaging a conference-best 39.0 yards per punt. He has a CC-high 64 punts and has dropped 16 punts inside the 20 and forced 13 fair catches. Opponents have only attempted to return 24 punts against the punt coverage team, resulting in a net punting average of 33.0 yards. He has averaged 37 yards per punt or better in six games this season.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror passed for a season-low 51 yards on Saturday. It was the fewest passing yards in a game since completing just four passes for 35 yards against Juniata on "Snowcoming" on Oct. 29, 2011… Defenses have forced multiple turnovers in each game during McDaniel's current four-game skid… Johns Hopkins will mark the third ranked opponent on the Green Terror schedule this season and entering the week at No. 16 will be the highest ranked of those foes.
COACHES' CORNER: Mike Dailey is in his third season at the helm of the Green Terror. He enters today's game with a 9-20 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… Jim Margraff is in his 29th season at Johns Hopkins. The all-time winngingest coach in program history, he has compiled a record of 217-88-3 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, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and sharing the crown again in 2017. The Blue Jays have also claimed four ECAC titles in his tenure. Margraff is also the state of Maryland's all-time wins leader when he picked up career win No. 175 in 2014. His team holds conference record for consecutive regular-season wins (45) and consecutive conference victories (40), which were snapped on Sept. 30.
THE WORD ON JOHNS HOPKINS: The Blue Jays enter today's game on a seven-game winning streak and in search of at least a share of their 10th straight Centennial Conference title. A victory would give Johns Hopkins the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament… Johns Hopkins topped Juniata 56-0 last Saturday in Huntingdon. The Blue Jays outgained the Eagles 692-151 on the day, including throwing for 495 yards… David Tammaro completed 18 of 22 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns. He has thrown for 200 or more yards in all nine games so far and 300 or more four times… Tammaro leads the league in passing at 308.6 yards per game, completing 65.9 percent of his passes with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions… The Johns Hopkins offense is tops in the conference at 552.9 yards per game – more than 100 yards per game better than any other CC team. That total is second in Division III… The Blue Jays' 48.3 points per game ranks fifth nationally while their 358.3 yards per game through the air is fourth… Johns Hopkins has scored 50 or more points five times this year and has not tallied fewer than 27 in any game… Stuart Walters has 11 rushing touchdowns and 627 net yards rushing… Ryan Hubley has been Tammaro's favorite target with 52 catches for 646 yards and six scores… Defensively, Robert Fletcher leads the way with 57 stops and four pass breakups.