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Juniata football gets solid performance from the offense, but falls to McDaniel

(Posted October 3, 2009)

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Juniata College showed a little more prowess on offense in Saturday's meeting with McDaniel College, as both the Eagle ground game and passing attack enjoyed one of their better outings of the season.

It just wasn't quite enough offense to overcome McDaniel, as Juniata dropped a 30-3 decision to the Green Terror at Scott S. Bair Stadium.

Juniata's 188 yards of total offense was its second-highest total this season, as was the 149 yards passing. Quarterback Alex Snyder (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) completed 16-of-25 passing attempts for all 149 yards passing, but threw his first interception of the season.

Senior flanker Matt Dunker (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) hauled in five receptions for 67 yards to lead the receiving corps. Freshman tailback Quadir Christian (Johnstown, Pa./Greater Johnstown), who has dazzled in his kick return duties this season, finally enjoyed a break-out game on offense; he carried nine times for 35 yards, and had a catch on a screen pass that turned into a 21-yard gain for the Eagles.

"I thought offensively, we moved the ball," said Juniata head coach Carmen Felus, who was facing his alma mater's team for the first time as a head coach. "I thought we came out and opened it up a little bit. The play of our wide receivers and quarterbacks improved and we were able to run the ball at times, and that was nice to see on offense. I really think we took a step today."

"But it's the same things we keep talking about: we don't capitalize on our opportunities when we have them, we don't tackle very well, and we don't defend the pass."

Juniata's only score of the game came at the tail end of the third quarter. Scott Andrews (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) kicked a 33-yard field goal, his longest of the season by one yard, with 1:15 showing on the third quarter clock. The field goal capped a nine-play, 26-yard drive, which began on the McDaniel 42-yard line after a 46-yard kick return by Christian.

Two quick McDaniel scores late in the second quarter gave the Green Terror a commanding lead heading into the locker room at the break.

McDaniel gained a 10-0 lead at the 7:41 mark of the second quarter, when kicker Nick DeLuca finished a lengthy 17-play, 67-yard drive with a 30-yard field goal. The Green Terror drive lasted seven minutes and 12 seconds, after starting on the McDaniel 20.

After going three-and-out, Juniata's Owen Phillips (West Chester, Pa./Downingtown West) booted a 54-yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the McDaniel 2-yard line, effectively burying the Green Terror in their end of the field.

However a pass interference call against Juniata's Andy Miller (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) brought McDaniel out to its own 20-yard line. A 38-yard pass completion from Green Terror quarterback Tom Massucci to receiver Ryan Procaccini on the next play moved McDaniel into Juniata's end of the field, and four plays later Massucci hit Procaccini in the end zone to give the Terror a 17-0 lead.

McDaniel scored on its second possession of the second half, with Massucci hitting C.J. Billera in the endzone on a 22-yard touchdown pass for a 24-0 McDaniel lead.

Juniata drove all the way to the McDaniel 10-yard line on its ensuing drive, aided by a 20-yard rush by Christian, and a 12-yard pass play from Snyder to Dunker. The drive came to a half when Snyder's pass attempt to Dunker in the right flat was picked off, and returned all the way to the Juniata 33-yard line.

Two plays later, McDaniel's T.J. Develin scored on a 19-yard TD rush, extending the Green Terror lead to 30-0.

Develin finished with 107 yards on 17 carries for the Green Terror, while Billera led the McDaniel receivers with 92 yards on seven carries. Massucci completed 18 of his 25 pass attempts for 257 yards with three touchdowns.

Defensively, the Eagles were led by linebacker Michael Casper (Export, Pa./Franklin) with 10 total tackles, including five solo tackles. Linebacker Tyler Hall (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley), making his first start in three games, logged seven tackles with six solo stops, and one tackle for loss.

Senior lineman Matt Walton (West Chester, Pa./Downingtown) recorded Juniata's only sack of the afternoon, giving him 3.0 sacks for the season.

Juniata returns home to Knox Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 10, as the Eagles host Muhlenberg College. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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