Juniata football drops Centennial opener to Dickinson, 35-6
(Posted September 10, 2011)
CARLISLE, Pa. -- Juniata College football saw its offense get into gear in the second half, but not before host Dickinson College scored four touchdowns in the first and second quarters on its way to a 35-6 win over the Eagles, Saturday afternoon at Biddle Field.
Juniata (0-2, 0-1 Centennial) tallied 192 yards of total offense against Dickinson (1-1, 1-0 Centennial), the Eagles' best offensive showing since amassing 386 yards in last season's game against Gettysburg.
Over half of the Eagles' yardage - 118 yards, to be exact - came in the second half, including a 50-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that produced Juniata's only score of the game.
After taking over at the 50-yard line with 7:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, Juniata started the drive with a 12-yard rush by sophomore tailback Zach McCaulley (Bellwood, Pa./Bellwood-Antis). The Eagles picked up another first down on a seven-yard pass play from quarterback Ward Udinski (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) to McCaulley, but a rushing loss and a fumble knocked the Eagles back to into a 2nd-and-22 from the Dickinson 35.
Two plays later, Udinski connected with junior wideout Julian Valdiserri (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) in the back right corner of the endzone for a 31-yard touchdown pass, the Eagles' first touchdown of the season.
The snap on the extra-point got away from the holder, leaving Juniata trailing by what would prove to be the final score, 35-6, after the eight-play, 50-yard drive.
Juniata had a chance to put points on the board in the first quarter, after marching downfield on an 11-play, 61-yard drive that started on the Eagles' 21. A six-yard rush by Hunter Phillips (Funkstown, Md./South Hagerstown) on a 4th-and-1 extended the drive and gave Juniata a first down at the Dickinson 18.
However Udinski's pass attempt on the next play was picked off by the Red Devils safety Scott Sullivan at the Dickinson four-yard line, cutting short the drive.
Udinski finished the game 14-of-26 through the air for 143 yards, with two interceptions and one touchdown. Valdiserri hauled in five of those catches for a career-high 92 yards and the second TD reception of his career. Freshman Isaiah Slutter (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) had four receptions for 16 yards, while De'Sean Popley (Philadelphia, Pa./Acad. of the New Church).
On the ground, Isiah Morgan (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) had nine carries for 22 yards, while McCaulley and Quadir Christian (Johnstown, Pa./Greater Johnstown) rushed five times each for 19 and 14 yards respectively.
Dickinson finished with 317 of total offense, led by quarterback Todd Smolinsky's 107 yards passing on a 7-of-13 performance, with one interception and one touchdown. Cam Di Fede was Smolinsky's favorite target, as the senior wide receiver had five receptions for 81 yards.
On the ground, senior running back Mike Shimkin has 10 carries for 50 yards, while four other ball carriers had four carries for at least 25 yards.
Defensively, Juniata was paced by linebacker Kevin Gorman (Waverly, N.Y./Waverly Central) and lineman Jason Marquis (Jeannette, Pa./Jeannette) with eight tackles each, with Gorman logging a game-high five solo stops. Freshman safety Keith Stewart (Havertown, Pa./Haverford Township) and sophomore safety Josh Dutton (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) each had six tackles.
Juniata returns home to Knox Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 17, as the Eagles host Gettysburg College in a Centennial Conference clash. Gettysburg is coming off a 40-34 win over Ursinus College, in the Bullets' Centennial opener on Saturday in Gettysburg.
Our readers respond...
Contact John Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 641-3132 for more information.