By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
email@example.com • juniatasports.net
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata College football team remained undefeated on the year (3-0) after upsetting Gettysburg College 38-16 at home on Goodman Field Saturday afternoon in its Centennial Conference home opener. The win marked the first time since 1976 that Juniata had defeated the Bullets in Huntingdon. They are now 2-0 against Centennial opponents. Gettysburg dropped to 1-2 on the year, 0-2 in the Centennial.
Not even a torrential downpour could slow the Eagles down as they recorded their third straight 20+ point win of the season.
"Eagles fly into storms," said head coach Tim Launtz of the team's performance. "That's an attribute of an Eagle. They fly into storms so they can soar into the higher altitude and that's what we did. We flew into the storm and played well. I think this is a very good team victory."
Senior Zach McCaulley (Bellwood, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) had a breakout game on the ground for Juniata. The running back finished with a game-high 103 yards, his second career 100-yard rushing game. Juniata outrushed the Bullets, averaging five yards per carry.
"Coming in our goal was to establish the run, and we did," said Launtz. "Our offense did a good job in regards to changing things up, which was beneficial for us."
Also tabbing a career day was junior Isaiah Slutter (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) who finished with a game-high 55 receiving yards. He recorded a career-best 151 all-purpose yards to lead the team. His electrifying 56-yard kick return in the beginning of the second half was a career-long mark and set the Eagles up to score their third touchdown of the contest.
Junior Ward Udinski (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) threw a career-best four touchdowns in the win. For the 13th straight game of his career, the quarterback threw for over 200 yards. He came into the game leading the league in passing yards per game and ranked 10th nationally in points responsible for.
This is the second consecutive game Udinksi has not been touched in the backfield. He has only been sacked once this season and has been enjoying a comfortable pocket to run the offense.
"Dominant, dominant, dominant," Launtz said of the Eagles front lines. "Offensive line, defensive line, everybody on this squad's about the explosion. It's that offensive and defensive line taking care of the line of scrimmage that's really helping us progress the way we are."
The Eagle defense held Gettysburg to just 325 total yards by recording five sacks and restricting the Bullets to under 150 passing yards. Senior Brandon Felus (Columbia, Pa./Columbia) continued to wreak havoc on opponents. He recorded two sacks and forced Bullet quarterback Zach Miller to fumble. Sophomore defensive back Nick Bonavita (Sheffield, Pa./Sheffield) set a career-best mark by grabbing a team-high eight tackles, seven solo.
Only the undefeated 1957-58 squads and the 1959 team have had a better start in program history than the 2013 Eagles in offensive production combined with defensive dominance.
"We defended our turf again and that's big," added Launtz of the win. "We're staying within ourselves and we're staying focused on the process. We're embracing the evolution a team needs to continue to improve."
Juniata will look to keep the momentum going into next weekend as the Eagles travel to Lancaster to face off against Franklin & Marshall College on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.
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