Categories
Sports

Juniata College surprised by Dickinson in home opener

Juniata College opened the 2003 football season with a home contest against Dickinson at Chuck Knox Stadium on Saturday. The Eagles came up on the short end of a 28-11 decision.
Starting slowly, Juniata managing just 86 yards total offense on 29 plays in the first half in falling behind 14-0.
Juniata came alive in the third quarter to post an 11-0 advantage to cut the Red Devils’ lead to 14-11, but Dickinson scored a pair of TDs in the final quarter, with help from a Juniata squad that committed nine penalties for 96 yards on the day to salt away the victory.
Juniata took the second half kick and proceeded to look like a different team. Running the no-huddle offense throughout the game, the Eagles quickly moved 70 yards in 19 plays in a drive that ended with a Dan Heinlein field goal that covered the final 26 yards. Key plays in the march were a dozen-yard pickup by 5-6, 160-pound senior tailback Craig Moshier, who gained 102 yards on 29 carries to lead the Eagles and an 11-yard reverse by H-back Anthony Lipple.
The Juniata defense, anchored by former Bellwood-Antis tailback/defensive back Matt Garner, who led the team with 15 total tackles from his strong safety position and Penn Cambria’s Brian Lattener who had 13 stops, forced a punt on Dickinson’s next series to get the ball right back.
Beginning at their own 15-yard line, Juniata drove the distance in six plays for a touchdown.
Junior quarterback Greg Troutman, who completed just two of 12 passes in the first half for 29 yards and was intercepted once, connected with Jared Lucas for a gain of 25 on the second call. Moshier darted for 11 more and a second straight first down. Troutman then zipped the ball to tight end Gerry Miceli running alone over the middle for a 32 yard gain that carried the ball to the Dickinson-12. Moshier got three to the nine before Troutman found Lucas in the right corner of the endzone for the nine-yard TD pass. Going for two on the extra-point conversion, Troutman rolled right on the option, pitching to Lipple at the last moment for the 2-point rush that sliced the Dickinson lead to 14-11.
Juniata was able to move the ball in the fourth quarter, but shot themselves in the foot several times with key penalties to slow down or stop their own offensive drives.
One last attempt was keyed by a 42-yard pas play from Troutman, who finished 11 of 37 for 178 yards and two TDs after a very slow first half, to Phil Haus. The drive died at the Dickinson-15 where the Eagles turned the ball over on downs.
Juniata struggled against the run last year giving up an average of 205 rushing yards per game and continued the trend on Saturday yielding 221 yards on the ground to Dickinson.
“Dickinson gameplanned us pretty well,” reported Garner. “They did exactly what we expected them to do, but their execution was better than we thought they would be able to do against us. They ran an option that was tough to tell where the ball was. They didn’t kill us with big plays, they just ground out four or five yards at a time.
“Our defense is set up so that the safeties are supposed to be in on a lot of tackles, so it didn’t mean we were in trouble simply because the strong safety made a lot of tackles.”
Troutman, a junior from Meyersdale needs just over 1,000 yards passing to become the school’s all-time leader in passing yardage and is just over 1,200 yards away from the lead in total yards. Moshier, a senior from Coudersport, is within reach of moving into the number two rushing spot at Juniata and has an outside shot at becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher.
With their only non-MAC opponent out of the way, Juniata opens Middle Atlantic Conference play on Saturday, traveling to Moravian.