BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College football team held a lead through most of the first half and the majority of the fourth quarter until visiting McDaniel College scored its only touchdown of the game with 12 seconds remaining to earn a 13-10 victory over the host Greyhounds at Rocco Calvo Field Saturday in the Centennial Conference opener for each school.
The Hounds dropped their first home game of the season as the squad turned the ball over seven times and had a punt blocked while still having the lead late into the fourth. Moravian picked up 283 yards on 73 plays while holding onto the ball for 31:35, and the Blue and Grey defense limited the Green Terror to 215 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Christopher Mills was 16-for-35 with a touchdown and 198 yards while being intercepted three times. Junior wide receiver Nick Petros caught eight passes for 100 yards to go with a touchdown to move into 15th in school history with 1,345 receiving yards on 82 receptions. Sophomore wide receiver Cory Little had two catches for 45 yards while senior wide receiver Andrew Lelie added two receptions for 21 yards and sophomore wide receiver Romello Walters had two catches for 17 yards.
Senior running back Roberto Diez ran for 72 yards on 22 yards for Moravian while freshman running back Carrington Smith added 14 yards on six attempts. Walters had one carry for three yards while Mills picked up two yards on five attempts while being sacked three times.
Sophomore linebacker Noah Breidinger led the Hounds' defense with 10 tackles and two pass break-ups while junior linebacker Austin Heisler had six stops with one and a half sacks and two tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Tanner Barr and junior defensive back Jackson Buskirk both had five tackles with Barr adding one and a half for loss and Buskirk breaking up two passes to go with one tackle for loss. Junior defensive lineman Shane Mastro also had five tackles to go with one and a half sacks and two tackles for loos while junior defensive lineman PJ Weierbach and sophomore defensive back Connor Lyon each had four tackles with Weierbach making one behind the line of scrimmage.
Moravian received the opening kickoff of the game and would get into the red zone after a pair of fourth down conversion runs by Diez. The drive stalled at the three-yard line when sophomore kicker Jack Coary came in to make a 21-yard field goal, his first for the Greyhounds, with 10:18 left in the first quarter as the Blue and Grey took an early 3-0 lead.
The Moravian advantage would hold up through the rest of the first half as the Hounds had three drives end on interceptions, one on a fumbled snap and one with a punt. McDaniel had a pair of chances to tie the game in the second quarter but missed field goals of 28 and 30 yards.
The Hounds fumbled after a Petros reception on the squad's first possession of the second half, and the Green Terror turned the miscue into a 36-yard field goal to knot the game at 3-3 with 8:52 left in the third quarter.
The squads traded punts until early in the fourth quarter when a 10-yard punt return by Buskirk had the Moravian set up at the McDaniel 25-yard line. On fourth and 11 from the 26, Mills found a leaping Petros in the end zone for a touchdown. Junior Brendan Morgans connected on his first career extra-point to put the Hounds back in front, 10-3. Morgans also had three punts for an average of 53.7 yards.
The Blue and Grey's next drive ended with Morgans being blocked on a punt attempt. McDaniel had a short field but the Moravian defense held and forced a 42-yard field goal to cut the Hounds' edge to 10-6 with 5:10 remaining.
As Moravian looked to drive down the field and run out the clock, Mills found sophomore tight end Matt Nimas for a 22-yard reception to move past midfield. However, Nimas was stripped of the ball as he went to the ground and the Green Terror took over at their own 45-yard line.
McDaniel found the end zone with 12 seconds remaining on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds to play.
Moravian had one final play from near midfield but freshman David LePoidevin had his pass intercepted inside the 10-yard line.
The Greyhounds are scheduled to return to action on Friday, September 20 when the squad heads to No. 7 Johns Hopkins University for a Centennial Conference game beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Baltimore, Maryland.