ALEXANDRIA - Lightning forced a 54-minute delay in Friday night's football game between Mount Union and Juniata Valley at A.R. Simkins Memorial Field.
Later, lightning came in the form of JV fullback Jesse Claar. Claar ran for 231 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns, including an impressive, tackle-breaking 33-yard run on his last carry, and Brett Grissinger ran for 113 yards and two TDs to lead the Green Hornets to a 42-14 win.
"I tell you what, the performance of our line and our running backs was unbelievable," JV coach Mike Smith said. "I knew Jesse had the potential to do stuff like that. We have other good backs back there who block. Depending on what's working is who's going to have the good night. Fortunately, our fullback had a good night tonight."
"If you don't stay on your assignments on defense and overpenetrate, that's what happens," MU coach Corey Wertz said. "We told them all week, 'Stay home, stay on your assignments and they will come to you.' And we just didn't do it."
Claar, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound junior, is a young man of few words. But he let his play on the field do the talking. "I did well, and the lineman blocked very good," Claar said. "I just followed my blocks."
The Hornets struck first after recovering a fumble at the MU 20. Five plays later, quarterback Caleb Taylor sneaked it in from the 1.
Later in the first, the Trojans took advantage of a 15-yard punt, getting the ball at the JV 25. A 21-yard pass from sophomore Trevon Walker to Bryn Brown moved the ball to the 4, and that's when the game was delayed.
On the first play when the game resumed, Brown scampered 4 yards for a touchdown. Klayton Heffner's PAT gave the Trojans their only lead. Grissinger scored on a 5-yard run with 2:08 left, and Taylor sneaked the ball in for the two-point conversion.
It was all Hornets after that, scoring 14 points in the third quarter and 14 more in the fourth.
The last touchdown came when Claar looked like he was going to stopped at about the MU 20 with Trojans attempting to bring him down. When it looked like the play would be whistled dead, Claar broke away and scored.
"The linemen pushed me, and I just broke away in the last 10 yards and ran it in," Claar said.
"That was amazing," Smith said. "That was the best run I've seen in a long time. He just kept his feet moving. We tell them in practice to keep their feet moving. We had a tackle downfield who was pushing too. I don't know if he helped Jesse keep his balance, but it was a great effort on everybody's part."
The Hornets hiked their record to 2-0, while the Trojans fell to 1-1. Mount Union hosts Southern Huntingdon Friday.