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College Football: Green Terror 'itching to play' opener

McDaniel's Quarterback Matthew Callahan throws during practice.
McDaniel's Quarterback Matthew Callahan throws during practice. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Mike Dailey doesn't think McDaniel has to take much from last year's season opener to get ready for this year's.

The Green Terror begin with Catholic, just like they did in 2015. Except that game ended in disgust for the Terror, who let a 16-point fourth-quarter lead slip away and suffered the first of 10 consecutive losses.

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But Dailey, who begins his first season as McDaniel's new coach, said that loss doesn't mean much in terms of this year's game.

"It may for some players ... it's in the history books," Dailey said. "It can't change, no matter what. I don't know what they're using it for a lot of motivation. I don't think it's necessary when you're playing the first game of the year."

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Despite coming off an 0-10 season, which extended McDaniel's losing streak to 19 in a row, Dailey said the Green Terror can't wait to get started with a fresh slate.

"I think everybody is itching to play," said Dailey, whose team played Stevenson last week. "The scrimmage was good, because you had a chance to play against someone else. Once you get past the scrimmage, now your mindset is, 'OK, we're into the season.'"

Senior Matty Callahan gets the start at quarterback. Callahan threw for 922 yards and four touchdowns in five games last season, and Dailey said he won the battle over junior Will Koester to earn the start.

But that doesn't mean Koester (1,108 yards, six TDs in six games) won't be ready to go.

Callahan and Koester are two of McDaniel's 28 returning players who started at least one game in 2015. Junior Vince Gorgone (6-feet, 275 pounds) and sophomore Paul Flagg (6-0, 270) are two others, and they might be the most important if the Terror want to keep Callahan upright.

Gorgone and Flagg (10 starts each in 2015) are back to anchor an offensive line that allowed only 12 sacks a year ago. Senior Hunter Metcalf (6-2, 255) made nine starts.

Gorgone is sharing captain duties with senior wide receiver Tyler DeMent and senior linebacker Matt Quattrone, who led McDaniel last year with 74 tackles and added two sacks, two pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.

McDaniel's defense collected 31 sacks, most in the Centennial Conference, but it didn't do enough to keep the opposition from piling on — the Terror were outscored 403-169.

Catholic went 3-7 a year ago and graduated quarterback T.J. Tutone, who passed for 3,318 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Cardinals also have a new coach in Bill Bachman, who was named interim coach June 1 after serving as defensive coordinator last season. Catholic brings back senior Matt Perno (604 yards, five TDs) at running back and senior Lucas Morley (100 receptions) at receiver.

The Cards trailed McDaniel 30-14 early in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 34-33 win in the final seconds. They'll be somewhat of an unknown this time around, with new faces in new places.

Just like McDaniel.

"When you're trying to get better ... you've got to be ready. You really do," Dailey said.

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