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Three TDs in first quarter propel Johns Hopkins past Juniata

(Posted October 27, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Johns Hopkins University scored on its first three possessions while keeping the Juniata College offense bottled up until early in the second quarter, and went on to defeat the host Eagles 42-21, Saturday afternoon at Knox Stadium in Huntingdon, Pa. Juniata fell to 0-8 overall with the loss, 0-7 in the Centennial Conference. The Blue Jays took the opening kickoff and promptly marched 60 yards on eight plays, ending the drive with Andrew Kase\'s 11-yard touchdown run with 10:35 left in the opening quarter. Jay Leonard\'s (Newville, Pa./Big Spring) pass attempt on Juniata\'s second play from scrimmage in the ensuing possession was picked off by the Blue Jays\' Dan Requena, and returned 43 yards to the Juniata eight-yard line. On the next play, Kase carried the ball into the endzone to widen the Hopkins lead to 14-0. After forcing Juniata to go three-and-out on its next possession, the Blue Jays mounted another long drive that was capped by Michael Murray\'s four-yard TD pass to Brian Hopkins. \"We let them get up on us too early,\" said Juniata head coach Darrell Alt. \"In spite of their record, they\'re a very good football team.\" The Blue Jays pushed their lead to 28-0, following Tucker Michels\' 46-yard touchdown catch from Max Islinger, before Juniata responded to end the shutout. Starting at the Hopkins 43-yard line, Leonard successfully moved the Eagles downfield, aided by a 15-yard block-to-the-back penalty by the Blue Jays. David Nicklaus (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) capped the drive with a 10-yard scoring catch from Leonard, with just four seconds left in the opening half. Hopkins added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, before the Eagles managed to put any more points on the board. Matt Dunker (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) scored on an 80-yard touchdown reception, with most of that yardage coming after catching a pass from fullback Ryan McDonald (Hughesville, Pa./Hughesville). McDonald had his second TD pass of the night later in the fourth quarter, when he found Leonard in the endzone for a three-yard scoring strike with 4:02 left on the clock. The TD reception was the first of Leonard\'s career, and came on an afternoon when he became just the fifth Eagle player to surpass 5,000 yards career passing. Leonard finished the day 19-of-46 for 203 yards, and moved into fourth place among Juniata career passing leaders with 5,116 yards. \"I\'m very happy for Jay to reach that milestone in his career. He has a tremendous work ethic and attitude, and people respond to him,\" said Alt. Juniata finished with 275 yards of total offense, including 291 yards passing. Dunker finished the day with 129 yards receiving on five catches, while Nicklaus had six catches for 72 yards. Hopkins was led by Kase with 156 yards rushing with two TDs, while Murray led the air attack with a 9-of-14 for 115 yards performance. His favorite target was Corey Sattler, with six receptions for 79 yards. Defensively, Juniata was paced by William Whipple (Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg) with 12 tackles, followed by Josh Roy (Fredericksburg, Pa./Northern Lebanon) with 11 tackles. Beau Ryan (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) led the Eagles with six solo stops. Tommy Grove (Aspers, Pa./Biglerville) recorded Juniata\'s only sack of the game. The Eagles will return to the road next Saturday to close out the Centennial Conference slate against Dickinson College. Kick off is set for 1:00 p.m. -30-

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