Juniata Looks to Remain Undefeated at Home Against No. 14 Blue Jays
By: Jennifer Jones
Director of Sports Information
email@example.com • juniatasports.net
Photo: JD Cavrich Photography
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Juniata College football team returns home for its third Centennial Conference game of the season. The Eagles (3-1, 1-1 Centennial) face off against No. 14 Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Saturday, Oct. 5 at noon in Knox Stadium. It is the Eagles annual Pink Game and Juniata is looking to regain momentum at home after suffering the first loss of the season on the road. The Eagles are 2-0 at home this year.
No. 14 Johns Hopkins at a Glance
Johns Hopkins is one of two Centennial Conference teams still undefeated on the year and the only one nationally ranked. The Blue Jays are No. 14 in the American Football Coaches Association top 25 and No. 16 in the D3football.com poll. They have spent 40 weeks in the AFCA poll and cracked the top 10 four times. Head Coach Barry Streeter is entering his 24th season at the helm. The former Blue Jay has his team just four wins away from the programs 500th.
Running the offense is senior quarterback Robbie Matey. He is third in the league in passing average per game and total offense. Matey has thrown four touchdowns and averages 243 yards per game. Senior JD Abbott has been steadfast on the ground for the Blue Jays. The running back has started every game this season and leads the team with 326 net yards and seven touchdowns, averaging over 80 yards per game
Defensively, sophomore Keith Corliss and junior Matt Connery lead the pack. Both have 12 solo tackles this season, but Corliss has a team-high 21 total tackles, including two for a loss of six yards and two pass breakups. Connery's 16 total tackles are highlighted by four tackles for a loss of 18 yards and three sacks. He has broken up one pass and forced and recovered a fumble this season.
Juniata and JHU have only met seven times since the programs began competing in 1929. JHU leads the all-time series 6-1. The Eagles are 0-3 when JHU travels up. The last time the Blue Jays appeared in Huntingdon was back in 2011. This will be the fourth time in the series' history that JHU was ranked during their meeting. The Blue Jays have been ranked as high as No. 11 in the matchup.
Juniata College football (1-4, 0-4 Centennial) scored first against No. 15 Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Saturday afternoon, but could not fend off the top ranked team. Undefeated JHU (5-0, 4-0) downed the Eagles 40-20 in Baltimore, Md. to continue their streak. Ward Udinski (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) threw for two touchdowns and 222 yards.
Eagles Deadly in the Air
Junior Ward Udinski has thrown for over 200 yards in a Centennial Conference record-tying 14 straight games. He leads the league in passing yards per game and touchdowns. He has thrown for 1,082 yards this season.
Juniata in the Centennial
Juniata sits atop the Centennial in two major categories: 4th down conversion and passing offense. The Eagles are second in seven other categories: fumbles recovered, passes had intercepted, passing yards per completion, red zone defense, team pass sacks, team passing efficiency and turnovers gained.
Juniata ranks top 30 nationally as a team in nine different categories. The Eagles are in the top 15 in 4th down conversions (13th) and team pass sacks (13th).
Eagles Earn National Rankings
There are three Eagles currently ranked top 30 in the nation with special teams making a strong showing. Senior Ken Kysor (Port Alleghany, Pa./Port Alleghany) is 27th in field goals per game and junior Isaiah Slutter (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) is 29th in kickoff returns. Ward Udinski is ranked top 30 in seven different categories. The quarterback leads the country in points responsible for and is eighth in points responsible for per game. He also ranks top 15 in passing touchdowns (12th), passing efficiency (13th), and passing yards (13th).
Juniata has scored 132 points this season and averages over 430 total yards per game. The Eagles won all three of their games by over 20 points, scoring 15 touchdowns, seven on the ground, eight in the air.
The Eagle defense has been phenomenal this year, giving up only 24 points per game. They have recorded 288 tackles this season with 16 sacks and held opponents to 321 yards per game.
Raking in the Honors
Juniata has earned four Centennial Conference player of the week honors this season. Ward Udinski was named offensive player of the week twice (Sept. 7 and Sept. 21). Senior Ken Kysor kicked his way to the special teams honor on Sept. 14. And fellow senior Brandon Felus (Columbia, Pa./Columbia) earned defensive player honors on Sept. 21 to sweep the week with Udinski.
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