(Posted October 2, 2004)

Susquehanna 51, Juniata 21

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College football team got its finest offensive performance of the season, but it came as the Eagles surrendered 568 yards of offense to the visiting Susquehanna Crusaders as the Eagles dropped a 51-21 contest at Knox Stadium in Huntingdon on Saturday afternoon. Juniata fell to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the conference, while the Crusaders are now 3-2 on the year and an even 2-2 in the conference.

Juniata?s 290 yards of offense was a positive sign for the Eagle team which had been struggling to move the ball consistently. But on this day the offense came after Susquehanna scored on six of their first nine drives to take a 38-7 lead into halftime.

A 26-yard field goal from Dwight Swaney put Susquehanna on top 3-0 in the early going. The Crusaders added touchdowns on their next two possessions first with Anthony Edwards breaking 23 yards for a scoring run, then quarterback Dennis Robertson hooked up with Josh Kleha for a 67-yard pass to extend the lead to 17-0.

Kleha notched a career high with 146 yards receiving in the game, and scored a pair of touchdowns. Robertson finished with a career-best 327 yards passing and three scores.

It looked as though the Eagles might be swimming momentum towards their direction as Bryon Latterner (Penn Cambria/Gallitzin) sacked Robertson for a six-yard loss on a fourth and eight to force a turnover on downs. The Crusaders then answered by picking off Juniata quarterback Jeffrey Hayes (Indian Valley/Lewistown). Four plays later, Chris Ross broke free for a 21-yard scoring run to end the first quarter.

The start of the second saw Juniata begin mounting the offense. The Eagles put together a six-play, 64-yard scoring drive. Duane Ehredt, Jr. (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) capped the drive with a 12-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 24-7 Susquehanna. The rushing touchdown was the first score of Ehredt?s career. The sophomore back finished with 59 yards rushing a pair of scores on the day.

Susquehanna then answered the score with two of their own, as the Crusaders reached pay-dirt on their final two drives of the half. Kleha nabbed a five-yard scoring pass to put the visitors up 31-7. Then Jason Eck plunged in from two yards out to make the score 38-7 heading into half. Susquehanna accumulated 393 yards of total offense in the first half, while limiting Juniata to 61 yards.

After forcing a three and out on Susquehanna?s first possession of the second half, the Eagle offense put together a 10-play 65-yard drive. Hayes hit Gerry Miceli (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) with a 23-yard strike for the biggest play of the drive, then connected with Jason Koch (Kutztown/Kutztown) for a 13-yard scoring toss to bring the score to 38-14 in favor of Susquehanna.

The Crusaders again answered on the next drive, with Robertson connecting with Duane Park for 44 yards to put Susquehanna up 44-14. Swaney converted his fourth point after attempt to bring the score to 45-14. Another Juniata punt then set-up the Crusaders? final scoring drive. Nick Friday rushed four times to bring the ball to the Eagle 23-yard line, the Eck ran home from the 23 for his second scoring rush of the game. A miss point after left the score at 51-14 Susquehanna. The Crusaders finished with 210 yards rushing on the game, with Friday pacing the team with 61 yards.

Juniata?s final scoring drive came at the start of the fourth quarter. Facing a third down, Hayes hit John Boyer (Indian Valley/Belleville) for a 64-yard connection?the longest play of the season for Juniata?to bring the ball to the one-yard line. Ehredt plunged in from the one for his second score. Dan Heinlein?s point after brought the final margin to 51-21 Susquehanna.

Boyer finished the game with three catches for 96 yards, while Miceli caught a team-high four balls for 37 yards.
Defensively D.J. Dunmire (Camp Hill/Camp Hill) and Matt Garner (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) each recorded eight tackles. Three Eagles finished with seven tackles, including Latterner who had a pair of stops for a loss.
Matt Schmidt (Southwestern/Spring Grove) intercepted the first pass of his career.

Kyle Jury led Susquehanna with five tackles, four of them for a loss. Kyle Sanders had the lone interception for the Crusaders.

Juniata will return to action next Saturday as the Eagles take on Lebanon Valley in Annville.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.