BEAVER SPRINGS - In its first season back in the Tri-Valley League, the going has been tough for the East Juniata football team.
Friday night, the run-happy Tri-Valley Bulldogs came to town and showed why they are a forced to be reckoned with. Tri-Valley had its A-game going from the very beginning, picking up 14 first-quarter points en route to a 40-0 victory over the Tigers, who have yet to win a league game.
"They had the ball twice inside the 15 early. They had their offensive line firing out. Defensively, we did alright in the first half," East Juniata coach Simon Cameron said. "In the second half, the ends weren't doing their jobs. They didn't come down for the adjustments and that led for some big running rooms for them.
Sentinel photo by TIM SHUMAKER
East Juniata’s Ryan Combs (10) runs the ball as he’s surrounded by Bulldog defenders Max Kroh (70) and Anthony Snyder (35) Friday evening in Beaver Springs.
"They have solid runners and a solid team so they got us clean. They got us fair and square. They worked harder in the offseason than we did."
Leading the way for Tri-Valley were the running tandem of Blake Bowman and Dalton Miller. The pair rushed for 180 and190 yards, respectively.
Defensively, the East Juniata offense was held to 34 net yards and five first downs in the contest while the Bulldogs finished 343 total yards, 302 of which came on the ground.
IF YOU GO
* East Juniata hosts Juniata Sept. 28. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1996.
East Juniata got the ball to start the game but fumbled and the was recovered by Tri-Valley's Devin Masser on the Tiger 9-yard line.
It took just two plays for Tri-Valley to find the end zone when Miller ran it in from a yard out. With the PAT, the Bulldogs were ahead 7-0 with 9:41 left in the quarter.
The teams exchanged punts and East Juniata found itself in trouble once again. On fourth-and-7 on their own 16, the snap exchange to punter Dalton Rowe forced him to try to run for the first down.
However, the special team defense of Tri-Valley caught him deep in their own area, spotting it at the 1.
This time it took only one play for the Bulldogs to take it in as Bowman busted his way through the line for the second touchdown of the game.
After another three and out, the Bulldogs started to march down the field on a 13-play drive that started on their own 49. Despite numerous penalties on the drive, Bowman finished off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, upping the lead to 21-0.
Tri-Valley added one more touchdown before the half ended and it was once again Bowman getting the call. With only 11 ticks on the clock, Bowman muscled his way in from seven yards out. The Bulldogs missed the PAT but went into the intermission leading 27-0.
In the second half, Tri-Valley forced the game into mercy rule status, taking home the 40-0 victory.
East Juniata will try to rebound next week as it hosts cross-county foe Juniata, the first meeting between the two since 1996.