Junior quarterback Chris Haupt completed 28 of 44 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran for another score to lead the Widener University football team to a 44-6 non-conference win over visiting Moravian College at Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Stadium Saturday.
The Pride improve to 1-0 overall and travel to Thiel College next Saturday, September 10th for a non-conference game while the Greyhounds drop to 0-1 in their first game under new head coach Jeff Pukszyn and will open their 2011 Centennial Conference season next Saturday at McDaniel College at 2:00 p.m.
Widener, which has won ten straight against the Greyhounds including five games of over 40 points, received the opening kickoff of the season but Moravian needed just one play to get possession of the ball. Senior defensive end Allen Petros sacked Haupt and forced a fumble that Greyhound senior defensive lineman Seth Payne covered at the Pride 41 yard line.
Moravian was unable to move the ball on its first possession of the season, turning the ball over on downs after four plays.
The Pride would start at their own 33-yard line and convert a pair of fourth downs to move down the field. Haupt finished the 11-play, 67-yard drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Cedrick Clayton. Senior kicker Matt Breslin's extra-point was wide right to leave the score at 6-0 Widener with 9:47 left in the first quarter.
The Greyhounds would run three plays on their second drive of the game before senior Ian Heck came on for his first career punt.
Widener would start at its own 33-yard line for a second straight drive and needed eight plays this time to cover the 67-yards to the end zone. Haupt hit sophomore running back Terrant Morrison with a 22-yard swing pass for a touchdown on a third-and-ten play. Breslin's extra-point gave the Pride a 13-0 lead with 6:31 to go in the first quarter.
Moravian picked up a first down on its next drive with junior quarterback Matt Johnson hitting sophomore wide receiver Vince Reed with a pass before Heck came into punt again.
The Pride put together a 14-play drive to cover 53 yards including picking up another fourth down, setting up Breslin to connect on a 24-yard field goal to put Widener up 16-0 with 12:48 remaining in the second quarter.
Johnson was intercepted by Widener sophomore defensive back Colin Masterson, who returned the ball 33 yards to the Moravian 15-yard line. However, the Pride came up scoreless when Breslin was short on a 30-yard field goal attempt.
Moravian would be unable to move the ball with junior Tyler Thompson coming into punt after three plays. However, the Greyhounds would get possession again after just four plays when junior linebacker Jake Hildebrand forced Morrison to fumble, and Moravian junior defensive back Travis King covered the ball at the Moravian 34-yard line.
The Greyhounds punted again after three plays. Widener then drove down into the red zone before Moravian junior defensive back Rees Judge intercepted Haupt in the end zone and returned it 22 yards.
Moravian put together its best drive of the first half, moving into Widener territory on a 38-yard pass from Johnson to junior wide receiver Rocco Del Priore. The Greyhounds moved into the red zone with a 21-yard completion to Reed on a fourth-and-17 play. Heck would finish off the drive with 28-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to cut the Widener lead to 16-3 at the intermission. The Greyhounds' drive was 66 yards in 13 plays in the final 2:32 of the half.
King opened the second half with a 45-yard kickoff return for the Greyhounds to set the Moravian offense in Widener territory. However, the Greyhounds punted the ball away after three plays.
The Pride would cover 75 yards in 11 plays and extend its lead on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Haupt to Clayton on a third-and-10 play. Junior James McFadden added the extra-point to give Widener a 23-3 lead with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
Moravian would get another field goal from Heck this one from 23 yards, to cap off an 11-play, 62-yard drive, cutting Widener's lead to 23-6 with 5:55 to go in the third quarter. Johnson hit junior wide receiver Ryan Onushco and Del Priore with 20-yard passes during the drive for first downs.
Widener answered right back with a ten-play, 60-yard scoring drive with Haupt running in from eight-yards out. McFadden's PAT pushed Widener's lead to 30-6 with 2:13 to go in the third quarter.
The Greyhounds would punt on the final play of the third quarter with Thompson pinning the Pride at their own two-yard line. Widener moved out to its own 38 before a 52-yard punt from McFadden put the Greyhounds at the Greyhound ten-yard line.
Moravian ran just three plays before Thompson came on to punt. Widener freshman wide receiver Anthony Davis returned the punt 52 yards for a touchdown. McFadden added the PAT to give the Pride a 37-6 lead with 7:38 left in the game.
Davis would score again 49 seconds later on a 79-yard punt return after the Greyhounds went three-and-out for the sixth time in the game. McFadden gave the Pride a 44-6 lead with 6:49 to play.
Moravian was forced to punt again and Widener would run out the clock to end the game.
Widener posted 528 yards of offense on 88 plays. Clayton caught eight passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns while Morrison had four catches for 39 yards and a score. Sophomore wide receiver Jermaine Quattlebaum added four receptions for 38 yards while sophomore wide receiver Adam Marcucci had three catches for 33 yards. Freshman running back Couve LaFate ran for 50 yards on ten carries, and he had three catches for 38 yards while sophomore quarterback Tevin Campell added 40 yards on four carries while completing two of three passes for seven yards. Junior running back Dante Pergolese added 38 yards on four carries while Haupt had 27 yards on seven rushing attempts.
Johnson was 15-for-34 for the Greyhounds for 168 yards while sophomore quarterback Robbie Moyer was three-for-three for 16 yards as Moravian had 211 yards on 62 plays. Del Priore caught nine passes for 96 yards while Reed had five catches for 45 yards. Junior running back C.J. Billera ran for 18 yards on eight carries while junior running back Joe Tegan added seven yards on two carries.
Hildebrand led the Moravian defense with a game high 11 tackles with his forced fumble and a tackle for loss. Judge made eight tackles in his Greyhound debut with his interception while sophomore defensive back Brandon Lesko had eight stops with a pass break-up. Junior linebacker Luke Trexler, senior linebacker Douglas DiMattia and senior defensive back D.J. Wacker each had seven tackles while Petros had five tackles including two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Petros now has 43.5 career tackles for loss, one and a half shy of the school record, and he has 20 sacks, which is fourth in school history.
Junior defensive end Chad Gravinese led the Pride with seven tackles including four for loss and three sacks. Senior linebacker Brandon Nye, junior linebacker Jamal Dorsey and sophomore linebacker Dylan Ditmer each made five tackles for Widener while Masterson had four stops to go with his interception.