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Eagles Can\'t Overcome First-Half Deficit

(Posted September 11, 2004)

Peter Thomas led Juniata in tackles Saturday in the Eagles contest against Moravian.

Moravian 34, Juniata 0

Huntingdon, Pa. ? Moravian tailback Chris Jacoubs (Fair Haven, NJ/Rumson-Fair Haven HS) ran for 139 yards and a touchdown, while the Moravian defense controlled the Juniata College offense as Juniata fell by a 34-0 score in Middle Atlantic Conference action at Knox Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The shutout was the first for the Greyhounds since a 27-0 shutout win at FDU-Florham on November 17, 2001. The Eagles fall to 0-2 on the year and 0-1 in the MAC after being shutout for the first time since the 1995 season.

The story of the first half was Moravian?s defense, which limited Juniata to 62 yards of total offense in 30 minutes of action. Quarterback Jeffrey Hayes (Indian Valley/Lewistown) was a solid 9-for-19 in the half, but had just 71 yards passing. The Greyhounds held Juniata to -9 yards rushing in the first half, and the Eagles finished with 0 yards on the ground for the game.
Moravian jumped in front early, taking a 2-0 lead with 9:07 remaining in the first quarter when Greyhound senior defensive lineman Shawn Nelson sacked Hayes in the end zone for a nine-yard loss and two points.

Moravian extended its lead with 3:08 remaining in the first quarter on a four-yard scoring run by junior quarterback Jerry Venturino. Senior John McLain added the extra-point for a 9-0 Greyhound lead.

Venturino, who completed six of ten passes for 138 yards and two scores, helped the Greyhounds improve the lead to 16-0 with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter when he hit sophomore wide receiver Ben on a 76-yard touchdown pass. McLain added the extra-point.

Things to continue to go against the Eagles as the Blue and Gold fumbled on the next possession, giving Moravian the ball at Juniata?s 33-yard line. Moravian took advantage as McLain made his first career field goal with 13:01 remaining in the second quarter when he connected on a 26-yard field goal to give the Greyhounds a 19-0 lead.
A 28-yard completion from Hayes to John Boyer (Indian Valley/Belleville) on the next drive looked as though it might get Juniata started offensively. But a rushing loss and a penalty stalled the drive as Juniata punted away again. Juniata forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back at its own 28. Hayes found Jason Koch (Kutztown/Kutztown) for another big gain, but Juniata again could not sustain the drive.

Jacoubs answered with his first touchdown of the season for the Greyhounds on a 62-yard touchdown run with 2:53 remaining in the second quarter. McLain added the extra-point for a 26-0 lead for Moravian.

Juniata moved into Moravian territory on the final drive of the half, as a completion to Koch left Juniata at the Moravian 44 with less than a minute to go. But another penalty stalled the drive and Juniata went into halftime trailing 26-0.

For the second-consecutive week Juniata showed great resiliency in the second half as the team limited Moravian to just one more score while beginning to get the offense going, but it would be nearly enough.

Moravian added its final score on the first drive of the second half, which was set up by a 22-yard interception return by freshman linebacker Autro Duran. Venturino connected on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jacoubs to extend the lead. After a bad snap on the extra-point attempt, Venturino hit senior defensive end Steve Cline with a two point conversion to give the Greyhounds a 34-0 lead with 12:33 remaining in the third quarter.

Moravian would get another chance as they picked of Hayes for the second-straight possession. But this time Juniata?s defense stiffened inside the 10 as Erik Lohrmann (The Peddie School/Clarksburg, N.J.) tackled Shawn Martell for a loss on fourth down.

Though the Eagles would show more success moving the ball in the second half, they were unable to threaten the end zone as they could not break into Moravian territory.
Jeffrey Hayes completed 14 of 34 passes for 123 yards and he was intercepted twice. Boyer caught five passes for 58 yards while Koch had five catches for 45 yards.


Jacoubs 139-yard day led the Greyhounds, who gained 339 yards on 61 carries. The Greyhounds had a total of 477 yards on 73 plays and had a 39:33 to 20:27 advantage in time of possession and a 19-9 edge in time of possession. Freshman tight end Kris Bisci was the only Greyhound to catch more than one pass with two receptions for 22 yards.

Junior linebacker Peter Thomas (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) led the Juniata defense with 14 tackles including one for loss while senior defensive back Matt Garner (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) had 13 tackles. Junior defensive back Steve Parsons (Blackhawk/Beaver Falls) contributed eight stops before leaving the game with an injury.

Junior defensive back Tyler Chomik and sophomore linebacker Cliff Garr each have five tackles for the Moravian defense with Garr adding a tackle for loss. Nelson made three tackles for the Greyhounds with two for loss, a sack and two pass break-ups while senior defensive back Bill Skriletz and sophomore defensive back Tom Carroll each had three tackles.

Juniata will look for its first win of the season next weekend when the team travels to take on conference foe Delaware Valley. Moravian will host Susquehanna next Saturday.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.