SPRING MILLS - Despite what Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith might try to tell you, his Indians had a very easy time in routing host Penns Valley 45-7 in the seaon opener of high school football Friday in Spring Mills.
The Indians amassed a total offense of 387 yards, 240 via the ground game, while the defense, which had some question marks entering the season, stymied the Rams for 195 yards, 111 on the ground.
Trouble was, once the game was decided and both coaches substituted freely, Penns Valley generated 59 yards of offense, which distorts the offensive totals for the Rams.
Sentinel photos by MATT?STRICKER
Juniata’s Neil Bodley (19), right, fights for yardage against Penns Valley defender Luke Bitsko (27) Friday evening in Spring Mills. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
"Our kids brought their 'A' game," explained Juniata's Klingensmith. "I couldn't be prouder of the team. We only had two penalties and that was nice because in the scrimmages we made enough mistakes to last the whole season."
Things didn't start real well for Penns Valley as it muffed the opening kickoff and proceeded to have a penalty on the second play, which set the tone for the game. Four plays netted 11 yards off a Dom Hook run but the penalty forced a punt.
The Indians managed to take advantage of the quick turnaround by the Rams and marched 51 yards in 10 plays with Blake Ramsey going the final five yards for the score. Neil Bodley amassed 34 yards on five plays in the drive. Chad Eberle booted the PAT and it was quickly 7-0 with 5:06 to play in the opening quarter.
Juniata hosts Tri-Valley Sept. 7
"This game was a good lesson for them," Klingensmith said of his team. "They listened and they learn. It was a good lesson for them."
The Rams' Ian Brown took the ensuing kickoff for 21 yards giving the offense good field position and after a Cameron Tobias to Luke Weaver 27-yard pass completion, the offense was on the move.
The drive was short-lived, however, following a rush for no yards and two incomplete passes. That lead to an exchange of punts from both teams but again the Rams couldn't generate any offense and punted again.
This time Juniata would go 77 yards in eight plays with Bodley bulling in from three yards out for the score. Bodley ran four times in the drive for 22 yards. The key play in the drive was a 33-yard burst by Scott Sneath.
Penns Valley's Taylor Collison took the ensuing kickoff 22 yards giving the Rams excellent field postion and a 12 yard pass from Tobias to Weaver and a 12-yard run from Tobias gave Penns Valley an opportunity to get to the Juniata 31. But once again the snake bit and a fumble was recovered by the Indians' Andrew Boyer at the Juniata 33.
Bodley opened the drive on two carries for 15 yards but the Ram defense rose to the occasion only to watch in horror as the Indians punt was muffed and Klay Palm pounced on the ball in the end zone for the score and a 23-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff was again bobbled and Juniata's Ramsey recovered it at the 46. On the first play from scrimmage Bodley found Eberle down the sideline for a 54-yard scoring strike and it was a 31-0 lead.
Juniata's Mark Zearfaus picked off an interception on the first play from scrimmage following the score and after a 5-yard run by Sneath plus a face mask penalty, the Indians' Cole Kellison hooked up with Zearfaus for 42 yards to the 4. Sneath then bulled in of the score and a 38-0 halftime lead.
After an exchange of punts to start the third period, Juniata went 66 yards in seven plays for a 45-0 lead with Kellison ending the drive off a 12-yard jaunt.
Penns Valley's lone score can off a 63-yard, six-play drive after most of the starters rotated out of the game. A Tobias-to-Brown pass play of 45 yards gave the Rams excellent field position and were able to snap the shutout when Hook bolted 10 yards for the score. Andrew Deardorff booted the PAT to set the final.