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Second Half Comeback Foils Juniata Football

(Posted September 16, 2006)

ANNVILLE, Pa. ? In a reversal of its recent fortunes the Juniata College football team started quickly, but then was unable to hold a lead as Lebanon Valley scored 20-unanswered points to hand the Eagles a 26-14 loss in Middle Atlantic Conference action Saturday at Arnold Field. Juniata dropped to 0-3 on the season and 0-2 in MAC play while the Flying Dutchmen are now 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Riding the legs of senior tailback Duane J. Ehredt Jr. (Bellwood-Antis/Altoona) Juniata held the lead the entire first half, and took its first lead into the locker room this season. But the Eagles offense was unable to find its rhythm in the second half as Juniata was held scoreless in the final 30 minutes. Ehredt finished the game with a season-high 203 rushing yards, marking the third 200-yard rushing game of his career. He also moved into fourth place on Juniata?s all-time rushing list with 2,305 yards. But most of his damage came in the first half while Lebanon Valley?s Charlie Parker rushed for 119 yards and also added a scoring pass in the game to spark the Flying Dutchmen comeback. Juniata got on the scoreboard first for the first time this season after forcing a punt on Lebanon Valley\'s first possession. After several productive carries early in the drive Ehredt broke through and scampered 48 yards untouched for the opening score. Colt Thomas (Glendale/Coalport) added the point to give the Eagles an early 7-0 lead. Lebanon Valley found the end zone in the early going of the second quarter. A Juniata turnover gave the ball to Lebanon Valley on its own 30-yard line. The Flying Dutchmen out together a nine-play 70-yard drive that was capped with an 11-yard run from Parker that made the score 7-6. The Flying Dutchmen missed the point after preserving Juniata\'s one-point edge less than a minute into the second quarter. Juniata responded on the next drive. Two third-down Jay Leonard (Big Spring/Newville) completions, one to David Nicklaus (Lampeter Strasburg/Lancaster) and one to Kiel G. Knisely (Claysburg-Kimmel/Queen) set up a six-yard scoring run from Ehredt that made the score 13-6. The point after gave Juniata a 14-6 lead with nine minutes left in the half. Lebanon Valley cut into the deficit with just 35 seconds before the half. The home team put together a nine-play 55-yard drive, capped with a six-yard scoring pass from Dan Kelly to Adam Brossman in the corner of the end zone. Lebanon Valley\'s two-point conversion attempt failed, preserving Juniata\'s 14-12 lead heading into halftime The Eagles had another opportunity to add to the lead a early in the second half as Tyler Hall (Alexandria/Juniata Valley) picked off Kelly to give the Eagles the ball in Lebanon Valley territory. But the home team answered as Dan Stauffer snagged an interception on the first play after the turnover. The Flying Dutchmen quickly took advantage on its first play after getting the ball back. On a trick play Parker got the ball in the backfield and hit Brossman for an 80-yard scoring pass. Kelly then found Brossman in the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the home team a 20-14 lead with 3:55 remaining in the third quarter. The home team put together another scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter to extend their advantage. The Flying Dutchmen moved 76 yards on 11 plays to bring the ball into Juniata territory, and then Kelly found Clint Vinju in the corner of the end zone to give the home team a 26-14 edge. The home team missed the two-point try, leaving the lead at 12 with just less than six minutes remaining. The Flying Dutchmen then halted Juniata\'s next drive when Brian Cottone picked off Leonard with 4:42 remaining in the contest. After getting the ball back the Eagles moved into Lebanon Valley territory on a long pass from Leonard to Matthew Dunker (Shaler/Glenshaw). But Cottone grabbed his second pick of the day, retuning this one 57 yards deep into Juniata territory which sealed the victory. Leonard finished the day 12-of-24 passing for 143 yards, but did have four interceptions. Dunker finished with a team-high four catches for 38 yards. Kelly capped his day by completing 15-of-23 passes for 125 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Brossman piled up 104 yards receiving in the contest, while Vinju led the team with five receptions. Hall had a solid day for the Juniata defense as he led the team with 12 tackles and had a pair of interceptions. Alex Waleski (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) also had 12 stops while Brandon Spayd (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) and Josh Roy (Northern Lebanon/Fredericksburg) had 10 and nine tackles respectively. Cottone finished with a team-leading 10 tackles for Lebanon Valley, including one for a loss, while he also forced a fumble and had a pair of interceptions. Juniata will host Moravian in its next contest while Lebanon Valley travels to play Widener. ###

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