September 2, 2011

W&J-Juniata Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson College (0-0) at Juniata College (0-0)

September 3, 2011

Time:  1:00 pm

Site:  Knox Stadium (3,000)

Series:  Juniata leads 3-2-1

Series Streak: +1 W&J

Live Video: http://www.juniatasports.tv/football/football110903/index.html

Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

Last Meeting: W&J 20, JC 0 -- 9/9/1989

First Meeting: JC 41, W&J 21 -- 11/1/1969

Last W&J Win: W&J 20, JC 0 -- 9/9/1989

Last JC Win: JC 15, W&J 6 -- 10/30/1971

Last W&J Win at JC: W&J 28, JC 24 -- 9/8/1984

Last JC Win at JC: JC 10, W&J 0 -- 10/31/1970

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Juniata meet for the seventh time in history with the Eagles holding a 3-2-1 lead.  The Presidents and Eagles last met on Sept. 9, 1989, as W&J collected a 20-0 victory in Washington.  The two schools have played just three times in the past 40 years.  W&J and Juniata battled to a 13-13 draw on Sept. 10, 1988, the last time the squads met in Huntingdon, Pa. 

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns a 79-14 (.849) record at W&J entering his ninth season as the head coach.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is fourth among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Tim Launtz (Juniata '80) begins his first season at the helm of the Juniata football program.  He spent the previous 15 years as a member of the Juniata coaching staff, most recently as the Eagles' quarterbacks coach.

W&J vs. THE CENTENNIAL: W&J sports a 30-12-2 (.714) all-time record against current member of the Centennial Conference.  Although the Presidents have only played a current CC member 44 times in 120 years of football, Saturday's game will be the second consecutive game as W&J beat F&M 54-41 in last year's season finale in the ECAC Southwest Bowl. 

Dickinson (11-5-1)        

Franklin & Marshall (6-2)                                         

Gettysburg (2-1)

Johns Hopkins (0-0)    

Juniata (2-3-1)                

McDaniel (3-0)                

Moravian (1-0)         

Muhlenberg (1-0)      

Susquehanna (2-1)     

Ursinus (2-0)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 20, JC 0; 9/9/1989, Washington, Pa.}:  Washington & Jefferson held Juniata to only 97 total yards and posted a 20-0 victory (nicknamed Indians at that time) in the 1989 season opener.  The 97 yards allowed was a modern day record for the Presidents.  W&J Hall of Famer Larry Pitts, at sophomore that season, returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown.  Another sophomore, Tom Behr, paced the defense with 12 tackles and two sacks. 

SCOUTING JUNIATA:  The Tim Launtz era begins at Juniata on Saturday as he takes over a program that has lost 12 consecutive games and hasn't had more than three wins in any season since posting a 5-5 mark in 2002.  Juniata went winless in 2010 and only scored six touchdowns all season (5.7 ppg).  On the flip side, opponents averaged 41.4 points and 413.2 yards per game.  Juniata is expected to start freshman quarterback Ward Udinski.  He is one of eight freshmen or sophomores who are in the starting lineup for the Eagles.  The JC defense will be paced by senior captains Andrew Masullo and Jason Marquis.  Masullo had 36 tackles and two interceptions last year as a cornerback, while Marquis, a Jeannette native, has 155 career tackles, including 17.5 for a loss. 

GOING STREAKING: The Presidents have made a postseason appearance in each of the last 12 seasons.  That streak includes 10 trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs and two ECAC bowl games.  Last season, Washington & Jefferson defeated Franklin and Marshall 54-41 in the ECAC Southwest Bowl.  The Presidents have won at least nine games each season during the streak and have hit the double digit wins mark on five occasions. 

HITTING THE ROAD: W&J will open its season on the road for the second consecutive year, but only the fourth time since 2002.  Last season, the Presidents traveled to Doylestown, Pa., where they fell to Delaware Valley College, 27-0.  W&J had won five consecutive season-opening road contests before dropping the opener to the Aggies.  Saturday's game marks the 41st time in school history that the Presidents will begin the season away from home.  The team holds a 19-20-1 record in those contests.  Overall, Washington & Jefferson has posted an 84-33-2 record in season openers. 

FINDING PAY DIRT: Junior running back Tim McNerney will be looking to up his streak of consecutive games with at least one rushing touchdown to nine in the 2011 season opener.  The streak dates back to October 2, 2010, when he ran for two scores in addition to 82 yards against Westminster.  McNerney has scored multiple touchdowns seven times during the streak, including each of the final six contests of 2010.  Overall, McNerney scored 18 times on the ground and ran for 1,009 yards.

FROM ALL DIRECTIONS: The 2011 W&J roster includes players representing 10 different home states.  Pennsylvania leads the way with 64 student-athletes calling the Keystone State home.  A total of 26 players are native to Ohio, while 11 are from New York, and three each from Maryland, West Virginia and Florida.

NICE TO MEET YOU:  Head Coach Mike Sirianni welcomed two transfers to the 2011 roster from Division I programs.  Running back Dion Wiegand started his career at Robert Morris, while defensive lineman John Watts played last at Elon University.  W&J also welcomes Shawn Rohrer as the team's defensive coordinator.  Rohrer, an All-America linebacker at Division II Slippery Rock in the late 1990s, previously spent three seasons in the same position at Saint Vincent.  Frank Spence takes over as the quarterbacks coach, while Todd Schoenleber joins the staff as the assistant defensive line coach.  Doug Clish is another new coach who will work with the cornerbacks, while Jon Gubish will work with the wide receivers. 

PAC MEN:  W&J returns 10 players who earned All-Presidents' Athletic Conference laurels in 2010.  Senior left tackle Gary Flavion is the lone first-team returnee, while seniors defensive end Frank Gigler, linebacker Neil Sorice and safety Matthew Gal and juniors running back Tim McNerney and defensive end Andy McGill were second-team selections.  Washington & Jefferson's honorable-mention returnees are senior wide receiver Adam Dominick, juniors kick returner Ben Hoffer and defensive lineman Ian Hennessy and sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio.

CHALK IT UP:  The Presidents upped their consecutive winning season streak to 27 years in 2010 which ranks as the 10th-longest streak in NCAA Division III history and 16th among all divisions.  Only Linfield (55 years), Ithaca (39) and Mount Union (32) own longer active streaks among Division III schools.

400 CLUB:  Since Mike Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003, W&J owns a perfect 51-0 record when amassing 400 or more yards of total offense, including a 7-0 record in 2010.  The last time W&J had more than 400 yards and lost was at Hanover (Ind.) on Nov. 2, 2002.  The Presidents dropped a 35-14 decision to the Panthers despite holding a 503-364 edge in total yards.

CONTINUED SUCCESS: Sirianni owns a 79-14 record in his nine seasons at W&J.  He is second on the school's all-time win list and his winning percentage (.849) is the best in school history among coaches with five or more years of experience. His winning percentage is fourth among all active NCAA football coaches (FBS, FCS, DII, or DIII) with five years of experience.

CLOUD NINE:  W&J clinched its 16th nine-win season since 1992 with a victory over Franklin & Marshall in the 2010 ECAC Southwest Bowl.  The only years during this stretch in which W&J did not have at least nine victories were 1996 (8-2), 1997 (6-3) and 1998 (5-4).

HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson has won 675 games heading into its 120th varsity season (675-373-40) which is third behind Wittenberg (699) and Mount Union (685) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (642) and Williams (623) round out the top five.  Juniata is fielding a varsity football program for the 89th year and owns a 344-388-22 (.471) all-time record. 

BLISSFUL START:  Sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss will start the Presidents' season opener and thus becoming the first player since Chris Edwards to start a game without previously attempting a collegiate pass.  Edwards made his first start on Sept. 13, 2003, and completed 11-of-27 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-23 W&J victory over Allegheny.  Bliss started his senior year at Bethel Park High School in 2009 and led the Black Hawks to a 10-2 record and a trip to the WPIAL semifinals.  He completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,302 yards and 12 touchdowns, while rushing for a pair of scores.  Bliss, who won the starting job in preseason camp in a close battle with junior Andrew Cappucci and sophomore Zack Sopak, only threw two interceptions during the 2009 season.  Bliss becomes the sixth opening day starter for the Presidents since 1999. 

PRESEASON LAURELS:  Washington & Jefferson begins the season as the No. 16 ranked team in The Sporting News preseason national poll.  The Presidents were also selected second of nine teams in the PAC preseason coaches poll behind Thomas More. 

AYE-AYE:  Five seniors will serve as team captains for the Presidents: left tackle Gary Flavion, wide receivers Brett Axner and Adam Dominick, defensive end Frank Gigler and linebacker Neil Sorice.

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