Moravian Earns Head Coach Jeff Pukszyn 1st Win at Dickinson College, 24-12
Sophomore running back Joe Tegan ran for a career high 131 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and sophomore quarterback Robbie Moyer completed seven of 19 passes for 60 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in his first collegiate start to lead the Moravian College football team to a 24-12 Centennial Conference win at Dickinson College Saturday.
The Greyhounds earn head coach Jeff Pukszyn his first career win and improve to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in Centennial Conference action. Moravian returns home to host Ursinus College next Saturday, October 1 in the NCAA Take a Kid to the Game at Rocco Calvo Field with a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. The Red Devils fall to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play as well.
Moravian received the opening kickoff and picked up two first downs including a 24-yard pass from Moyer to senior wide receiver Ray Olivo. However, two plays later, Moyer was intercepted by Dickinson senior defensive lineman Corwyn Gordon on a ball that bounced off of a Moravian player and into the air.
Dickinson would take the ball at its own 35-yard line and drive into the red zone before the Moravian defense stiffened. Senior kicker David London came on and connected on a 33-yard field goal to put the Red Devils ahead 3-0 with 7:10 to go in the first quarter.
The Greyhounds started their second drive of the game at their own 17-yard line, and Moravian looked to be stopped after three downs but a penalty kept the drive alive. The Greyhounds used Tegan on five plays during the drive as Moravian drove into the red zone. Facing a fourth-and-six at the Dickinson 13-yard line, senior kicker Ian Heck, pictured at left, came on to make a 31-yard field goal and tie the game at 3-3 with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.
Dickinson would retake the lead with another field goal on its next possession. Red Devil sophomore quarterback Todd Smolinsky completed a pair of passes on its drive, and he also picked up a first down running before London came on to make a 36-yard field goal and give Dickinson a 6-3 lead with 11:57 to go in the second quarter.
Moravian ran just three plays before junior Tyler Thompson came on to punt for the first time in the game.
The Red Devils started at their own 11-yard line and drove down to the Moravian 23-yard line. On a second-and-11, Smolinsky threw towards the end zone but Moravian sophomore defensive back Dalton Petit intercepted the pass in the end zone for a touchback.
On the fourth play of Moravian's ensuing drive, junior running back C.J. Billera fumbled the ball over to Dickinson. However, the Greyhounds would get the ball back in one play when Petit forced Red Devils' senior running back Shea Licata to fumble, and Moravian junior linebacker Jake Hildebrand covered the ball at the Dickinson 45-yard line.
The Greyhounds put together an eight-play drive to take the lead on a ten-yard touchdown pass from Moyer to Billera, Moravian's first touchdown pass of the season. Heck connected on the extra-point to put the Greyhounds ahead 10-6 with 36 seconds left before halftime. During the drive, Moravian picked up a first down on a fourth-and-four play in the red zone when Billera was stopped but flipped the ball back to Moyer, who ran for ten yards.
Dickinson started the second half with the ball and was forced to punt after picking up one first down.
Moravian's first possession of the second half began at its own 41-yard line. Tegan would carry the ball on seven of the eight plays the Greyhounds ran including a two-yard touchdown run to cap off the 59-yard drive. Heck's extra-point pushed Moravian ahead 17-6 with 8:16 to go in the third quarter.
The Red Devils ran just three plays before London came on to punt, and the Greyhounds took over at their own 45-yard line. Dickinson would get the ball back three plays later when freshman defensive back Mitch Helmadollar stepped in front of a Moyer pass and returned the interception to the Moravian 25-yard line.
The Greyhounds' defense stood up and forced Smolinsky into a pair of incomplete passes on third and fourth downs to give Moravian the ball back at the Moravian 20-yard line.
Moravian punted on its next two possessions while Dickinson's possession was ended when Smolinsky was intercepted by Greyhound junior defensive back Travis King, who returned the ball 29 yards.
The Red Devils started their first possession of the fourth quarter on the Dickinson ten-yard after a punt by Thompson. On the second play of the drive, Smolinsky was intercepted by Greyhound junior defensive back Rees Judge at the Red Devils 47-yard line, Judge's third interception of the season.
The Greyhounds went three-and-punt on their next drive, but the defense would put points on the scoreboard three plays later. Senior linebacker Doug DiMatia intercepted a pass from senior quarterback Ricky Martz at the Dickinson 31-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. Heck added the extra-point to give Moravian a 24-6 lead with 9:59 left in the contest.
Dickinson started at its own 37-yard line and put together an eight-play drive to cover the 63 yards to the end zone. Senior running back Mike Shimkin scored on a 19-yard run but London's extra-point was wide right to cut Moravian's lead to 24-12 with 7:08 to go.
The Red Devils tried an on-side kick that Moravian junior wide receiver Ryan Onushco at the Dickinson 43-yard line. The Greyhounds drove into the red zone but faced a fourth-and-five from the seven-yard line. Heck came on to attempt a 25-yard field goal but it was blocked by Gordon.
Dickinson would drive onto the Moravian side of midfield before the clock ran out on an incomplete pass by Smolinsky.
The Greyhounds ran 65 plays for 283 yards including 223 yards on 46 rushing attempts with Moyer adding 67 yards on 13 carries. Billera picked up 31 yards on ten attempts for Moravian, and he caught the touchdown pass. Olivo had three receptions for 31 yards while Onushco grabbed two passes for 12 yards.
The Red Devils gained 305 yards on 69 plays and controlled the ball for 30:07. Smolinsky completed ten of 18 passes for 90 yards, but he was intercepted three times while Martz was nine-for-11 for 56 yards with one interception. Shimkin ran for 45 yards on five carries while Smolinsky had 32 yards on seven attempts. Sophomore running back Luc Vernerey added 32 yards on six carries while sophomore running back Mike Capone added 24 yards on eight attempts. Junior wide receiver Matt Wood caught four passes for 43 yards while senior wide receiver Cam Di Fede had four catches for 42 yards.
King and junior linebacker Tyler Potterton led the Moravian defense with nine tackle with King adding an interception. Senior defensive lineman Allen Petros had eight tackles with two and a half for loss to raise his school record total to 50, and Petros added a sack to increase his career total to 23.5 sacks. Petit had seven tackles with his interception and forced fumble while Hildebrand also had seven stops with a fumble recovery and a half a tackle for loss. Senior defensive back D.J. Wacker made six tackles to go with a tackle for loss and a pass break-up.
Senior defensive back Scott Sullivan led the Dickinson defense with a game high 14 tackles with a half a tackle for loss and a break-up while sophomore linebacker Mike Miller had 13 tackles. Junior defensive back Marek Laco had seven tackles for the Red Devils.