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Juniata football ends season with 42-14 loss at Dickinson

(Posted November 6, 2009)

CARLISLE, Pa. -- Juniata College scored twice in the second half, but Dickinson College's first half lead proved to be a little too much as the Eagles dropped a 42-14 decision to the Red Devils, on a frosty Friday night at Biddle Field.

The Eagles tallied 244 yards of total offense, 175 yards of it in the second half. Juniata held Dickinson in check to the tune of 119 yards of offense over the final 30 minutes.

"Our kids came out in the second half and won the half, and we played the way football was supposed to be played," said Juniata head coach Carmen Felus. "In 15 years, I've never been more proud of a group of men before. This is what Juniata football's supposed to be; that 30 minutes of football in the second half was a total team effort."

Juniata (1-9, 1-7 Centennial) scored its first touchdown with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter, when backup quarterback Mike DeTemple (New Cumberland, Pa./Camp Hill) hit wideout Abram Mellinger (Ronks, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown pass on third down.

The play capped a nine-play, 65-yard drive, which was finished off with DeTemple at the helm after starter Alex Snyder (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) was temporarily knocked out of the game on the previous play.

Juniata engineered another impressive drive midway through the fourth quarter, with Snyder alternating between screen passes in the flat to Mellinger with handoffs to tailback Quadir Christian (Johnstown, Pa./Greater Johnstown) to move the ball upfield. However a Snyder attempt into the endzone on fourth down from the Dickinson 15 was picked off, ending the Juniata scoring threat.

The Eagles' second half effort was capped by senior cornerback Andy Miller's (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) block on a Dickinson punt at the Red Devil 11-yard line, which Miller held onto and carried into the end zone for the Eagles' second touchdown with 2:44 left in the game. The TD was in addition to Miller's three tackles and one pass break-up.

"Andy Miller, to me, is the best corner in the conference," said Felus. "I've seen a lot of great defensive backs over the years... and if there's a better football player than Andy Miller in our conference - defensively at corner - then I'd like to see it, because I don't think there's one better than him."

Defensively, Juniata held Dickinson to one touchdown over the final 30 minutes of football.

In the first half, Juniata struggled to find an answer to a fast-moving Dickinson offense that seemed to be in hurry-up mode all night long.

Dickinson put its first touchdown on the board early, using a hurry-up offense right out of the gate to score its first points. Red Devil quarterback Ian Mitchell scampered into the endzone just four minutes and 17 seconds into the opening frame, giving Dickinson a 7-0 lead.

The Red Devils tacked on two more touchdowns on its next two possessions, both off the arm of Mitchell, and held a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Juniata got a lift at the start of the second quarter, when safety Brandon Spayd (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) picked off a Mitchell pass at the Eagle one-yard line.

The Eagles moved the ball out to midfield on their ensuing possession, aided by a personal foul penalty against the Red Devils. Juniata picked up a first down at its own 47-yard line, when Alex Snyder hit Abram Mellinger for a 22-yard reception on a post route; Mellinger made the athletic catch at full stride, then held onto the ball after getting leveled by Dickinson linebacker Kevin Wood.

The Juniata drive was cut short at the Dickinson 30, when Dickinson's Pat McNeal picked off Snyder's attempt to Matt Dunker on third down. Four plays later, Dickinson's Greg Lord scored on a two-yard TD rush, expanding the Red Devils' lead to 28-0 with 7:44 remaining in the half.

Juniata went on another long march on its next possession. The Eagles reached Dickinson territory for the first time with 5:43 showing on the second quarter clock, after an 18-yard Snyder-to-Mellinger hookup. The drive stalled at the Dickinson 46, forcing Juniata to punt and returning the ball to the Red Devils at their own 32-yard line.

Mitchell hit tight end Tyler Rosa for a 42-yard gain on the Red Devils' first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession. Three plays later, Mitchell put Dickinson up 35-0 with a 16-yard rushing touchdown - a lead that held into halftime.

Snyder finished the game 14-of-31 passing for 122 yards with two interceptions, and carried six times for 16 yards on the ground. Mellinger finished with a season-high nine receptions for 64 yards, while Matt Dunker (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) hauled in two passes for 35 yards in his final collegiate game.

Tailback Derek Kramer (Newville, Pa./Big Spring) led the ground game with 44 yards on 13 carries, while Christian finished with 11 rushes for 38 yards.

Mitchell led the Dickinson offense with 105 yards through the air on 6-of-12 passing, and carried 12 times for 87 yards. Tim Smith was the Red Devils leading ground gainer with 92 yards on 14 carries.

Juniata's defense was paced by sophomore lineman Jason Marquis (Jeannette, Pa./Jeannette) with 13 total tackles, including seven solo stops. Senior linebacker Tyler Hall (Alexandria, Pa./Juniata Valley) racked up 12 tackles including eight unassisted, while junior lineman Matt Walton (West Chester, Pa./Downingtown West) logged 10 tackles.

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