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Eagles Football Falls Despite Strong Effort

(Posted September 17, 2005)

Duane J. Ehredt Jr. rushed for a career-high 221 yards and a touchdown while also catching a scoring pass against Lebanon Valley.

Lebanon Valley 35, Juniata 27

Huntingdon, Pa. ? Junior tailback Duane J. Ehredt Jr. (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) rushed for a career-high 221 yards and the Juniata College football team twice overcame second-half deficits to take the lead, but the Eagles were unable to hold off visiting Lebanon Valley and suffered a 35-27 set-back in Middle Atlantic Conference action at Knox Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Lebanon Valley improved to 1-2 overall on the season, and 1-1 in the conference, while Juniata fell to 0-3 on the year, and 0-2 in MAC action.

With the score 10-7 Juniata at the half, the two teams combined for 45 points and 527 yards of total offense in the final 30 minutes.

After an Eldin Brodlic 20-yard field goal put Lebanon Valley in front 17-13 with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter, the two teams would exchange the lead four times over the final 18 minutes.

It began when Juniata answered the field goal with its own scoring drive. A 41-yard kick-off return by Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) set Juniata up in Lebanon Valley territory, and Juniata took advantage as a screen pass from Jay Leonard (Big Spring/Newville) to Ehredt Jr. on third and eight went 39 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. The point after put Juniata in front 20-17.

Lebanon Valley answered with a long scoring drive of its own, that took the teams into the fourth quarter. Dan Kelly capped the drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak on fourth down to close the 13-play 76-yard drive. The Flying Dutchmen missed the extra point, leaving the score 23-20 in favor of Lebanon Valley.

This time, Juniata put together the scoring drive as the Eagles took the ensuing kick-off and got four rushes from Ehredt Jr. and three completions from Leonard to move 58 yards in seven plays. The final completion was a seven-yard scoring strike from Leonard to Jason Koch (Kutztown/Kutztown) in the corner of the end zone to give the Eagles the lead again. Dan Heinlein?s (Bishop Carroll/Ebensburg) extra point put Juniata in front 27-23 with 10:47 left in the contest.

Juniata?s freshman quarterback enjoyed the finest day of his young career as he went 12-of-31 for 172 yards and a pair of scores.

Lebanon Valley again came back with an answer as the Flying Dutchmen picked up a key third-down conversion and then moved into Juniata territory on a long completion from Kelly to Adam Brossman. Two plays later, Kelly notched his second touchdown pass of the game, this time hitting Tyler McCauley from seven yards out. The point after attempt failed again, leaving the lead at 29-27 Lebanon Valley with 8:31 remaining.

The Eagles continued the offensive attack on the next possession as they pounded the ball five-consecutive times with Ehredt Jr. including a 26-yard scamper that moved the ball into Flying Dutchmen territory. After an incompletion on third down, Heinlein?s 41-yard field goal attempt just missed wide left, leaving the Flying Dutchmen in the lead with 3:21 remaining in the game.

Juniata?s defense then held, forcing a punt from the visitors with 2:21 showing on the clock, and Juniata gaining possession on its own 35-yard line with all three timeouts. But after a first-down completion to John Boyer (Indian Valley/Belleville) the Eagles tossed four-straight incompletions to give the ball back to Lebanon Valley.

The Flying Dutchmen attempted to run out the clock, and on a third and ten Ryan Brennan broke loose for a 35-yard scoring run seemingly seal the win for the visitors. But Lebanon Valley?s third-straight failed point-after attempt left Juniata within striking distance with the score 35-27 with 58 seconds remaining.

But on the ensuing kick-off Juniata fumbled trying to make a big play on the return, and the Flying Dutchmen recovered to seal the game.

While the second half was full of offensive fireworks, the first half featured strong defensive efforts along with some special team?s miscues.

Juniata took its first lead of the game, and of the 2005 season on its third possession of the game. A pair of long completions from Leonard to Koch moved Juniata into scoring territory, and Heinlein put Juniata on the board with a 33-yard field goal.

The Eagles added to its lead by capitalizing on a Lebanon Valley miscue. Facing a fourth-and-11 on the following possession, Lebanon Valley?s long snap to the punter sailed over the punter?s head and was controlled at the Flying Dutchmen three-yard line, giving Juniata first-and-goal at the three. Two plays later, Ehredt Jr. punched it in for his first score of the 2005 season. The extra point put Juniata in front 10-0 with just 51 seconds remaining in the half.

Juniata?s defense continued to stymie the Flying Dutchmen offense in the third quarter. Juniata stopped a rush attempt by Kelly on a fourth-down play on the visitor?s first possession of the second quarter. The Eagles moved into scoring range on a pair of long runs from Ehredt Jr. but were kept off the scoreboard when Terry Kaufman blocked Heinlein?s field goal attempt.

Lebanon Valley quickly moved into scoring position, on a 48-yard completion from Kelly to Luke Rendine. But the drive stalled when Dominick Wytovich (Bentworth/Bentleyville) nabbed an interception in the end zone give possession back to Juniata.

It was the same story on Lebanon Valley?s next possession as the Flying Dutchmen moved the ball down the field with a mixture of run and pass. But Juniata?s defense again held firm in its own end, this time as Matt Schmidt (South Western/Hanover) grabbed an interception in the end zone to thwart a scoring chance.

After a Juniata punt, Lebanon Valley finally broke through on its final possession of the first half. With less than a minute showing on the clock, Andrew Payton broke a 27-yard run to reach the end zone and cut the lead to 10-6. The point after pulled the visitors within three.

The Flying Dutchmen took that momentum into the locker room, and used it on the opening play of the second half as Kelly hit Brossman with a 59-yard pass for a score to give the visitors their first lead of the day.
Kelly finished 21-of-33 for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Juniata answered with a scoring drive on its first possession, as a steady dose of Ehredt Jr. moved the ball to the Lebanon Valley eight yard-line. Heinlein then knocked in his second field goal of the game, to cut the lead to 14-13 Lebanon Valley with 5:16 remaining in the third quarter. That led to the final dramatic stretch over the final quarter and-a-half.

Koch was the top receiving threat as he finished with four catches for 61 yards and a score.

Dave Holland finished with 80 yards to lead Lebanon Valley?s rushing attack, while Payton added 75 yards on the ground. Brossman and Rendine each caught six passes for 130 and 120 yards respectively.

Defensively for Juniata Zach Shatto (West Perry/Shermans Dale) led Juniata with 13 tackles, while Wytovich also added 13 stops to go with his interception. Peter Thomas (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) notched 12 stops including 2.5 for a loss. Justin Bell (Littlestown/Hanover) also had 12 tackles. Ryan Hilemand (Central/Williamsburg) finished with 10 tackles.

Kauffman was the top tackler for the Flying Dutchmen as he recorded 11 stops on the game.

Juniata returns to action next Saturday as the Eagles hit the road to take on MAC foe Moravian.

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