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Juniata falls 41-14 to Dickinson in Centennial season finale

(Posted November 3, 2007)

CARLISLE, Pa. - Juniata College outworked Dickinson College through the air, but allowed the Red Devils to amass 210 yards on the ground as the Eagles fell to Dickinson 41-14, in front of a Homecoming crowd of 3,800 fans at Biddle Field in Carlisle, Pa. The loss closed out Juniata\'s Centennial Conference slate for the season at 0-8, with one game remaining on the schedule - a non-conference clash at home against Gallaudet University. Juniata finished with 292 yards passing, largely on a 19-of-46 for 271-yard effort by junior quarterback Jay Leonard (Newville, Pa./Big Spring). Leonard had a hand in both of Juniata\'s two touchdowns - a 61-yard TD strike to Lance Tippett (Altoona, Pa./Altoona) with 12:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, and an eight-yard scoring run with 9:38 to play in the game. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles had been trailing Dickinson 41-0. Juniata threatened to put points on the scoreboard early against the Red Devils, who coughed up the football on their own 39-yard line on the first play from scrimmage after receiving the opening kickoff. The Eagles were able to move the ball just 10 yards to the Dickinson 29, where they were eventually forced to turn the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass by Leonard on a fourth-and-13 play. Dickinson responded by marching downfield on a nine-play, 71-yard scoring drive, capped by a 19-yard Chris McInerney TD reception from Red Devil quarterback Ian Mitchell. That was the first of three Mitchell-to-McInerney passing touchdowns on the day for Dickinson; the two would hook-up again with 4:50 remaining in second quarter on a 10-yard scoring strike, then complete a 24-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter. That score was the first of three by Dickinson in the first half. Juniata\'s ensuing drive after the initial Dickinson touchdown was halted on the Red Devil 27-yard line by a Tommy Brisbane (Hollis, N.Y./Flushing) fumble. The Red Devils converted the turnover into seven points, scoring with 1:57 left in the first quarter on Tim Smith\'s 11-yard TD rush. Juniata responded impressively to open the second half, with its longest drive of the day that brought the Eagles to within a few yards of the Dickinson endzone. Starting on its own 29, Juniata steadily moved 63 yards downfield to the Dickinson eight-yard line with a drive keyed by a 36-yard reception by David Nicklaus (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg). Once on the eight-yard line with a first-and-goal, however, things began to go wrong for the Eagles. Leonard was sacked for a loss of nine yards, and three straight false start penalties moved Juniata back to the Dickinson 32 - again too far for a field goal attempt, and forcing the Eagles into a fourth-and-long which they could not convert. That stalled drive launched Dickinson into a run with touchdowns on three straight possessions - all of which scored on one-play drives. Mitchell expanded the lead to 27-0 with 9:25 to play in the third quarter, with a 68-yard TD pass to Pat O\'Connor on the first play from scrimmage after Dickinson took possession on downs. The Red Devils forced Juniata to go three-and-out on its next possession, then blocked the punt to take over the ball on Juniata\'s 24-yard line. Mitchell connected with McInerney on the 24-yard TD reception on the next play, widening the lead to 34-0 in Dickinson\'s favor with 7:09 left in the third. Finally, a Juniata drive that had entered Dickinson territory was cut short on an interception by the Red Devils\' Will Scott, who returned the ball to the Juniata one-yard line. Dickinson\'s Aren Johnson carried the ball on a one-yard TD rush on the next play, putting the Red Devils in front 41-0. For the Eagles, Tippett finished the day with five catches for 131 yards, while Kyle McKechnie (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) led the Juniata ground game with 37 yards on 13 carries. Defensively, Juniata was paced by Tyler Hall (Alexandria, Pa/Juniata Valley) with eight tackles including one tackle-for-loss. Beau Ryan (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield), Brandon Spayd (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area), William Whipple (Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg), and Josh Roy (Fredericksburg, Pa/Northern Lebanon) all finished with seven tackles. -30-

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