The Blue Devils' 

Matt Juriga

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin Athlete Of The Week

November 28, 2002

By Kevin Stevens - Press & Sun-Bulletin

* Year in school: Senior

* Height/weight: 6-foot-2     202 pounds

* Sport: Football

* Position: Quarterback/Cornerback

* Notable accomplishment: In a Class B state semifinal last Saturday in the Carrier Dome, Juriga enjoyed his finest passing day of the season in the Blue Devils' 28-14 victory-- which landed them a berth in the final for a second consecutive year.

Juriga completed three of five passes for 131 yards-- all in the first half, and all three completions for touchdowns. His 12 rushes went for 75 yards and included a 41-yard gain on an option play to set up the second touchdown.

* Athlete's perspective: "I'd never have expected in my wildest dreams to throw for three touchdowns in the first half of a state semifinal," Juriga said. "I loved the coaches' decision to air it out some and get away from the conservative approach a little bit.

"Obviously, we're a running team and we're not going to pass too often. But you do what you need to do to win ballgames." ...

"It was by far the most physical game we've played all season. Compliments to them for playing a great game, shutting us down a little bit. But like in previous weeks, we kept our composure and hung in there, didn't allow them much."

* Coach's perspective: Asked if, given his team's path to victory over Bath, maybe the book on Forks' offense needs to be changed, Blue Devils coach Kelsey Green said:

"I don't know-- I hope so, maybe (Harrison) will loosen up a little bit on us and we can do some things on them. Kelsey (Jenks) made a heck of a run on the option, Matt made a few nice runs on the option and he put the ball where it had to be put."

* Opponent's perspective: "We wanted to get pressure on him," Bath coach Wayne Carroll said. "(In the quarterfinal round), we got pressure on the quarterback, this week, we didn't get a lot of pressure on the quarterback and it went over our heads a couple of times.

"Give them credit, they made plays."

* Other sports: Lacrosse, basketball.

* Outside of sports: Interests include weight training, horseback riding.

* In the classroom: National Honor Society member.

* Immediate goal: To claim Class B state football championship.

* Long-range goal: To play lacrosse or football at the collegiate level.