Football Suffers First Conference Set-Back
(Posted September 10, 2005)
Lycoming 35, Juniata 0
Williamsport, Pa. ? The Juniata College football team got the best defensive effort of the early season in the second half of its Middle Atlantic Conference opener against Lycoming College on Saturday, but it wasn?t enough to overcome a big first-half deficit as the Eagles fell to the Warriors 35-0 in Williamsport on Saturday afternoon.
The victory came in the season opener for Lycoming, while Juniata fell to 0-2 with the loss and 0-1 in MAC play.
Juniata limited the Warriors to 86 yards of offense and forced three turnovers after intermission, but that came after John Seese rushed for 167 of his 176 yards and Lycoming amassed 371 yards in the first half.
Lycoming wasted little time getting going in its first game as the home team took the opening kick-off and marched down field and into scoring position. After a pair of short runs inside the 10, Lycoming quarterback Glenn Smith hit Tony Kopp with a seven-yard scoring strike for the game?s first touchdown. The point after made the score 7-0 with 10:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter after the Eagles picked up its initial first down, Kevin LeSage picked off a Jay Leonard (Big Spring/Newville) pass to give the home team the ball in Juniata territory. Lycoming took advantage of the short field, picking up a first down on a third-and-five on a run from Seese inside the 10, and then had Matt Mangold plunge in from three yards to go in front 13-0. The point after from Mike Monastra made the score 14-0 Warriors mid-way through the second quarter.
After a Juniata punt on its next drive, the Eagles? defense got in a big play as Peter Thomas (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) picked off a Lycoming pass just past midfield. The Warriors then returned the favor two players later, as Jim Smith nabbed the home team?s second interception of the game. Two plays later, Seese broke off a 59-yard run to the end zone. The point after put Lycoming in front 21-0 with just less than five minutes remaining in the half.
The offensive attack continued on the Warriors next series as Smith hit Tim Brown for a 60-yard scoring pass for another touchdown. The extra point put Lycoming on top 28-0 with 2:59 showing on the clock.
Juniata?s offense showed its best work on the next possession, as Duane J. Ehredt Jr. (Bellwood-Antis/Tyrone) ripped off several big runs. But the drive came to an end as Matt Murdock snagged an interception to give the ball back to Lycoming. Juniata returned the favor two plays later as Matt Schmidt (South Western/Spring Grove) grabbed an errant Smith pass and returned it 43 yards to the Lycoming 46 with less than a minute remaining in the half. The Eagles would allow the clock to run out to go into halftime trailing 28-0.
The team?s traded defensive stops early in the second half. The Eagles forced a punt on Lycoming?s initial drive, and then Schmidt grabbed his second interception of the game, this time in the end zone to stall a Warrior drive. After another Juniata punt, Troy Beaver (Bellwood-Antis/Bellwood) corralled Juniata?s fourth interception of the contest, picking off a Smith pass at the two yard line.
The defenses controlled most of the second half, before the Warriors added on to the lead with 9:43 remaining in the game. Sean Hanna found Rick Schiccatano with a 45-yard scoring strike, and the extra point put the home team 35-0.
The teams would exchange punts and turnovers the rest of the way as the score remained 35-0 Lycoming. Juniata put together its best drive of the game midway through the fourth quarter on strong running from Ehredt Jr. but could not convert on a fourth down chance.
Ehredt Jr. finished with 53 yards rushing to lead Juniata in the game. Leonard completed three passes in the contest for 36 yards. Three different Eagles caught one pass.
For Lycoming Smith finished 14-for-21 in passing for 134 yards and two scores. Kopp finished with a team-best six grabs.
Defensively for Juniata Thomas finished with 12 tackles, including two for a loss and an interception. Nicholas Trionfo (Dundalk/White Marsh, Md.) added 11 stops for the Eagles.
Luke Sterling paced the Lycoming defense with five stops.
Juniata returns to action next weekend when the Eagles host Lebanon Valley for an MAC battle.
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