/seasons/2013/contrib/20130905dtzwi9

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).

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
TBA
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
TBA
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
TBA
Knox at Eureka
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live Stats Live Stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live Stats
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
2:00 PM
Dickinson at Lebanon Valley
Maintenance in progress.