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Juniata Football Team Places Seven Players on MAC Team

(Posted November 19, 2001)

Huntingdon, PA - The Juniata College football team had seven representatives on the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) football squads this year, including junior punter Dusty Lehr (Bermudian Springs/New Oxford), who was named a first-team member and freshman quarterback Greg Troutman (Meyersdale/Meyersdale), who was tabbed as the MAC Rookie of the Year. In addition, getting nods on the conference's second unit were junior wide receiver Nate Leach (Shade/Central City), junior defensive end Fred Taber (Calvert Hall College/Bel Air, MD), junior cornerback Paul Evans (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) and senior inside linebacker Josh Seiders (Wyomissing/Wyomissing Hills). Junior offensive guard Jeff Spotts (Mifflinburg/Lewisburg) earned a place on the honorable mention unit. Evans and Leach were both second-team all-conference picks in 2000 as well.

Lehr finished the year ranked first in the MAC in punting average (37.2 yds/punt) and became the second consecutive Eagle punter to earn first-team all-conference status as Brandon Bateman '00 was a first-squad pick last year. This fall, he averaged over 38 yards a kick in a game five times, including a season-high 44.0/punt during a win over Susquehanna. He had his long effort of the year against the Crusaders, which was a 72-yard boot. Overall, Lehr had a punt of 50-yards-or-longer nine times and he pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line, 10 times. For the year, Lehr attempted 58 punts and connected for a total of 2,155 yards.

Troutman finished the year with Juniata single-season records for completions (228), attempts (464) and total offensive yards (3,122). His 2,799 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes this fall ranked second on College Hill campaign chart. He completed just under 50 percent of his passes for the year and threw for over 300 yards in a game five times, including a season-high 432 yards during a come-from-behind win over Moravian on October 6. Troutman also tossed three-or-more touchdown passes in a game five times and had five scoring darts during a thrilling victory at Waynesburg on October 27. He totaled 323 yards rushing on 107 attempts as a rookie and ran for five touchdowns. He was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week two times and was selected as an honor roll member two times as well. Troutman completed the season ranked first in the conference in passing yards (279.9) and total offensive yards (312.2) per game. His pass efficiency rating of 108.5 ranked him sixth in the MAC.

Evans led the MAC in interceptions per game (0.8) and heading into the final week of the regular season he was tied for sixth among NCAA Division III players in picks per contest with his 0.9 average. He tied a Juniata program record with at least one interception in seven consecutive games this fall. Bob Devine set the original mark during the 1974 campaign. Evans, who had eight interceptions on the year and returned them for 104 yards, had a personal-high 66 tackles, including 45 solo stops in 2001. His eight interceptions ties him for fifth on the Juniata single-season chart. He had a season-high 14 wrap-ups at MAC champions Widener on November 3 and Evans knocked down a campaign-best three passes against Susquehanna on October 20. His total of 21 passes defensed on the year ranked him second in the conference.

Leach had four 90-yard receiving days this year, including a career-high 206 yards (seventh in Eagle annals) on personal-best 13 receptions (tied for second in Juniata single-game history) versus Moravian on October 6. He also had two touchdown receptions against the Greyhounds. Leach had 136 yards on nine grabs, including a touchdown, during a victory over Susquehanna. Against Waynesburg, he had six grabs for 76 yards and two scores. For the year, he ended up with eight touchdowns, which tied him for team honors. Leach had 52 receptions this fall and that ties for 10th on the single-season list at Juniata, while his 807 yards is 10th on the one-year receiving yardage ledger on College Hill. Leach will enter his senior year in 2002 sitting in sixth place in all-time catches on College Hill (116) and eighth in receiving yards (1,650). He ranked fifth in the MAC in receptions per game (5.2) and sixth in receiving yards an outing (80.7).

Taber led the Eagle tacklers on the defensive line with 63 total stops, including 27 solo efforts. An amazing number of 18 of his wrap-ups occurred behind the line of scrimmage this fall and he was first on the unit in sacks with 12 which resulted in 92 lost yards for Eagle opponents. Overall, his 12 sacks ranked second in the MAC, while his 6.4 tackles per game average tied him for 29th in the conference. He had a season-best 10 tackles, including four for lost yardage (two quarterback sacks), against FDU-Madison on September 8. Taber posted two sacks in a game four times, including two against 13th ranked Lycoming on November 10. He also batted down four passes at the line of scrimmage this fall.

Seiders picked up conference recognition for the first time in his four-year tenure at Juniata. He led the Eagles in tackles this fall with a program-record 135, breaking the former standard of 131 set by Bob Crossey '87 in 1986. Seiders had 45 solo stops in the 2001 campaign and posted 10-or-more wrap-ups in all 10 of Juniata's games. He had a season-best 17 tackles at King's and 16 two times (FDU-Madison and Moravian). Of his 17 stops at King's, four came behind the line of scrimmage and two were quarterback sacks. Overall, Seiders paced the MAC in tackles per game (13.5) and ranked fourth in sacks with his eight. He forced three fumbles to tie for second in the conference. In addition, he had two pass breakups, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 19 tackles for lost yardage.

Spotts helped provide pass protection for Coach Kevin Burke's offense that finished the year ranked first in the MAC in passing yards per game (298.7). The Juniata 6-0, 270 athlete also aided the Eagle effort in posting 397.0 yards in total offense an outing, which placed Juniata third in the MAC in that category. In addition, Spotts helped the blue and gold gridders register 26 points a contest and that ranked Juniata fifth in the conference.

Juniata ended the year with a 5-5 overall record after starting the year at 1-3. The Eagles rallied to post their first four-game winning streak since 1990 during the fall and also completed the MAC slate at 4-5 which tied the blue and gold unit for fifth place.

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