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College Football: Green Terror lose in home opener

The losing streak continued, another setback for McDaniel in its quest to end a drought that is nearing program-record status.

Yet Mike Dailey doesn't appear to be changing any strategies or philosophies in his first year, even after Saturday's 42-13 loss to Muhlenberg in the Green Terror's home opener at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium.

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"Kind of the same," Dailey said following his post-game huddle with the Terror. "I appreciate our players a great deal, and they work very hard. They put a lot of effort into it physically and mentally. It's hard to come up short like that."

The Green Terror haven't won since Week 1 of the 2014 season. Their losing skid stands at 22 in a row, three away from tying the longest stretch in school history.

McDaniel (0-3, 0-2 Centennial Conference) allowed 436 yards of offense, one week after giving up nearly 700 in a 55-27 loss to Moravian. Muhlenberg (3-0, 2-0) scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and led 28-0 at halftime, spoiling the Green Terror's first game on their new stadium turf.

Saturday's game also featured a halftime ceremony to dedicate the stadium's new video board in honor of former McDaniel men's lacrosse player Mike Marks, who died in June 2013 in an automobile accident.

Muhlenberg rode the arm of senior quarterback Nick Palladino, who went 17-for-23 for 245 yards and five touchdown passes. The Mules scored touchdowns on four consecutive drives following its first possession of the game, and broke things open in a hurry.

Palladino connected on scoring strikes of 3, 37, and 65 yards in that stretch, and added an 11-yard strike in the second quarter and another 3-yard touchdown toward the end of the third.

A 9-yard touchdown run from McDaniel's Perry Stefanelli with 12:37 remaining thwarted Muhlenberg's shutout attempt. The Green Terror botched the point-after attempt, however, and settled for six points.

Terror quarterback Will Koester (20-for-39, 138 yards, one interception) was replaced late in the game by fellow junior Luke Lynes, who tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to senior Britton Hastings with 14 seconds to play.

Muhlenberg was already celebrating its win by then.

Dailey's team chat preceded more discussions between coaches and players, with offense and defense breaking into separate groups before players left the field. Junior wideout Andre Henry Jr. said offensive coordinator Chris Bassler did the talking in the offensive huddle.

"He just said that we just need to play more ... know how to play our style," Henry Jr. said. "Just look past these first three games. We know we have a great offense, we just need to execute and perform better as a team."

Henry led McDaniel with seven receptions for 64 yards, while sophomore Matt Cathey had a team-high 70 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Nick Lamb had eight catches for 82 yards and three touchdowns for Muhlenberg, which has won the last seven games in its all-time series with the Terror by a combined 310-49.

McDaniel stays home next week to face Ursinus (0-3) before back-to-back road games against Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall.

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The Green Terror weren't pleased with Saturday's outcome, and neither was Dailey. There wasn't too much noise coming from the field in the moments after the loss, and Dailey said part of his message to the players dealt with everyone getting through the tough times together.

That's the only way the Terror are going to come out of their dismal streak, Dailey said.

"As the head coach, as the guy who's leading the way, you want to instill upon them that, hey, we signed on for this thing, good or bad," the coach said. "And we're going to emphasize the good, we're going to try to minimize the bad, and move forward. We've got a lot of football to play."

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