BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College football team dropped its 2017 Centennial Conference opener as the Greyhounds fell to McDaniel College, 35-14, on Rocco Calvo Field Saturday afternoon.
"I think we just had some trouble getting McDaniel into some one-dimensional situations that we wanted to," stated Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn. "When we were able to get them into third down situations, we did ok but what we have to do is figure it out as a coaching staff and get better at the point of attack. We weren't quite as physical as I wanted us to be today but that is something that we can correct in practice.
"This group of guys is phenomenal including their effort everyday in practice," Pukszyn continued. "But for some of them, this is just their second football game ever including some of those sophomores we have on the field. With the youthfulness, sometimes you'll have mistakes. As a coaching staff, we need to get the players more prepared and put them in better situations to succeed on the field to build confidence. The effort of these guys and the belief that they have in the program show that they are giving everything to get better every week."
Moravian, now 0-2 on the season, picked up 263 yards on 52 plays while the Green Terror ran 82 plays for 505 yards and controlled the clock for over 38 minutes. Greyhound freshman quarterback Doug Erney completed 10-of-19 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, and he added 55 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Junior running back Eli Redmond rushed for a team-high 65 yards on 13 carries, and he also caught four passes for 50 yards and a scored.
Junior running back Frank Dangello added 16 yards on three rushing attempts while senior fullback Jorden Stout ran for nine yards on three carries and freshman running back Tavion George added five yards on a pair of attempts. Senior wide receiver Aaron Hudson caught three passes for 49 yards while senior defensive back/wide receiver Justice Anderson added one reception for 10 yards while returning five kickoffs for 121 yards.
Freshman defensive back Jackson Buskirk led the Greyhounds' defense for the second straight week with 11 tackles to go with one tackle for loss, one pass break-up and two punt returns for 13 yards. Junior defensive lineman Nick Tone added nine tackles while junior defensive back Jacob Kober , junior linebacker Dallas Owen, junior linebacker Steve Ewald and sophomore linebacker Joseph Milano all had eight tackles with Owen and Ewald each adding a half a tackle for loss.
Sophomore defensive back Tim Valentine and junior defensive back Nick Zambelli each contributed seven tackles while senior defensive lineman Fouad Haddad and freshman linebacker Brady Hornbaker both had five stops. Sophomore defensive lineman Christian Coia made four stops with two tackles for loss while senior defensive lineman Connor Rooney contributed three tackles.
The Greyhounds received the opening kickoff and picked up a first down on back-to-back rushes by Redmond to start the game but the drive stalled and Moravian would punt.
The Green Terror ran 14 plays and went 75 yards in 5:42 on their opening drive to take a 7-0 lead on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Will Koester to Basama Bailor with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
Moravian needed just three plays and 1:22 to answer. Redmond picked up nine yards on the first two plays before Erney burt through the right side and raced 54 yards to the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the season. Junior Jon Miller added the extra-point to knot the score at 707 with 5:31 left in the opening quarter.
McDaniel covered 65 yards in just five plays to take a 14-7 lead on a nine-yard touchdown run by Perry Stefanelli while Moravian knotted the score again with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. Erney found Redmond with a 14-yard touchdown pass to finish off the six-play, 65-yard drive. Miller hit his second extra-point of the game.
The next four possessions, two each for both squads, ended in punts. The Green Terror would take over at their own 27-yard line with 8:54 left in the second quarter. McDaniel would drive down into the red zone and faced a fourth-and-one with 11 seconds to play in the half when Buskirk stopped Stefanelli for a two-yard loss to end the half with the score knotted at 14-14.
However, the Green Terror needed just three plays to start the second half and take a 21-14 lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Koester to Pat Barlett. McDaniel added a one-yard run by Koester with 35 seconds left in the third quarter and a 16-yard touchdown from Matt Cathey in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring/
Moravian would be closest to getting on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter when Moravian would get inside the five-yard line on a 35-yard pass from Erney to Redmond before the drive ended on downs with Erney being sacked.
The Greyhounds are set to return to action on Saturday, September 16 in a Centennial Conference game at No. 16 Johns Hopkins University with kickoff set for 12:00 pm. in Baltimore.