New-look Terrors to get off the ground 1st-year coach Keating initiates pro-style offense

September 03, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

First-year coach Tim Keating brings a new era to Western Maryland College football and with it a new look.

Keating comes to the Green Terrors after five years as coach at Wesley (Del.) College -- another Division III program.

After years of emphasizing the run under former coach Dale Sprague, the Green Terrors have gone to a pro-style offense geared toward putting the ball in the hands of those capable of breaking a big play. Keating believes he has plenty of skilled position players to do just that.

"Everything is falling into place, but we still have a lot of work to do," Keating said.

"We have some quality skilled people to work with -- we've got some weapons."

Senior running back Rob Johnson should be busy this season. Johnson, a North Carroll grad, scored 18 touchdowns last season and rushed for 1,560 yards -- fifth in Division III -- to help lead the Green Terrors to a 5-5 record.

"Every coach in America would think I'm stupid if I didn't find a way to get him the ball. He's our ace, and Rob will either run the ball or catch the ball," Keating said.

Look for the Green Terrors to pass the ball more than they ever have with sophomore Brian Van Deusen expected to start at quarterback.

Joining Johnson and Van Deusen in the backfield will be senior co-captain Keith Abel.

Junior running back Mark Vergalito, who started alongside Johnson last season and gained 198 yards, will miss the entire season with a back injury.

Center Bill Bower and tackles Rob Nightingale and Ron Kudlacik -- all juniors -- return up front to provide protection for Van Deusen and make running room for Johnson.

Van Deusen replaces senior Paul McCord, who will move to wide receiver after throwing for 748 yards last season. At 6 feet 4, McCord will provide a big target for the sophomore thrower.

Keating also is very impressed with junior wide receiver Carmen Felus, a transfer from Lock Haven (Pa.) University.

Junior Alan Pietkiewicz, who had 16 catches for 292 yards last season, is the leading receiver returning.

"We have people who can catch the ball and a quarterback who can throw it," Keating said.

"Brian's a smart young man who's going to make some sophomore mistakes, but he is only a sophomore."

Keating has six players returning on defense, led by junior co-captain Trevor Sellers at linebacker. Last season, he led the Green Terrors in tackles with 83 -- 19 of which were solos.

Also back at linebacker is senior Dennis Walker, who had 65 tackles a year ago, and has impressed Keating during the preseason.

Free safety Gary Carter and cornerback Greg Roycraft -- both seniors -- will anchor the secondary, and senior tackle Robert Rimmell is the only returning player up front.

"We're going to be aggressive and hopefully we can gang-tackle some people. I'm pleased with the way things are coming," Keating said.

McCord again will handle the punting chores after averaging 32.6 yards per punt last season.

Junior Dung Dinh also is back to do the place-kicking. He was 3-for-4 in field goals a year ago and 24-for-25 in extra points.

"It's going to be an exciting season at Western Maryland," Keating said.

"I can't say we're going to go 9-0 this season, but we're going to take them one game at a time knowing there isn't a team on our schedule we can't beat."

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