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Juniata football upended by Moravian in Centennial Conference clash

(Posted October 23, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College was unable to put maintain its offensive groove of a week ago and dropped a 42-0 decision to Moravian College, in Centennial Conference football action Saturday at Knox Stadium.

Coming off an offensive effort that produced 386 yard of offense last week against Gettysburg College, Juniata (0-7, 0-7 Centennial) gained 152 total yards on Saturday against Moravian. Senior tailback Derek Kramer (Newville, Pa./Big Spring) rushed 14 times for 31 yards on the ground, while freshman tailback Zach McCaulley (Bellwood, Pa./Bellwood-Antis) managed 28 yards on 11 carries.

Freshman quarterback Gino Ramires (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) completed six of his 15 pass attempts for 53 yards. Three of Ramires' attempts were intercepted, producing 14 points for Moravian. Three different Juniata receivers caught two passes each, led by De'Sean Popley's (Philadelphia, Pa./Acad. of the New Church) 26 yards receiving. Popley's 17-yard reception from Ramires in the third quarter was Juniata's longest play of the day.

Moravian (4-4, 4-3 Centennial) tallied 401 yards of offense against Juniata, with running back Joe Tegan finishing with 89 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Matt Johnson was 13-of-19 for 199 yards passing, with wideout Shawn Sylvainus racking up 165 yards receiving on nine catches.

The Eagles moved the ball impressively on their opening drive of the game, starting at the Juniata 23 and driving all the way to Moravian 41-yard line. A pair of Ramires completions to Julian Valdiserri (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) propelled the drive, which was cut short on a Popley fumble at the Greyhound 36.

Three plays later, Moravian QB Johnson's pass attempt was picked off by safety Chris Moss (South Fork, Pa./Forest Hills), and Juniata was back in business at the Greyhound 49-yard line.

After a three-and-out by Juniata, the Eagle defense got the ball back for the offense with a stop on 4th-and-1 at the 50-yard line. Linebacker Noah Walstrom (Altoona, Pa./Altoona Area) made the stop on Tegan one yard behind the line of scrimmage.

Juniata's ensuing drive went to the Moravian 24, with much of the gain coming on an 11-yard hookup between Ramires and tight end Ronnie Shrift (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle). Scott Andrews' (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Altoona Area) 41-yard field goal attempt fell short of the mark. The next Moravian drive ended with a fumble recovery by Walstrom, while Juniata's next possession ended with Daniel Burley intercepting a Ramires near mid-field.

Moravian eventually got the first points on the scoreboard from its defense, as cornerback Travis King picked off a Ramires pass at the Juniata 30 and ran it back into the endzone for the touchdown with 8:47 remaining in the half. The Greyhounds doubled their lead to 14-0 with a 10-play, 55-yard drive that culminated with Johnson's 11-yard pass to split end Alex Hersch, with just 56 seconds left on the second quarter clock.

The Eagles would be held to three-and-out on four of their six possessions in the second half, while the Greyhounds put two touchdowns on the board in each of the final two quarters.

Moravian's third quarter scores came off a 20-yard Johnson rushing TD at the 5:09 mark of the quarter, followed by Philip Bortz's 40-yard interception return just a minute-and-12 seconds later.

A Rocco Del Priore rushing touchdown at the 7:36 mark of the fourth quarter allowed Moravian to take a 35-0 lead. Moravian scored its final touchdown with 4:20 remaining in the game on a 30-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Phil Gardner to Albie Moran.

Freshman linebacker Kevin Gorman (Waverly, N.Y./Waverly Central) led the Juniata defense with 10 tackles, while backup linebacker Mike Valentine (Randallstown, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) tallied eight tackles. The Eagles recorded 6.0 tackles for loss, led by Brandon Felus' (Columbia, Pa./Columbia) 2.0 TFL for 11 yards including the game's only sack. Defensive lineman David Weiss (Middletown, Md./Middletown) had seven tackles, while four players finished with six stops.

Juniata takes to the road for the final time in the 2010 season next Saturday, Oct. 30, when it travels to Baltimore to face Johns Hopkins University. 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.