Football: McDaniel tuning up for season opener

Football: McDaniel tuning up for season opener
Green Terror head coach Mike Dailey coaches players during a scrimmage against Stevenson University at McDaniel College in Westminster on Thursday, August 24, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO)

Will Koester took the snap from the 20-yard line and rolled to his right, giving Breon Herbert a few seconds to separate from his defender and streak toward the end zone.

The McDaniel quarterback lofted a pass down the far sideline toward Hebert, but a Stevenson defender met the receiver near the pylon and interrupted the connection. It was a red-zone chance squandered, but the Green Terror weren't too fazed by the missed opportunity.


Particularly with it being the first play of Thursday night's scrimmage between McDaniel and Stevenson at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium.

The Terror and Mustangs took part on a controlled game, with both teams getting two "red zone" possessions and some "two-minute drill" chances along with playing a pair of 15-minute quarters. But with Koester and his fellow quarterbacks in red jerseys — meaning tackling was off limits — players in practice uniforms, and coaches in shorts, the atmosphere was as casual as could be under the lights.

Still, Green Terror coach Mike Dailey looked for some positives during his team's first unofficial action before the season opener Sept. 2 against Catholic.

"Defense has been a positive," said Dailey, who watched sophomore Alex Rosario return an interception about 70 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter. "We've been sloppy in some areas. There have been some real good things, and there have been some sloppy, bad things."

Three plays after Koester's incomplete pass to Herbert, senior kicker Spencer Wiersberg booted a 42-yard field goal. Points on the first possession buoyed McDaniel's sideline, but Stevenson's first play from the Terror 20 resulted in a touchdown pass along the home team's sideline. Sophomore defensive back Kiree Moore was the victim on the Mustangs' scoring strike.

Neither side scored again through a full quarter of play, and those two-minute drills. But there were highlights.

Junior tight end Rodney Fisher, playing out of the backfield, hauled in a 20-yard pass from Koester on the first play of the quarter. Senior running back Matt Cathey reeled off a few strong runs into Stevenson's defense as well.

"Real good things, I think it was the extremes," Dailey said. "We had some real good things, and we had some real bad things. What we want to find is good consistency."

Green Terror quarterback Will Koester throws a pass during a scrimmage against Stevenson University at McDaniel College in Westminster Thursday, August 24, 2017.
Green Terror quarterback Will Koester throws a pass during a scrimmage against Stevenson University at McDaniel College in Westminster Thursday, August 24, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO)

When the Mustangs had the ball, senior lineman and junior linebacker Anthony Crawley did a good job pressuring the quarterback. Doh flushed him from the pocket on one play and Crawley finished it with a "sack" by touching the QB's jersey.

The teams also got a chance to run two-minute drills before halftime, with possessions starting on the 40.

Terror senior defensive back Brenden Clinton hauled in an interception along McDaniel's sideline during one of Stevenson's two-minute drill pass attempts. With McDaniel's offense back onto the field, senior Luke Lyles relieved Koester at quarterback and hooked up with junior wideout Davon Ingram on a nifty reception near midfield.

Senior linebacker Drew Scott snuffed out a screen pass during Stevenson's second 2-minute trip, and another sack came a few plays later before the teams opened the second quarter.

Stevenson started its season ranked 18th in the's preseason top 25 poll after going 9-2 last year. The Mustangs travel to Frostburg State for their opener Aug. 31.

Meanwhile, McDaniel hosts Catholic next Saturday in its quest to improve on a 3-7 record from 2016, with many key contributors back this fall.


"You want to execute, you want to be sharp," Dailey said earlier in the week. "I tell our staff all the time, if you took any offense or defense … if you executed it, it's a winner."