/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).

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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at Berry 28, Centre 14
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at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
Final - OT
at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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