Homecoming tends to bode well for McDaniel College’s football team.

The Green Terror are 55-29-1 all-time in their Homecoming matchups, and this year’s game pits McDaniel (3-1) against Juniata (1-3) as the program looks to go 4-1 for the first time in nine years. Demarcus White gets his first Homecoming on the Hill experience as the Green Terror’s coach, and said his players won’t lose sight of the objective despite the festivities.

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“We can’t be naive and not understand that it might be a little bit more fans out than normal, but we have to approach our meetings and our practice sessions the same way,” White said. “I think it’s going to be a really good atmosphere. It’s a lot of energy right now on campus, energy [around] the program as well. But as far as our approach to the game, we’re going to approach it just like any other game.”

McDaniel (2-1 in the Centennial Conference) comes into its Homecoming tilt after defeating Gettysburg 32-22 last week. The Green Terror put together a balanced offensive attack, with 219 rushing yards and a 244-yard passing performance from quarterback Tyler Palermiti — the junior’s first 200-yard college game, and the most by a McDaniel quarterback in more than two years.

Veteran running back Perry Stefanelli had two touchdowns and ran for 89 yards, and scored for the first time since Week 3 of the 2017 season.

The Green Terror trailed Gettysburg early in the second half, but White said he posed a challenge to his team at halftime and it responded. McDaniel scored 16 consecutive points in the second half to pull away.

“I had a chance to see what our team is really about,” White said. “Can you make a calculated decision right now as a group to be able to finish your work? We kind of did it our style. Run the ball first and then try to make big plays in the passing game. For us, everything starts on the line of scrimmage. When those guys are playing pretty well, I think the entire team feeds off it.”

White praised his offensive and defensive lines for making things happen last week, and those units will likely be asked to do the same this week. Juniata features a mobile quarterback in Austin Montgomery, who has two 200-yard passing games and two 100-yard rushing games.

The Eagles (1-2 Centennial) put together a 44-38 win over Dickinson on Sept. 21, but in their other two Centennial contests they’ve mustered a mere five points.

Juniata’s roster includes a pair of former Carroll County standouts in sophomores Troy Blessing (Winters Mill) and Aaron Golberg (Westminster).

Blessing, listed at defensive back, has seven tackles and a forced fumble in four games this season. Blessing forced that fumble in the win over Dickinson. Golberg has one tackle in two games.

White said McDaniel heads into its Homecoming game looking to avoid that “trap game” mentality.

“Any team that’s in the Centennial Conference, I think you have to take those guys seriously,” White said. “It’s such a competitive conference.”

Jarius Ransom earned Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors after he helped the Terror beat Gettysburg with eight tackles (two for loss), two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup. But White said McDaniel might be without its standout senior linebacker this week.

Ransom collided with teammate Habeeb Baba midway through the fourth quarter when they went to tackle Gettysburg quarterback Logan Edmond along the home team’s sideline. White said Ransom, who came back into the game, has been dealing with back spasms this week.

His availability will likely be a game-time decision, White said.

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The Terror got some good news on the health front this week, White said. Freshman receiver Javon Hamilton, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, should be back. Hamilton has six catches for 62 yards.

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