Western Maryland holds off Juniata, 16-14 Debuts new coach, QB and offense

September 12, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

The Tim Keating era at Western Maryland College got off to a fast start yesterday as the Green Terrors jumped out to a 16-point first-half lead over Juniata and held on to claim a 16-14 victory at Scott S. Bair Stadium in Westminster.

Yesterday also marked the debut of starting sophomore quarterback Brian Van Duesen and a new-look offense that featured a wide-open attack.

Van Duesen, who played little last season, connected with senior wide receiver Alan Pietkiewicz for a 33-yard touchdown late in the first quarter and then came back in the second quarter with an 18-yard touchdown run.

With the offense struggling in the second half, the Green Terrors' defense took charge and held off a Juniata rally to give Keating his first victory as Western Maryland coach.

"This one's real nice. I'll enjoy this one tonight with my family here and then start thinking about Gettysburg tomorrow," Keating said.

"It was a great team effort and our kids came out pumped up at the start. I think the close game also will help us down the road knowing we can win those kind of games."

After years and years of running the ball down defense's throats, the Green Terrors came out with a no-huddle attack on their first possession and ended up throwing the ball 34 times on the day with only 29 rushing attempts. Van Duesen finished 19 of 34 for 207 yards with one touchdown and one interception. More importantly, the Atholton High grad showed a great deal of poise running the offense

"It was the first time Brian was really under the gun and he did a great job," said Keating.

"He had a real nice read on the touchdown throw to Pietkiewicz. At first, we saw Carmen Felus wide open underneath, but he threw a heck of a pass for the touchdown."

The throw came with 1:15 left in the first quarter and the Green Terrors already leading 3-0 on Dung Dinh's 27-yard field goal. On first-and-10, Van Duesen scrambled out of the pocket to his right and found a wide open Pietkiewicz in the right corner of the end zone. The two would hook up seven times on the day for 101 yards.

Early in the second quarter, Juniata's Mike Hoff fumbled a Paul McCord punt and Western Maryland's Colin Clark recovered on the Indians 18-yard line. On the next play, Van Duesen rolled left on a keeper and scored to make it 16-0 after Dinh's extra point.

The Indians got on the board with 4:42 left in the half as quarterback Wade Kurzinger found wide receiver Matt Davidson a 15-yard fade route in the right corner of the end zone to make it 16-7.

Western Maryland opened the second half looking to run the ball more and use some of the clock, but an Indians defense that was keying on Johnson didn't let it happen. Senior running back Rob Johnson, a pre-season All-America choice from North Carroll High, was limited to just 28 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Punter Paul McCord, who finished the day averaging 41.7 yards on nine punts, gave the Indians poor field possession most of the day and the Green Terrors' defense took charge from there.

"Our game plan was to throw the ball early, spread it around and get everyone involved, and then come back in the second half and try to pound it out on the ground with Rob [Johnson] and [Syeve] Aquino," said Keating.

"The defense came out and did a super job. The defensive line played great. [Joe] Krcma made some big plays early, then it was [Matt] Lecorchick and [Ted] Speers. And [Robert] Rummell didn't make any outstanding plays, but was really the anchor out there."

The Indians made it close when Davidson caught his second touchdown pass from Kurzinger, a 6-yard slant pattern with 5:08 left in the game.

The Indians got the ball back one last time with 1:48 remaining, starting on their own 28. The seven-play series ended when Kurzinger missed tight end Steve Cavanaugh on fourth-and-10 on their own 38 with 39 seconds left.

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