Green Terror counting on offense

September 09, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

Western Maryland College second-year coach Tim Keating had a dream of the Bair Stadium scoreboard lighted up like a pinball machine. He jokingly admits he isn't sure whether the home or away team had more points.

It's understandable.

An offense that had little problem scoring in Keating's inaugural 3-5-1 1993 season has junior quarterback Brian Van Deusen back, along with his top two receivers and much of the line. The defense has only two starters back, one of whom is switching positions.

The game plan is simple: "We're going to have to control the ball on offense with 5- and 10-yard gains and keep our guys on the field with 10-play drives," Keating said.

Van Deusen excelled in Keating's pass-oriented system as a sophomore and should only get better with the year's worth of experience.

Last season, he earned All-Centennial Conference second-team honors after shattering most of the school's passing marks. He finished the season completing 204 of 376 attempts (54 percent) for 2,315 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"I'm looking forward to getting started," Van Deusen said "We have a lot back offensively and the defense is young but looks good and could surprise some people.

"I have some experience now and am working on correcting some of the mistakes I made last year. I'll use more audibles and be able to change some plays at the line. We're looking for a higher completion rate with better reads."

Senior wide receiver Alan Pietkiewicz returns after setting a school mark with 59 catches for 758 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Fellow senior Carmen Felus wasn't far behind with 49 catches for 411 yards.

Running back Rob Johnson closed out a stellar career in 1993 for the Green Terror, and his speed and quickness will be hard to replace. His numbers (1,136 total yards of offense with 10 touchdowns) were only part of the story as defenses needed to pay attention to him whether he was involved in a play or not. Now defenses can better concentrate on Van Deusen and the passing game.

The Green Terror will look to senior co-captain Matt Lecorchik and a veteran offensive line to keep the defenses honest with strong, straight-ahead running. Lecorchik (6 feet, 180 pounds) is a converted linebacker who was in on 65 tackles a year ago. Juniors Steve Aquino and Ronnie Miller also return to the backfield with experience.

Four of the five starting offensive linemen return led by junior center John Carroll (5-10, 200), an All-CC honorable mention in 1993. Also back are senior guards Tom Gruneberg (6-2, 230) and Carlos Ramos (5-9 221) along with senior tackle Rob Nightingale (6-0, 238).

How soon a young and talented defense emerges could be the difference between a winning season and a losing one.

"We had a great year recruiting on defense. We were hoping to get one good defensive lineman and got two; two linebackers and ended up with four and the same for defensive backs," Keating said.

Junior Joe Krcma is the lone returnee on the defensive line, and junior Bob Symanski will move to middle linebacker after playing defensive end last season. Among eight other lettermen on defense are sophomore linebacker Shayne Beecher and sophomore safety Brian Perrier.

Senior Dung Dinh will handle the kicking chores once again. Last year, he was 20-of-24 on point-after attempts with two field goals. First-team All-CC punter Paul McCord has graduated and likely will be replaced by senior Eric Landseadel, who punted twice last season with a 42-yard average.

The Green Terror opens the season tomorrow afternoon at Juniata.

"I'm excited and a bit apprehensive," Keating said. "There isn't anyone on our schedule that we can't beat if we play our best.

"The most important thing for us will be ball control. I'll be just as happy with a 3-0 win as with a 35-0 win. Our offense needs to take care of the ball and we can't put our defense in bad situations. If we can do that, we should be OK."

1994 TERROR SCHEDULE

Sept. 10 at Juniata, 1:30

Sept. 17 Gettysburg, 1:30

Sept. 24 at Ursinus, 1:30

Oct. 1 Muhlenburg, 1:30

Oct. 8 at Randolph-Macon, 1:30

Oct. 15 Dickinson, 1:30

Oct. 22 at Franklin & Marshall, 1:30

Nov. 5 Swarthmore, 1:30

.` Nov. 12 at Johns Hopkins, 1:30

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