THE GAME: Moravian plays its final road game of the 2018 season on Saturday, November 3 when the Greyhounds head to Dickinson College for a Centennial Conference game. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Biddle Field in Carlisle.
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 254 games for Moravian since 1994 with a 124-129-1 record.
Dickinson coach Brad Fordyce (Springfield '97) is in his second season at the school with a 6-12 record
THE SERIES: Saturday's meeting will be the 22nd in the series with the Greyhounds leading the series 11-8-2. The Greyhounds earned a 35-18 win on Bethlehem last year and Moravian recorded a 24-10 victory in Bethlehem in 2016. The Greyhounds, who have won four straight in the series, posted a 55-38 win in Carlisle in 2015 and a 21-14 victory back in 2014 while the Red Devils snapped a three-game winning streak in the series by the Hounds with a 31-7 victory in Carlisle in 2013. Moravian has won seven of the last eight games between the schools.
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 2018 Centennial Conference preseason coaches and sports information directors poll while Dickinson was selected seventh.
BALANCED & EXPERIENCED 'HOUNDS: Of the 94 players on the Moravian roster, 45 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 was named the Hounds starter for the second straight season and started the first four games of the year while freshman Christopher Mills moved into the starting line-up against Gettysburg College. Mills has completed 68-of-101 passes for 959 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception while running for 65 yards on 27 attempts and has been sacked five times. Erney has completed 44-of-79 passes for 538 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in six games this fall, and he also has run for 166 yards and a touchdown on 54 attempts while being sacked 10 times.
IN THE BACKFIELD: Junior Roberto Diez leads the Hounds on the ground with 417 yards and three touchdowns on 100 attempts while senior Eli Redmond has picked up 343 yards and two touchdowns on 90 carries, and Redmond became the 11th running back at Moravian to reach 2,000 career yards, a milestone he hit versus Juniata College. Freshman Gerald Grube has 178 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries in his debut season while senior Devon Bucks has gained seven yards on four attempts.
THE WIDE RECEIVERS & TIGHT ENDS: The Greyhounds have had 12 different players catch a pass this season led by sophomore Nick Petros, who has 46 receptions for 830 yards and nine touchdowns. Freshman Cory Little has 16 catches for 178 yards while junior Alex Pierce has 14 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Eddie Olsen has caught 15 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns while senior running back Eli Redmond has five receptions for 22 yards. Junior wide receiver Andrew Lelie has five catches for 54 yards while junior tight end Nick Cregar has two receptions for 10 yards. Senior wide receiver James Pierce has two receptions for 13 yards and junior fullback Sal Pagano has one catch for four yards. Sophomore fullback Andrew Stein, who switched from defense to offense in week five, has one catch for 12 yards while junior running back Roberto Diez has one catch for one yard.
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. Junior Matt Shields saw action at McDaniel College. The Greyhounds' front five has an average size of 6-2, 275.
DEFENSIVE FRONT: Senior Nick Tone leads the defensive line as well as the entire defense with 49 tackles including 12 tackles for loss, six and a half sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery while sophomore Shane Mastro has 39 tackles with seven for loss, two sacks, three pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and a blocked extra-point versus Johns Hopkins University. Freshman Tijir Bleam has 19 tackles with three and a half for loss, one and a half sacks and a fumble recovery in his debut season while junior Mike O'Hagan has 10 stops with one and a half tackles for loss. Senior Vincent Pianoforte has contributed six tackles with a half a sack and one tackle for loss while junior Christian Coia has five tackles with one for loss and a sack. Sophomore Andrew Stein, who switched to the offensive side of the ball after the Ursinus College game, has four tackles, and freshman Brandon Nemeth has also recorded four tackles with a half a tackle for loss while. Sophomore Sean Agar has three tackles and a fumble recovery while senior Joseph Pellegrino has one stop and freshman Reggie Allen has one tackle with a half a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
THE LINEBACKER CORPS: Senior Nick Zambelli leads the linebackers with 43 tackles with one and a half for loss, a forced fumble and a pass break-up that led to an interception while sophomore Brady Hornbaker has made 41 tackles including 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery he returned 28 yards for a touchdown at Susquehanna University. Freshman Noah Breidinger, who has missed two game with an injury, has 38 tackles with five and a half for loss and a fumble recovery despite missing the game versus Juniata College while senior Dallas Owen has 27 tackles, one tackle for loss and a pair of interceptions with 60 return yards including a 50-yard return for a touchdown versus Gettysburg College. Sophomore Tanner Barr has recorded 24 tackles with two for loss and a pass break-up. while senior Tanner Stokes (Parkesburg, Pa./Coatesville HS) has added 22 stops with one for loss and two pass break-ups. Sophomore Austin Heisler has contributed 17 stops with one and a half for loss and a half a sack while freshman Blake Reed has six stops. Freshman Nicholas Azpeitia has contributed four tackles with two for loss while sophomore Kyle Kooker has two tackles. Freshmen Brian Harris and Dylan Purdy each have made one tackle with Purdy adding a half a tackle for loss.
THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD: Sophomore Jackson Buskirk leads the defensive backs with 48 tackles to go with six pass break-ups and two fumble recoveries including one he returned five yards for a touchdown at McDaniel College. Sophomore Justin McRae has made 45 tackles, one tackle for loss, three pass break-ups, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles while sophomore Jalen Richardson has 44 stops, one tackle for loss, two interceptions with 22 return yards, nine total passes defended and a blocked extra-point at Franklin & Marshall College. Senior Jacob Kober has added 42 tackles with one and a half tackles for loss, a sack, an interception returned eight yards and four passes defended while sophomore Renard Nicholson has 12 stops, two interceptions and four passes defended. Junior Tim Valentine has nine tackles and a pass break-up while junior Dayvon Reimert has added six tackles this season. Freshman Connor Lyon has contributed three tackles and a pass break-up while freshman Matt Tucker has two tackles and a pass break-up.
KICKING GAME: Seniors Jon Millerand Kenny Kane are handling the place-kicking duties for the Greyhounds this season. Miller is averaging 54.8 yards on 32 kickoffs this season including two touchbacks, and he is 20-for-21 on extra points and 4-for-8 on field goals with a career-long of 37 yards versus Gettysburg College while missing a career-long attempt of 42 yards at Susquehanna University as the ball hit the crossbar. Kane was kicked off once for 55 yards while sophomore Brendan Morgans has one kickoff that resulted in a touchback. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros tied the school record with 11 punt attempts at McDaniel College and set a school record with a 74-yard punt at Franklin & Marshall College, and he is averaging 34.7 yards per punt on 46 attempts with nine inside the 20-yard line, three fair caught and a long of 74 yards. Sophomore quarterback Doug Erney has punted once for 32 yards while junior Enzo Di Costanzo has had his only punt attempt blocked.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sophomore Jackson Buskirk has returned six punts for 49 yards while freshman wide receiver Eddie Olsen was credited with a 17-yard return after blocking a punt versus Johns Hopkins University to go with six tackles. Freshman defensive back Connor Lyon has two punt returns for 18 yards. Freshman wide receiver Cory Little has eight kickoff returns for 136 yards while senior running back Eli Redmond has three kickoff returns for 52 yards. Sophomore linebacker Tanner Barr has returned four kickoffs for 35 yards and sophomore linebacker Austin Heisler has recovered a pair of onside kicks for five yards. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros has returned four kickoffs for 61 yards and has made three tackles on special teams while junior running back Roberto Diez two tackles. Senior linebacker Dallas Owen has a pair of kickoff returns for 16 yards while sophomore defensive back Jalen Richardson has one kickoff return for 14 yards.
MILESTONE WATCH: The Greyhounds have six players closing in on milestones in their careers or that have set school records this season. Senior running back Eli Redmond sits in 11th place in school history with 2,031 rushing yards, and he needs 73 yards to reach the top 10. Redmond is also tenth all-time with 406 rushing attempts, sixth all-time with 39 kickoff returns and sixth with 904 kickoff return yards. Redmond is tenth with 17 career touchdowns and fifth with 3,217 career all-purpose yards. Sophomore quarterback Doug Erney is eighth with 19 career touchdown passes, and he has 3,093 yards of total offense and needs 266 yards to reach the top ten. Erney also needs 46 pass attempts, 12 pass completions and 117 passing yards to make the top ten in those categories. Senior kicker Jon Miller is tied for seventh with 42 career extra-points, and he ninth all-time among kickers with 63 points. Miller also has seven field goals made, one shy of the top 10. Senior kicker Kenny Kane is one spot outside of the top ten with 59 career kicking points, and he needs five 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. Freshman quarterback Christopher Mills set a school record with five touchdown passes versus Gettysburg College in his first career start. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros set school records with 241 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns and an average of 40.2 yards per reception after a six-catch, four-TD, 241-yard game versus Gettysburg College. Petros has 12 career touchdown catches to tie for eighth all-time. He became the 20th player in school history with 1,000 receiving yards at Franklin & Marshall College and has 1,016 career yards, and Petros needs 170 yards this season for just the third 1,000-yard season in school history. Petros set a school record with a 74-yard punt at Franklin & Marshall, and he tied the school record with 11 punt attempts at McDaniel College.
THE CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The Greyhounds are sixth in the Centennial Conference in total offense at 329.0 yards per game, and the squad is sixth in rushing offense with an average of 141.9 yards per contest and seventh in passing offense at 187.1 yards per outing. The Hounds are sixth in the conference in scoring offense at 21.5 points per game, and Moravian is fifth in points allowed at 21.5. Moravian's defense ranks sixth in the Centennial Conference at 350.2 yards allowed per game, and the squad is eighth in rushing defense at 152.1 yards per contest and sixth in passing defense at 198.1 yards allowed. The Greyhounds are tied for second in turnover margin at +0.75 per game with 10 turnovers committed and 16 turnovers gained through eight games. Moravian also leads the Centennial Conference in opponent fourth down percentage at 27.8 percent (5-for-18). Individually, freshman quarterback Christopher Mills leads conference with a 174.5 pass efficiency rating, and he is fifth in passing yards per game at 191.8 and fifth in total offense at 204.8 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Doug Erney is sixth in passing efficiency with a rating of 127.1 while junior running back Roberto Diez is tied for ninth in the conference at 52.1 rushing yards per outing. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros is tenth in punting with an average of 34.7 yards per punt, and he is first in receiving yards per game at 103.8, third in receptions per game at 5.8, third in all-purpose yards at 110.8 per contest and tied for third in scoring and touchdown scoring at 6.8 points per outing. Senior Jon Miller is fifth in kick scoring with 4.0 points per contest, and he is third in PAT kicking at 95.2 percent (20-for-21), fifth in field goals per game at 0.50 and tied for sixth in field goal percentage at 50.0 percent (4-for-8). Senior defensive lineman Nick Tone is 18th with 6.1 tackles per game, and he is third in tackles for loss per game with 1.50, tied for fourth in sacks per game at 0.81 and tied for first in fumbles forced at 0.38 per contest. Freshman linebacker Noah Breidinger is 13th at 6.3 tackles per contest while senior linebacker Nick Zambelli is 16th with 6.1 stops per contest. Sophomore defensive back Jackson Buskirk is tied for 19th in tackles per game with 6.0 per game while sophomore defensive back Justin McRae is 30th at 5.6 tackles a game. Sophomore defensive back Jalen Richardson tied for 31st with 5.5 tackles per outing, and he is tied for second with 1.13 passes defended while sophomore defensive back Renard Nicholson and senior linebacker Dallas Owen are tied for eighth in interceptions with 0.29 per game. Senior defensive back Jacob Kober is ranked in a tie for 39th at 5.3 tackles per outing while sophomore linebacker Brady Hornbaker is tied for 42nd in tackles at 5.1 per contest, and he tied for seventh in tackles for loss with 1.25 per game. Sophomore defensive lineman Shane Mastro is tied for 45th with 4.9 tackles per game. Mastro is tied with Tone for the conference lead in forced fumbles with 0.28 per game while Hornbaker is tied for fourth at 0.25 forced fumbles per contest. McRae and Buskirk are tied for fourth in fumbles recovered with 0.25 per game.
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.
THE NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The Greyhounds are ranked in the top 50 in the nation in nine different stat categories. The squad is tied for sixth in passes had intercepted with two, 13th in defensive touchdowns with three, 24th in turnovers lost with 10, 35th in team passing efficiency with a 153.59 rating, 36th in fumbles recovered with nine, 38th in completion percentage at 62.2 percent, 41st in punt return defense at 4.78 yards per return and 42nd in turnover margin at +0.75. Moravian also has seven players ranked in the top 100 individually. Sophomore wide receiver Nick Petros is 21st in receiving yards with 830, 23rd in receiving yards per game at 103.8, 24th in receiving touchdowns with nine, 69th in receptions per game at 5.8, 75th in yards per reception at 18.04, tied for 77th in total touchdowns with nine and tied for 100th in total points with 54. Senior defensive lineman Nick Tone is 49th in sacks per game with 0.81, 61st with 1.5 tackles for loss per contest and tied for 19th in forced fumbles at 0.38 per outing. Sophomore defensive lineman Shane Mastro is also tied for 19th in forced fumbles while sophomore linebacker Brady Hornbaker is tied for 90th at 0.25 forced fumbles per game. Sophomore defensive backs Jackson Buskirk and Justin McRae are both tied for 30th in fumbles recovered with two while senior kicker Jon Miller is 74th in field goal percentage at 50.0 percent.
SCOUTING DICKINSON COLLEGE: The Red Devils enter the game at 3-5 after a 47-14 win over Juniata College last Saturday. Dickinson is being led on the field by senior quarterback Billy Burger, who has completed 98-of-187 passes for 984 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. Burger has also run for 272 yards and a score on 74 attempts, and he is averaging 38.6 yards per punt with 11 inside the 20-yard line, three touchbacks, three fair caught and four blocked. Senior wide receiver Jack Walbert leads the Red Devils with 36 catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns while sophomore wide receiver Christopher Longo has 28 receptions for 277 yards and five scores and junior wide receiver Daniel Salamone has 21 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore running back Phillip Butler leads the Dickinson rushing attack with 543 yards and four touchdowns on 111 carries while junior running back Jeremy Walsh has 434 yards and four scores on 105 attempts. Junior Trystin Golowski is 20-for-20 on extra-point attempts and 6-for-8 on field goals with a long of 29 yards. Salamone has returned 19 kickoffs for 383 yards and 11 punts for 90 yards while freshman defensive back Cole McCoy has nine kickoff returns for 156 yards. Junior linebacker James Turner leads the Red Devils' defense with 89 tackles to go with 11 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception returned for 42 yards and a blocked kick. Sophomore linebacker Brian Snow has contributed 65 tackles with six and a half for loss, three sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three pass break-ups while senior defensive back Matt Butz has 48 tackles with three and a half for loss, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and four passes defended. Freshman defensive back Johnny Knight has a team-high three interceptions to go with 41 tackles, a forced fumble and four passes defended while senior defensive lineman Thomas Nocka has contributed 35 stops with six for loss, three sacks and a pass break-up.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: In Bethlehem last fall, Moravian scored a season-high 35 points in the first 36 minutes of action to earn a 35-18 Centennial Conference victory over Dickinson College on Senior Day at Rocco Calvo Field. The Hounds' offense rolled up a season-high 502 yards on just 65 plays with quarterback Doug Erney completing 13-of-19 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, and Erney also had 40 yards on seven rushing attempts. Wide receiver Alex Pierce caught a career-high seven passes for 130 yards including a 65-yard touchdown pass while tight end Aaron Brown had three receptions for 39 yards and punted three times for 100 yards. Wide receiver Nick Petros had a pair of catches for 46 yards and a touchdown while punting once for 30 yards, and wide receiver Aaron Hudson had one catch for a 75-yard touchdown as he moved into tenth in school history with 1,456 receiving yards on 118 receptions, which is seventh all-time. The score was also the tenth receiving touchdown in Hudson's career, and Hudson would block a pair of extra-points on special teams Saturday. Running back Eli Redmond had his second 100-yard game of the season and fifth of his career with 111 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries while running back Frank Dangello had 43 yards on 13 attempts and running back Stephen Leyden added 19 yards on his first four carries of the season. Quarterback Kordell Theadford had one carry for a yard during the fourth quarter. Moravian's defense limited the Red Devils to 304 yards of offense including just 99 yards on the ground while intercepting a pair of passes. Linebacker Steve Ewald had a game-high 13 tackles to go with a first quarter interception he returned 20 yards and a total of two passes defended. Linebacker Joseph Milano had seven stops before leaving the game late in the first half with an injury. Defensive back Nick Zambelli contributed six tackles while defensive lineman Shane Mastro also had six stops including a sack. Defensive back Jacob Kober had five tackles and a blocked extra-point as the Greyhounds blocked all three of the Red Devils' PAT attempts during the game. Linebacker Brady Hornbaker added five tackles with two for loss while defensive linemen Connor Rooney and Fouad Haddad, linebacker Will Russell, defensive lineman Vincent Pianoforte, linebacker Tanner Stokes and defensive back Justin McRae all had four tackles with Haddad adding a tackle for loss and Russell breaking up a pass. Defensive back Tim Valentine had one tackle and an interception he returned for a touchdown. On Moravian's second play, Erney completed a pass to Brown but was stripped of the ball as Dickinson took over near midfield. The Greyhounds needed just three plays to get the ball back as Ewald stepped in front of a pass and returned the interception to the Dickinson 47-yard line. Erney connected on a first down pass of 23 yards to Pierce, and two plays later Redmond bounced a run to the far sideline and raced 21-yards for the touchdown. Junior Jon Miller connected on the extra-point to give Moravian a 7-0 lead with 9:24 left in the first quarter. Dickinson answered with an eight-play, 54-yard drive to get into the end zone with 5:30 to play in the opening quarter. Hudson came off the left side of the line and got a hand on the extra-point attempt to send it wide and keep the Greyhounds ahead 7-6. The Hounds' next drive saw Erney toss a 14-yard completion to Brown for a first down at midfield, and the duo connected on another 13-yard pass to move the ball to the Dickinson 33-yard line. Three plays later, Erney found Petros streaking down the seam and connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass. Miller's PAT extended the Blue and Grey's lead to 14-6 with 1:06 left in the first quarter. Moravian's defense forced a punt early in the second quarter, but the Greyhounds would be right back on the field after Petros was stripped of the ball after a 19-yard completion. The defense answered with a three-and-out as the offense came back on at its own 14-yard line. Redmond ran for 13 yards and a first down on the opening play, and with the Hounds facing a third-and-two, Erney found Pierce behind the Dickinson defense for a 65-yard catch and run. Miller split the uprights for a 21-6 lead with 9:47 before the intermission. The teams traded punts with the Greyhounds taking over at their own 41-yard line with 1:04 left in the first half. Erney moved Moravian to the red zone with a 14-yard pass to Pierce and a 15-yard run. However, facing a third-and-10, Erney threw for the end zone but was intercepted with four seconds left in the half. The Hounds started with the ball in the second half and needed just 12 seconds to extend the lead. Erney threw a crossing route to Hudson, who raced 75 yards to the end zone. Miller once again connected on the PAT for a 28-6 advantage. Each team punted on its next possession with Brown pinning the Red Devils inside the five-yard line. After a penalty that moved the ball back to the two-yard line, Valentine intercepted a pass and ran it in for the Greyhounds' first pick-six of the season. Miller's final PAT of the afternoon made the Moravian' lead 35-6 with 9:34 left in the third quarter. After forcing a punt, the Greyhounds took over for a 15-play, 74-yard drive that ended early in the fourth quarter on downs at the Dickinson 25-yard line. The teams traded punts again before the Red Devils found the end zone on a seven-yard run with 6:26 remaining. Hudson came off of the left end again to block the extra-point and set the score at 35-12. \Dickinson moved the ball down the field again and added a four-yard touchdown run with 1:45 remaining. This time on the PAT, it was Kober, who was lined up just inside of Hudson, that broke through the line and got a hand on the extra-point attempt to send it wide right and set the final score at 35-18.