Hounds to Host Johns Hopkins University on September 15 for Family Day Game

Sophomore Nick Petros runs upfield after a reception versus King's College.
Sophomore Nick Petros runs upfield after a reception versus King's College.

THE GAME: Moravian plays its first Centennial Conference home game of the season, hosting Johns Hopkins University. Kickoff is slated for 2:05 p.m. at Rocco Calvo Field in Bethlehem with the contest being televised live by TV-2 Sports.

THE COACHES: Jeff Pukszyn (Moravian '97) is in his eighth season as Moravian's head coach after ten years as an assistant coach with the program. Pukszyn joined the Moravian staff as a part-time coach in 1997 after a three-year playing career that saw him named to the All-Middle Atlantic Conference First Team in 1994 and 1996. He was also a two-time captain. Pukszyn became part of the coaching staff full-time in 1999 as defensive coordinator and added the titles of assistant head coach in 2001 and special teams coordinator in 2007. In 2015, Pukszyn led the Greyhounds to an 8-3 record and a berth in the inaugural Centennial-MAC Bowl Series while being named both the Centennial Conference and American Football Coaches Association Division III Region 2 Coach of the Year. He has been a part of 248 games for Moravian since 1994 with a 121-126-1 record.
   Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins '82) has a record of 210-88-3 (.703) in his 29th year at the school. Coach Margraff was the Blue Jays' starting quarterback in the school's first three wins against Moravian. 

THE SERIES: Saturday's meeting will be the 20th in the series with the Blue Jays holding a 12-7. Johns Hopkins has won the last nine games in the series including 37-7 and 29-21 victories in Baltimore the last two seasons and a 45-23 win in Bethlehem in 2016. The Greyhounds last win in the series was a 33-10 victory in Bethlehem in 2008, and Moravian captured the 2007 game, 44-41 in Baltimore, the first time in Moravian history that both teams had scored over 40 points in a game. 

TV-2 BROADCAST: Saturday's game will be broadcast live by TV-2 Sports and will kick off at 2:05 p.m. Mike Zambelli will have the play-by-play with color commentary from Matt Evancho.

GREYHOUNDS IN THE CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE: Moravian joined the Centennial Conference as an associate member in the sport of football in 2007. The Greyhounds were selected ninth in the Centennial Conference preseason coaches and sports information directors poll. Johns Hopkins was picked first in the poll with 14 first place votes.

BALANCED & EXPERIENCED 'HOUNDS: Of the 96 players on the Moravian roster, 47 are freshmen, 19 are sophomores and 17 are juniors. There are 13 seniors on this season's squad, and the Greyhounds return 45 letterwinners and 15 starters.

THE QUARTERBACKS: Sophomore Doug Erney is the Hounds starter for the second straight season with freshman Christopher Mills serving as the back-up. Erney completed 20-of-38 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns in two games this fall, and he also has run for 128 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts while being sacked twice.

IN THE BACKFIELD: Senior Eli Redmond leads the Hounds on the ground with 144 yards on 41 carries while junior Roberto Diez has added 109 yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts. Freshman Gerald Grube has 19 yards on three carries in his debut season.

THE WIDE RECEIVERS: The Greyhounds have had seven different players catch a pass this season led by sophomore Nick Petros, who has seven receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Cory Little has three catches for 54 yards while junior Alex Pierce and freshman Eddie Olsen each have three catches with Olsen gaining 39 yards and a touchdown and Pierce picking up 16 yards. Junior wide receiver Andrew Lelie has two catches for 29 yards while senior running back Eli Redmond has one reception for six yards. Junior fullback Sal Pagano has one catch for four yards.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Moravian has five returners on the offensive line with juniors right tackle Jason Barish, center Brett Poling, left tackle Tyler Maxsim and left guard Zack Cregar and sophomore right guard PJ Weierbach all returning to the front line. The Greyhounds' front five has an average size of 6-2, 275.

DEFENSIVE FRONT: Senior Nick Tone leads the defensive line with 13 tackles including two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery while sophomore Shane Mastro has nine tackles with two and a half for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Freshman Tijir Bleam also has nine tackles with one and a half for loss and a sack in his debut season while senior Vincent Pianoforte has contributed three tackles with a half a sack and one tackle for loss. Junior Christian Coia also has three tackles with one for loss and a sack while sophomore Andrew Stein has one stop. 

THE LINEBACKER CORPS: Sophomore Brady Hornbaker leads the linebackers and the entire defense with 16 tackles including five and a half tackles for loss, two and a half sacks and a forced fumble while freshman Noah Breidinger has 12 tackles with three for loss and a fumble recovery in his first collegiate season. Sophomore Tanner Barr has made 10 tackles with one and a half for loss and a pass break-up while sophomore Austin Heisler has contributed five stops with one for loss and a half a sack. Senior Nick Zambelli has made three tackles while senior Tanner Stokes has added three stops and a pass break-up. Senior Dallas Owen and freshman Blake Reed each have one tackle.

THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD: Sophomore Jackson Buskirk leads the defensive backs with 13 tackles to go with a pass break-up and a fumble recovery he returned five yards for a touchdown at McDaniel College. Sophomore Jalen Richardson has nine stops and four pass break-ups while sophomore Justin McRae has made eight tackles and recovered a fumble. Senior Jacob Kober has also added eight tackles with an interception and two passes defended while junior Tim Valentine has three tackles and a pass break-up. Junior Dayvon Reimert has added one tackle this season.

KICKING GAME: Seniors Jon Miller and Kenny Kane are handling the place-kicking duties for the Greyhounds this season. Miller is averaging 57.8 yards on seven kickoffs this season, and he is 5-for-5 on extra points and 1-for-3 on field goals with a long of 25 yards while missing a career-long attempt of 41 yards at the end of the first half versus King's College. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros tied the school record with 11 punt attempts at McDaniel College, and he is averaging 29.7 yards per punt on 11 attempts with four inside the 20-yard line and one fair caught. Sophomore quarterback Doug Erney has punted once for 32 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Sophomore Jackson Buskirk has returned four punts for 39 yards while sophomore linebacker Tanner Barr has returned two kickoffs for seven yards. Senior running back Eli Redmond has one kickoff return for 21 yards while sophomore linebacker Austin Heisler has recovered an onside kick.

MILESTONE WATCH: The Greyhounds have four players closing in on milestones in their careers. Senior running back Eli Redmond sits in 11th place in school history with 1,837 rushing yards, and he needs 267 yards to reach the top 10. Redmond is also tied for sixth all-time with 37 kickoff returns and seventh with 873 kickoff return yards. Redmond is tied for tenth with 16 career touchdowns and sixth with 2,959 career all-purpose yards. Sophomore quarterback Doug Erney is eighth with 17 career touchdown passes, and he has 2,779 yards of total offense and needs 580 yards to reach the top ten. Erney also needs 87 pass attempts, 36 pass completions and 395 passing yards to make the top ten in those categories. Senior kicker Kenny Kane is tied for tenth in school history with 59 career kicking points, and he needs three extra-points to move into the top 10 all-time, currently with 32 PATs. Kane is also tied for eighth in school history with nine career field goals made. Senior Jon Miller is eight extra-points away from the top ten.

THE CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The Greyhounds are seventh in the Centennial Conference in total offense at 316.5 yards per game, and the squad is seventh in rushing offense with an average of 186.5 yards per contest and seventh in passing offense at 130.0 yards per outing. The Hounds are seventh in the conference in scoring offense at 19.0 points per game, and Moravian is second in points allowed at 4.5. Moravian's defense ranks third in the Centennial Conference at 200.5 yards allowed per game, and the squad is fourth in rushing defense at 86.5 yards per contest and third in passing defense at 114.0 yards allowed. The Greyhounds are tied for second in turnover margin at +1.50 per game with one turnover committed and four turnovers gained through two games. Individually, sophomore quarterback Doug Erney is fifth in passing efficiency with a rating of 127.5, seventh in the conference at 130.0 passing yards per contest and eighth in rushing yards at 64.0 yards per game. Senior running back Eli Redmond is fifth in the conference at 72.0 rushing yards per outing and eighth in all-purpose yardage at 85.5 yards per game while junior running back Roberto Diez is 12th at 54.5 yards per contest. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros is 11th in the conference in receiving yards per game at 56.0, and he is tied for tenth in receptions per outing at 3.5 and eighth in punting with an average of 29.7 yards per punt. Senior Jon Miller is tied for sixth in kick scoring with eight points while sophomore defensive back Jackson Buskirk is tied for second in punt returns with four for an average of 9.8 yards per return, which leads the conference. Sophomore linebacker Brady Hornbaker is tied for 13th in tackles per game at 8.0, tied for second in tackles for loss with 5.5 and tied for third with 2.5 sacks while Buskirk and senior defensive lineman Nick Tone are tied for 21st at 6.5 tackles per contest. Freshman linebacker Noah Breidinger is tied for 26th with 6.0 tackles per outing and tied for eighth with 3.0 tackles for loss while sophomore linebacker Tanner Barr is tied for 41st at 5.0 tackles per game and freshman Tijir Bleam is tied for 48th at 4.5 tackles per contest. Sophomore defensive back Jalen Richardson leads the Centennial Conference with four pass break-ups

OVERTIME 'HOUNDS: Moravian has played a total of 10 overtime games since the NCAA instituted the rule for the 1996 season and is 7-3 all-time in the extra-session. Five of those ten overtime games have been against Juniata College with the Greyhounds going 4-1 in those games. Moravian's contest in Huntingdon in 2008 marked the first time in the Greyhounds' have needed more than one overtime session in a game. The 2008 season also marked the third year that Moravian has played at least two overtimes games in one season, the other years were 1999 when the Greyhounds played three overtime games and 1997 when Moravian played two overtime contests.

SCOUTING JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: The Blue Jays enter Saturday's game at 1-1 overall and 0-1 in Centennial Conference action after falling to Susquehanna University, 37-35 last Saturday. Junior quarterback David Tammaro has completed 47-of-72 passes for 621 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions, and he has run for 57 yards on 13 carries. Senior running back Stuart Walters leads the Johns Hopkins' rushing attack with 149 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries while junior running back Hogan Irwin has 126 yards and three touchdowns on 22 attempts. Senior running back Tyler Messinger has added 52 yards on nine carries. Sophomore wide receiver Ryan Hubley has caught a team-high 12 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns while junior wide receiver Dane Rogerson has nine receptions for 143 yards and one score. Senior wide receiver Luke McFadden has pulled in seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown while Walters has five catches for 82 yards and a score. Sophomore wide receiver Zac Fernandez has added five receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown, and Fernandez has two punt returns for 19 yards while Messinger has a touchdown on a punt return and freshman linebacker Robert Fletcher has one return for 24 yards. Walters has returned five kickoffs for 82 yards while junior defensive back Patrick Kelly has three kickoff returns for 82 yards. Senior Brandon Hong-Dominguez has punted five times with an average of 39.6 yards with two touchbacks and one inside the 20-yard line. Junior Mike Eberle is 14-for-14 on extra-points while freshman Kyle Battles is averaging 60.5 yards per kickoff with five touchbacks. Junior linebacker James Closser leads the Blue Jays defense with 20 tackles to go with one tackle of loos, a sack and a pass break-up while Fletcher and senior defensive back Ian Lodge each have 16 tackles with Fletcher adding a pass break-up and a blocked punt that led to his punt return. Senior defensive back Michael Curry has made 15 tackles with a pass break-up and a forced fumble while senior defensive lineman Anthony Davidson has 13 tackles with two and a half for loss. Senior linebacker Addison Quinones has 12 tackles with two for loss and two sacks while sophomore defensive back Macauley Kilbane has 12 tackles with an interception and a forced fumble and sophomore defensive lineman Kyle Roberts has 10 tackles with one and a half for loss. 

THE LAST TIME THEY MET: In Baltimore last fall, Moravian dropped a 37-7 decision to No. 14 Johns Hopkins University in Centennial Conference. The Greyhounds offense picked up 273 yards on 59 plays with quarterback Doug Erney completing 12-of-19 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown and running for 57 yards on 14 attempts. Running back Eli Redmond led the Moravian rushing attack with 72 yards on 18 carries to move into a tie for 17th in school history with 1,293 career yards while running back Tavion George had 30 yards on five carries. Wide receiver Ricky Tate caught a team-high five passes for 41 yards for the Blue and Grey while wide receiver Aaron Hudson had four receptions for 53 yards. Tight end Aaron Brown and wide receiver Nick Petros each caught one pass for six yards with Brown's being a touchdown while wide receiver Kyle Ferryman also had one reception. Petros also punted eight times for an average of 35.6 yards. Defensive back Justice Anderson paced the Moravian defense with 12 tackles and a pass break-up while defensive back Jackson Buskirk made 11 stops. Defensive back Nick Zambelli and linebacker Steve Ewald both made 10 tackles with Zambelli adding an interception and two passes defended and Ewald making a half a tackle for loss. Defensive back Tim Valentine contributed six tackles and a pass break-up while defensive lineman Vinny Caporrino made six stops with a sack, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Linebacker Joseph Milano and linebacker Dallas Owen both had five tackles with Owen making a team-leading one and a half tackles for loss. The Blue Jays opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback David Tammaro with 1:09 left in the first quarter, and John Hopkins added a 39-yard field goal by Jamie Sullivan nine seconds into the second quarter to take a 10-0 lead. Moravian would get on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first half when Erney connected on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brown, which finished off a 14-play, 78-yard drive. Junior Jon Miller connected on the extra-point to cut the deficit to 10-7. Johns Hopkins added a touchdown pass by Tammaro and a scoring run by running back Ryan Cary late in the half, and Sullivan connected on a 22-yard field goal as time expired to send the Blue Jays to the locker room with a 27-7 lead. Moravian nearly cut into the lead early in the second half after receiving the opening kickoff after the intermission. Erney led the offense down the field, and on a keeper from the 14-yard line, he bounced the run to the far sideline where he was hit just shy of the goal line and fumbled through the end zone for a Johns Hopkins touchback. The Greyhounds would get the ball right back when Caporrino stripped Tammaro on a sack with defensive lineman Nick Tone recovering the ball at the JHU 16-yard line. Tone also had a sack and three total tackles on the afternoon. However, Moravian turned the ball back over on a fumble by George on the next play. The Blue Jays would drive the length of the field and score on a touchdown run by Cary for a 34-7 lead with 4:36 left in the third quarter. Johns Hopkins finished the scoring with a field goal by Sullivan late in the fourth quarter.