September 5, 2013

Eagles Open Anniversary Season at Home

More news about: Juniata

By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
jonesj@juniata.edu • juniatasports.net

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College football team opens its 2013 campaign in the comfort of home.  The Eagles play host to Thiel College on Saturday, Sept. 7 at noon in the 40th anniversary year of the 1973 team playing in the inaugural NCAA Division III National Championship.

 

"They are very similar to us," said head coach Tim Launtz of the Tomcats.  "They have a lot of returning starters on both sides of the ball.  They continued to improve throughout the year last year.  I think what it comes down to is that you have two teams who took positive steps last year, so you'll see who's the most improved football team."

 

This will be the seventh meeting of the two programs in a rivalry that dates back to 1921. There has been a significant gap in time since the teams played before last season.  Thiel dominated the early years of the matchup, but Juniata has now won three straight and outscored the Tomcats 47-19.   This game will determine the series leader.

 

Thiel at a Glance
Thiel heads into its fifth season under head coach Kurt Reiser.  The Tomcats went 3-7 last year and tied for fifth in the Presidents' Athletic Conference with a 3-5 record.  After losing just six starters from the 2012 squad, Thiel returns all but one from its starting offense and is expected to be competitive on the attack.

 

Among the returners is All-Pac second team offensive lineman Jason Crystol. He will be protecting senior quarterback Andrew Smith in the pocket.  Smith appeared in all 10 games and amassed nearly 1,400 passing yards.  Returning in the backfield are Josh Potter and Taylor Fink.  Both appeared in all 10 games, with Potter earning the starting job most of last year.  But Fink proved more successful on the gridiron, averaging 4.0 yards per carry and 618 total yards.

 

Seven starters return to the Tomcats defense.  Thiel will have an experienced secondary to rely on in 2013.  They are led by senior free safety Brandon Wolfe.  He led the team with 39 total tackles, 27 solo.  Strong safety Rob Edwards was second in tackles with 26 and recorded an interception and six pass breakups last year.

 

Thiel runs a multiple Pro-I offense and a multiple 4-3 defense.  They have 18 starters returning: eight seniors, five juniors, and five sophomores.

 

Last Meeting
Scott Andrews made a field goal with 4:56 remaining to lift Juniata over Thiel 16-13.  The Eagle defense then held Thiel off the board, allowing just 54 total yards of offense over two possessions for the rest of regulation.  The win broke a season-opener losing streak and helped complete at three-sport sweep of Thiel as men's and women's soccer also won against the Tomcats.  Ward Udinski threw for over 200 yards and ran in the Eagles only touchdown.  Thiel won the ground game rushing for 57 more yards than Juniata.  The Eagle defense picked off Andrew Smith twice and found him in the backfield once for a sack.

 

Keep on Rising
Juniata is coming off of its most successful season in nearly a decade after posting the program's first three-win season since 2003.  In recognition of their progress, the Eagles were pegged to finished seventh in the Centennial Conference preseason poll with 57 points.  This is the first time Juniata has been tabbed higher than last since joining the league in 2007.

 

Staying Close to Home
Head coach Tim Launtz is entering just his third year at the helm of Eagle football.  He is a Huntingdon, Pa native and 1980 Juniata graduate.  Launtz is the 22nd head coach in Juniata's history and the sixth alumnus to guide the program.

 

Felus Named Preseason All-American
Senior Brandon Felus was named a 2013 Preseason All-American by the Beyond Sports Network.  He was the first Eagle under Launtz to be named first-team all-conference and was also recognized as a 2012 Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Star.

 

Four Earn All-Conference Honors in Postseason
The Eagles return all four of their 2012 All-Centennial honorees, three of whom are members of the defense: Felus, linebacker, Kevin Gorman, and defensive lineman Jared Shope.  Gorman is a two-time all-conference selection.  Offensive lineman Josh Gongloff rounded out the Eagles on all-conference teams.

 

Offensive Quick Hit
Juniata returns its entire starting offensive line to protect junior quarterback Ward Udinski.  The captain led the team in passing and rushing yards last year and was ranked 30th nationally in total offense.  Despite losing the veteran receiving group to graduation, Udinski has experience in the backfield to share the load in senior Zach McCaulley.  The running back finished second in rushing yards behind Udinski.

 

Defensive Blitz
The Eagles only lost two members of their nationally ranked defense.  The experienced group will be bringing 15 defensive newcomers up to speed quickly to allow for depth.

 

Special Teams Highlights
Junior Ken Kysor and sophomore Jonah Plymire will be the golden toes for Juniata in 2013.  Kysor will take over primary place kicking duties after the Eagles lost Ken Andrews to graduation.  Plymire will continue to boot the ball for punts.  He finished last season with 1,735 yards and ranked 36th nationally in punting.

 

Follow Your Eagles! Stay up-to-date on your Juniata College Eagles by logging onto www.juniatasports.net.  And don't forget to follow us on twitter (@JuniataEagles) and on Facebook (Juniata Eagles).

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Audio
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
Preview Video
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
Audio
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Preview Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Audio
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats Audio
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading