Western Maryland junior quarterback Brian Van Deusen had another 300-yard day. A young Green Terror defense stepped up when needed and the special teams made some special plays.
It was one of those solid team efforts that gave Western Maryland College a 23-13 victory over visiting Muhlenberg yesterday at Bair Stadium in Westminster.
"The overall effort was great," said second-year coach Tim Keating. "We're still making some sophomoric mistakes, but this one was definitely a team win. A lot of different people stepped up, and they all deserve a pat on the back."
It was the second straight win for the Green Terror, 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the Centennial Conference.
Coming off a record-setting, 433-yard passing day last week at Ursinus, Van Deusen went 28-for-43 yesterday for 321 yards, threw for a score and ran for one from 3 yards out.
Western Maryland took a 3-0 lead into the third quarter after a first half that had plenty of yards gained by both teams.
Freshman linebacker Russell Cromwell intercepted a Jason Jack pass on the second play of the third quarter to give the Green Terror the ball on Muhlenberg's 21. Five plays later, Steve Aquino dragged defenders across the goal line from the 3.
While the Green Terror was doing most of its damage through the air, Muhlenberg was having success on the ground with running back Steve Peters keying a six-play drive with a 3-yard score later in the third quarter to cut the lead to 10-7.
The special teams gave the Green Terror a lift when Elton Banks returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards to midfield. Van Deusen needed 10 plays to get back in the end zone, capping the drive with a 3-yard keeper. The big play came on fourth-and-six at the Muhlenberg 34, when he found senior Alan Pietkiewicz (11 catches for 132 yards) in the right flat for an 18-yard gain.
"We moved the ball up and down the field in the first half but had some problems in the red zone," said Van Deusen. "We made some adjustments and knew we needed to put some points on the board in the second half. I got some great protection, and the shotgun gave me some more time for reads."
Muhlenberg got within a touchdown when Peters (18 carries for 99 yards) went off-tackle down the left side for a 30-yard score with 1:29 left in the third quarter.
Pietkiewicz closed out the scoring with 8:44 left in the game on a nifty run after catching a short pass from Van Deusen and scampering 25 yards to give the Green Terror a 23-13 lead.
Linebacker Bob Symanski had 12 tackles to lead the Green Terror defense, which also got a key fourth-down sack from Justin Lavis.