MIFFLINTOWN - In Gary Klingensmith's 44 years patrolling the sidelines for Juniata, he has certainly been familiar with running the ball.
His Indians have prided themselves on keeping the ball on the ground for the majority of the game.
But in the last two weeks, Klingensmith has seen his squad's defense struggle against something that Juniata is known for.
Friday against Line Mountain, the Indians gave up a total of 383 yards on the ground on 35 carries. That's good for nearly 11 yards per carry. Line Mountain quarterback Cole Rickert had eight carries for 127 yards en route to a 56-26 win over Juniata.
In last week's 35-26 loss at the hands of Tri-Valley, the Indians allowed 426 yards on the ground. It wasn't that bad against the Eagles, but Klingensmith noted that he had some players banged up and that caused the Indians to struggle stopping the run.
"Too many kids banged up coming into the game," Klingensmith said. "Then right away we get a few more banged up. Line Mountain is too good of a team to play shorthanded."
Heading into Friday, Line Mountain hadn't allowed a single point in 2012- a 38-0 win over Millersburg last week and a 56-0 win in the opener.
"They have a great football team," he said. "Every year in the Tri-Valley they seem to play really well."
But don't overlook Juniata's success on the ground against the Eagles. The Indians had 42 carries for 301 yards.
It didn't take long for Line Mountain to show what it could do offensively. With Rickert running the Eagles' no-huddle offense, Juniata was confused by the Eagle quarterback changing plays at the line of scrimmage.
That was evident on Line Mountain's first drive when the Eagles went 62 yards on just six plays, capped by a Dillan Michael 10-yard touchdown just two minutes in.
But that drive was more significant that just a 7-0 deficit for the Indians. Juniata starting quarterback Neil Bodley was injured and missed the Indians' first series and part of the second.
Once Bodley returned, his hard-nosed running got the Indians going.
Another touchdown for Line Mountain in the first quarter quickly made the score 14-0. Following a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown by Line Mountain's Jeremy Renn to make the score 21-0, it looked like the Indians' sails were deflated.
Bodley, who is a two-way player for Juniata, accounted for 45 yards on Juniata's next possession. His 22-yard run set up Joshua Newcamp's 16-yard score with just seconds gone in the second quarter.
As the Juniata quarterback, Bodley completed just one pass. But he finished the game with 108 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
"He's a great athlete," Klingensmith said. "He got banged up right off the bat. That hurt the offense and defense. That wasn't good."
The Indians showed what they could do on offense, but the Juniata defense continued to struggle against Rickert. The Line Mountain quarterback connected with Renn on a 30-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 27-7.
Line Mountain added another Michael touchdown run, his second of the game, late in the second quarter to give the Eagles a 35-7 lead at the half.
From that point, Juniata was just hoping to avoid the mercy rule. And the with game pretty much out of reach, Juniata was finally able to get some offense going.
The score went to 50-7 following another Michael touchdown and Hunter Hojnacki's 31-yard score, then the Indians rattled off 19 points in the fourth quarter to make the score more presentable.
In the final period, Bodley provided Juniata's second touchdown on a 35-yard sprint down the home side of the field. On Juniata's next possession, Blake Ramsey ripped off an 18-yard touchdown run.
With 2:30 left in the fourth quarter, Derek Beitz's 47-yard run set up a Hank Moore touchdown run from 8 yards out.
"Our second team came out and did a nice job to put some points on the board," Klingensmith said. "I was happy for them. That was their first bit of action this season."
Following a season-opening win over Penns Valley, Juniata has dropped back-to-back games. It will look to get back to .500 when it travels to Newport Sept. 21.
"We can still have a winning outfit right here," Klingensmith said. "The first thing we need to do is get healthy. Line Mountain and Tri-Valley are two pretty good teams."