A two-game losing streak has McDaniel College embattled in the second half of its season, trying to avoid another unsuccessful finish. And by the looks of the upcoming opponents, things appear to be challenging.
The Green Terror (3-3, 2-3 in the Centennial Conference) are set to host unbeaten and nationally ranked Muhlenberg on Saturday at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium. Their 3-1 start is gone, and now the Terror face a 6-0 Mules team that averages 40.5 points per game and is 5-0 in the conference.
Muhlenberg has nine straight wins over McDaniel and 11 in the last 12 years. The Green Terror haven’t downed the Mules since 2010.
They’re also coming off losses to Juniata and Dickinson in which they were outscored 62-14. Plus, McDaniel’s remaining opponents — Muhlenberg, Ursinus, Susquehanna, and Johns Hopkins — are a combined 18-6.
Dickinson beat McDaniel 34-0 last week and outgained the visitors 369-211, perhaps a bad omen considering the No. 6-ranked Mules have put up 38 or more points in five of their six games this season.
(Susquehanna was No. 20 in the latest d3football.com top 25 poll, and Johns Hopkins also received votes.)
The Green Terror’s offense has struggled in back-to-back games. They collected a mere 67 passing yards against Juniata on Oct. 9, a 28-14 loss in which they trailed 14-0 at halftime. Last week, Dickinson held them to 85 passing yards and forced three turnovers in the Red Devils’ first shutout in four years.
McDaniel has been outgained in every game but one so far this season, and hasn’t reached 300 yards on offense save for its win over Gettysburg on Sept. 28.
The Green Terror’s games have featured the fewest combined yards in the Centennial this fall. McDaniel is averaging 261.2 yards on offense, but the defense has surrendered 336.2 yards for a total average of just 597.4 yards per game combined.
McDaniel’s defense will likely be tested Saturday. Muhlenberg rolled over Ursinus last week, 45-21, behind four touchdown passes from quarterback Mike Hnatkowsky. Ryan Curtiss caught seven passes for 103 yards and two TDs in the win.
Nah’shon Godfrey led the Terror defense last week with seven tackles and two pass break-ups, and he also recovered a fumble. Godfrey, a senior defensive back, leads the team with three interceptions and is second with 49 tackles.
Kofi Siga chipped in on defense last week when the senior lineman blocked an extra-point attempt — it was Siga’s first collegiate block, and McDaniel’s second this season.
Saturday’s game marks a homecoming for a few former Carroll County high school football standouts. Muhlenberg senior receiver Max Kirin and brother Spencer Kirin, a junior linebacker, are Liberty grads. Meanwhile, junior offensive lineman Sam Rothstein hails from Century.
Max Kirin has 17 receptions for 344 yards, tops on the team, to go with seven touchdowns. Spencer Kirin’s 31 tackles are second most for Muhlenberg’s defense, and he has 3.5 sacks and an interception.