Juniata Starts Season With 41-20 Win over Thiel

More news about: Juniata

By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
jonesj@juniata.edu • juniatasports.net

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata College football team unleashed its arsenal against Thiel College Saturday afternoon as the Eagles walked away with the 41-20 win in their season opener at Knox Stadium.  This marks the second consecutive year Juniata football has opened with a win.


"It's always good to get off to a [good] start," said third year head coach Tim Launtz.  "I think that really puts a positive tone on everything and set the standard for the rest of the year.  We are very happy to win the first one."


Junior Ward Udinski (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) had a career game to start the season.  The captain finished with five touchdowns and over 400 yards of total offense.  He had game-highs in both rushing and passing yards.  Udinski's 339 passing yards and three passing touchdowns were career-highs.  He completed 16-of-23 with zero interceptions and sacks. Freshman Aaron O'Brien (York, Pa./York Catholic) has benefitted from Udinski's accuracy.  He finished with a team-best 117 receiving yards including an 84-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.


"Ward is, he is just a football player," said Launtz.  "He just loves to play the game of football.  He extends plays, he makes plays, [he] is a lot of fun to watch."


Juniata's defense, led by senior captain Kevin Gorman (Waverly, N.Y./Waverly Central), dominated Thiel for most of the game, allowing just seven points in over 50 minutes of football.  Gorman set new career-high marks in tackles and sacks in the win.  He finished with game-highs of 14 tackles, nine solo, including three sacks.


Also setting career-highs was senior Greg Nixon (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Poly).  He finished second on the team in tackles with nine, a mark still higher than the Tomcats leading tackler, and earned his first sack.  Juniata as a team put Thiel's quarterbacks in the turf 10 times for a loss of 41 yards, a team record under Launtz.


"[The] defense plays so well as a team," added Launtz.  "They just came out there today and wanted to take control of things and I thought they did a really good job of that."


Juniata hits the road to open Centennial Conference play next.  The Eagles face Dickinson College on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. in Carlisle, Pa.  This is the 25th meeting of the two programs.  The Red Devils lead the all-time series 16-8 but Juniata is hoping to break the streak. 


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).

Maintenance in progress.
Dec. 9: All times Eastern
Mount Union 43, at UW-Oshkosh 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Brockport 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 15: All times Eastern
Mount Union 12, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 0
@ Salem, Va.
Video Box Score Recap Photos