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Eagles Football Suffers Conference Road Set-Back

(Posted October 29, 2005)

Jay Leonard enjoyed another 200-yard passing day for the Juniata football team in its contest against Widener.

Widener 52, Juniata 7

Chester, Pa. ? The Juniata College football team was unable to take advantage of some early opportunities, and could not slow down the Widener offensive attack as the Eagles suffered a 52-7 set-back in Middle Atlantic Conference action in Chester Saturday afternoon.
Widener raised its record to 6-2 overall and in the conference with the win, while Juniata dropped to 0-8 overall and 0-7 in conference play.

Juniata was within ten after the first quarter, but then saw the Pioneers score 14 points in each of the next three quarters. Widener had 627 yards of offense in the game as Mike Lomas passed for 342 yards and Khalee Prothro rushed for 191 yards. Juniata and freshman quarterback Jay Leonard (Big Spring/Newville) passed for more than 200 yards for the second-consecutive game

Widener got its offense started quickly as the Pioneers quarterback Mike Lomas hit Jeff Chick on a long pass play to the 3-yard line on its first play from scrimmage. Dominic Rock then plunged in from three-yards out to cap the two-play scoring drive.

The early troubles continued for Juniata as Adam Wylie broke through and blocked the Juniata punt deep in Eagles territory. But Juniata would hold with three stops inside the three-yard line and forced an early turnover on downs. Juniata?s offense moved the ball down the field, with a long pass from Jay Leonard (Big Spring/Newville) to Tom Kimmel (South Range/Canfield, Ohio) taking the Eagles out of their own territory. But an interception and 41-yard return by Todd Fairlie switched field position back in favor of the Pioneers. Juniata?s defense stiffened again keeping Widener out of the end zone. Frank Vinci knocked home a 30-yard field goal to put the home team in front 10-0 with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Widener added to its lead on the first possession of the second quarter. Khalee Prothro took a run off the right side and broke free for a 71-yard scoring run, giving Widener a 16-0 lead. The point made it 17-0 with 13:08 remaining in the half.

With Widener moving into scoring position late in the half after several long completions from Lomas, Juniata?s defense forced its first turnover of the game, as Peter Thomas (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) stripped the receiver with Zach Shatto (West Perry/Shermans Dale) recovering the fumble.

The Eagles would move the ball into Pioneer territory for the third time of the half after a pair of completions from Leonard to David Nicklaus (Lampeter-Strasburg/Lancaster). After moving the ball to the Widener 38 the Pioneers defense held, forcing Juniata?s second turnover on downs of the first half

Widener took the momentum and carried it into a quick scoring drive just before the half. A 25-yard completion from Lomas took the ball deep into Juniata territory, and the Pioneers capped the drive with a seven-yard scoring pass from Lomas to Chick. The point after put Widener on top 24-0 with less than a minute remaining in the half.

Juniata continued to have its problems getting the Pioneers offense off the field. The Pioneers took their second possession of the second half 62 yards in six plays, with Rock diving in from one-yard out for his second scoring run of the game. The extra point pushed the lead to 31-0 in favor of Widener.

The Eagles got another scoring chance on its next drive as Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) returned the kick-off 70 yards before being tripped up deep in Widener territory. The Eagles moved the ball to the Widener three, but were stopped on fourth down.

Widener turned around and moved downfield quickly on several big passing plays. The six-play, 97-yard drive ended with Prothro hauling in a Lomas pass and moving 28 yards for the score. Another successful kick put the Pioneers up 38-0 with 59 seconds left in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened in similar fashion as Widener took the ball down the field following a stop and added another score. It was Lomas again hitting Chick this time for 19 yards and a score. The Vinci kick made it 45-0 early in the fourth.

Juniata would counter with its first scoring drive of the game. Leonard eluded pressure in the backfield and then found Nicklaus who shed a tackle and went 44 yards for his third touchdown catch of the season.

Widener added a final score on its last possession of the contest. The Pioneers moved to the Juniata one and had Moses Perez plunge in from one-yard out for another score. The point added to the lead making it 52-7 Widener which would be the final score.

Leonard finished the game 18-for-34 for 200 yards and a score. Nicklaus had a new career high with 100 yards receiving, while John Boyer (Belleville/Indian Valley) caught a team-high six passes. Duane Ehredt Jr., (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) carried the all 27 times ang gained 56 yards on the day.

Lomas was 23-for-33 for 342 yards and three scoring passes on the game. Chick caught 10 passes for 160 yards while Mike Schmidt caught six balls for 100 yards.

Juniata?s defense was led by Thomas who finished with 10 tackle and a forced fumble. P.J. Keith () added eight stops while Beaver and Justin Armbruster each had seven. Matt Schmidt (South Western/Hanove) intercepted his sixth pass of the season to go along with six tackles.
Fairlie led all players 14 tackles in the game. Matt Yost added eight tackles and a forced fumble for the home team.

Juniata returns to action next Saturday when the Eagles host Delaware Valley in the final home game of the season. Widener will travel to play a non-conference game at Salisbury next Saturday.

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