Juniata Holds on for 27-14 Win Over Moravian
By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
firstname.lastname@example.org • juniatasports.net
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Juniata College football dominated Centennial Conference rival Moravian College Saturday en route to its 27-14 win at Rocco Calvo Field. Juniata (6-3, 5-3 Centennial) held the Greyhounds scoreless for over three quarters in a very physical game. The Eagles' win tied up the all-time series between the programs at 28-28-2. Moravian dropped to 2-8 overall, 2-7 in Centennial action with the loss.
"It is understood about staying focused on the process and they have embraced that evolution," said head coach Tim Launtz of his 2013 Eagle squad. "They understand that if you rest there are consequences to it. We went out there, worked hard and gave our best and there are rewards."
After a tough outing at home against Muhlenberg, Juniata has averaged over 300 rushing yards per game. Junior Ward Udinski (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) led the charge with a career and game-high 159 net yards on the ground. His 36-yard, second quarter scramble was the longest of the game and took the Eagles out from deep within their territory. Udinski also sat comfortably in the pocket most of the game, and was never caught in the backfield.
"The offensive line has taken it upon themselves to do their assignment and move people off the ball," added Launtz. "They take great pride in being able to block and protect the quarterback. And I thought today was one of those days that on both sides of the ball we were pretty dominant."
Senior Ethan Wilt (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) tied a career-high and finished with a team-best 12 tackles on the day. He and the Eagle defense picked up five tackles for a loss of five yards, broke up four passes, forced a fumble and sacked Greyhound quarterback Robbie Moyer once.
"They played with great enthusiasm and great energy and you can see what the results are," said Launtz of the defense. "The defensive staff and the defense, what a great plan, with the effort, the toughness and the discipline to execute because you have to be very sound against this team."
Juniata scored on three of its four first half drives. Udinski had outrushed the entire Greyhounds offense by the end of the first half, including his eighth rushing touchdown of the season to open scoring halfway through the first quarter.
The Eagle defense then forced Moravian to punt on its next possession and the offense took over on its own four-yard line. Juniata marched 88 yards downfield to set up a 26-yard Ken Kysor(Port Allegany, Pa./Port Allegany) field goal.
Juniata's defense made two more huge stops to give the Eagles the ball back with 4:46 left in the half. They moved the ball up the field and called timeout after a three yard rush by Udinksi had the Eagles at fourth and one on Moravian's four-yard line with 40 seconds to go before the break. Juniata faked the quarterback sneak and sophomore Deonte Alston (Bel Air, Md./Patterson Mill) earned his first collegiate touchdown pass when he hit freshman Maurice Slinger (Pittsburg, Pa./Upper St. Clair) in the end zone and put the Eagles up 17-0.
The lead was extended nine minutes into the third quarter. Freshman Aaron O'Brien (York, Pa./York Catholic) caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Udinski, his third of the season. Moravian finally got on the board in the fourth quarter when the defense forced a fumble and ran it back for six points.
Juniata responded on its ensuing drive by marching 59 yards to another Kysor field goal, pushing the lead to 27-6. The junior is 8-for-11 this season in field goals. Juniata controlled the clock in the final quarter to earn the win. They possessed the ball for nearly 13 of the 15 minutes.
The win marked the first time since 1999 that Juniata has earned six wins in a single season. They return home next Saturday, Nov. 16 for their final regular season game. The Eagles face Susquehanna University at noon in their annual Goal Post Game. The matchup is also senior day for Juniata and they will be honoring their 11 seniors.
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).