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OPENING KICKOFF: Today's Centennial Conference (CC) game marks the 74th meeting between McDaniel (3-2, 2-2 CC) and Dickinson (2-3, 1-3 CC) in a series that dates back to 1904. The Green Terror leads the all-time series 37-36-1 but the Red Devils took a 27-20 win in Westminster last season and have won 12 of the last 14 meetings. The Green Terror's last win was by a 14-7 margin in 2016.
WHEN LAST WE MET: Dickinson scored the first 10 points before McDaniel closed to within one score three different times but the Red Devils held on for a 27-20 win last season. Breon Herbert blocked a punt and picked it up for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for the Green Terror while Matt Cathey scored two touchdowns among his 10 rushes, accounting for 50 yards on the ground. Jeremy Walsh ran for 97 yards on 18 carries for the Red Devils.
LAST TIME OUT: McDaniel was idle last week. Juniata scored 14 points in the final 1:46 to break a 14-all deadlock and defeat McDaniel 28-14 two weeks ago. Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown) led the Green Terror defensively with a career-high 14 tackles. Daqwan Hill (Germantown, Md./The Avalon School) led the offense with 32 yards rushing and scored both touchdowns. Calvin Bembry led the Eagles with 110 yards rushing and a touchdown.
LEADING THE WAY: Tracey Easton (Waldorf, Md./North Point), Nah'shon Godfrey (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College), Jake Scott (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.), Kofi Siga and Perry Stefanelli (Rockville, Md./Good Counsel) will all captain the squad in 2019. All five are first-time captains. It marks the most captains since the Green Terror also had five in 2013.
LIKE A BAKERY: McDaniel has forced at least one turnover in all five of its games so far this season and enter the week ranked first in all of NCAA college football in turnover margin at +2.8 per game, tied with Texas Lutheran. The Green Terror is joined by Texas Lutheran with a +14 margin – the highest net margin across college football. McDaniel's defense has forced 15 turnovers, which is bested by just 16 other Division III teams. The offense has turned the ball over just once.
NUMBER 1 IN OUR HEARTS: Jarius Ransom recorded his third double-digit tackle game against Juniata with a career-high 14 stops. He is averaging a team-best 9.8 tackles per game this season, which ranks fourth in the conference. He also has 8.0 tackles for loss – also fourth in the CC. Ransom also has two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
NO FLY ZONE: The Green Terror was limited to a season-low 67 passing yards on Saturday. It was the also the second straight game without a passing touchdown after scoring six times through the air in the first three games. McDaniel had at least one play of 25 yards or longer in each of the first four games but all 10 of the Green Terror's completions against Juniata went for 14 or fewer yards.
SPREAD THE LOVE: Through the first five games of the year, 16 different Green Terror players have contributed to the offense. In total, 12 players have caught at least one pass and only three receivers have double-digit receptions on the season. Brendan Bandy (Abington, Md./Patterson Mill) leads the corps with 15 catches while Nick Alberto (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) has 14 with one score. Colin Fisher (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) has 13 grabs with one touchdown but a team-high 205 yards. Perry Stefanelli leads a group of seven players with at least one rushing attempt. He has 68 carries for 281 yards with two touchdowns.
NOWHERE TO GO: McDaniel's first five games have been marked by solid defensive play. In fact, there has been so much defense in the first half of the season that Green Terror games feature the fewest combined yards in the conference – by a significant margin. McDaniel is averaging just 271.2 yards per games on offense but the defense has surrendered just 329.6 yards per game for a total average of just 600.8 yards per game combined. The next lowest combined per game average is Franklin & Marshall at 637.0 yards per game. None of the other eight teams are at fewer than 672 yards per game.
TERROR TIDBITS: The Green Terror has lost eight straight games coming off the bye week. The last victory was a 35-0 home win over Susquehanna in 2010… Peyton Denlinger (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg) had his streak of six straight games with at least one field come to an end against Juniata.
COACHES' CORNER: Demarcus White is in his first season as head coach, debuting with back-to-back wins and enters this week with a 3-2 record. He has served the last three seasons on staff as defensive coordinator. Since arriving in 2016, his scheme has consistently put pressure on opposing offenses. In each of the previous three seasons, his defenses finished in the top six in the conference in total defense, pass defense and sacks. The unit produced 74 sacks and 20 interceptions in the last three seasons. He has helped produce five all-conference defenders in those three seasons, including a first-team selection in linebacker Jarius Ransom last season. He previously had stops at Iona, ASA College and Rutgers prior to his time on the Hill… Brad Fordyce is in his third season at the helm of the Red Devils, entering today with a record of 9-16. He spent the previous 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 seasons, including the final four years as defensive coordinator.
THE WORD ON DICKINSON: The Red Devils enter the week off a 24-17 loss to Susquehanna two weeks ago. Dickinson tied the game at 17-all on a Jeremy Walsh four-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left in the third quarter but the River Hawks needed just 1 minute, 25 seconds to respond on a 41-yard touchdown pass to go back in front with the final score of the day. Susquehanna outgained Dickinson 351-269 on the day but 255 of those yards came through the air. The Red Devils had a more balanced attack with 142 yards rushing and 127 yards passing. Daniel Salamone caught six passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Robert Geiss ran the ball 17 times for 79 yards… Tim Graham is completing 50 percent of his passes (50 of 100) for 822 yards. He has just three touchdowns against four interceptions. Graham enters the second half of the season fifth in the CC at 205.5 yards per game passing… Geiss has thrown 47 passes, completing 18 for 261 yards… Dickinson has a balanced rushing attack with three backs running for more than 200 yards in the first half of the season. Phillip Butler has 56 rushes for 294 yards and three scores. Geiss has touted the ball 45 times for 223 yards and a touchdown. Walsh has 54 carries for 214 yards and three scores… Salamone is currently second in the conference at 92.2 receiving yards per game. He has 25 grabs for 461 yards and three TDs… Brian Snow leads the defense with a conference-best 10.8 tackles per game… The Red Devils alternated wins and losses in September before falling under .500 with its first back-to-back loss of the season to start October.