BEAVER SPRINGS - East Juniata's Austin Bennett took a snap and dropped back to pass on a fourth-and-11 with fewer than 40 seconds left before halftime.
It was a conversion the Tigers needed to make to keep driving and score going into the break Friday.
The Tiger quarterback saw the Line Mountain blitz coming and couldn't do anything to avoid it. The home team turned the ball over on downs, and with a 17-point lead already, Line Mountain knew it had a chance to add its lead and put the Tigers down into a deeper hole.
Sentinel photo by MATT?STRICKER
East Juniata’s Tyler Herbster (30), Tyler Myers (86) and Melvin Smith put a stop on Line Mountain’s Cory Warford (28) Friday in Beaver Springs. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
With just 35 ticks remaining until halftime, Line Mountain quarterback Codi Morris hit wide receiver Erik Smeltz in the back of the end zone for another score.
That touchdown pass put a dagger through the Tigers and helped the Eagles stay on top in a 44-28 Tri-Valley League win at West Snyder Elementary School on Friday night.
The Eagles (6-1 overall, 5-1 TVL) had just a 7-0 lead after the first quarter, but turned up their offense and scored 24 points in the second.
IF YOU GO
* East Juniata travels to Upper Dauphin Oct. 19
"Kids not being ready out of the locker room (to start the game), (playing) flat, not too focused, but we got it going there once we settled in a little bit," Line Mountain coach Rodney Knock said. "Codi played a nice game at quarterback throwing the football for us and our backs started running hard and started doing some things successfully."
Morris hurt the East Juniata (1-6, 0-6) defense as the Eagle threw for 131 yards on just seven completions, including three completions of more than 25 yards. Morris was responsible for five of Line Mountain's six touchdowns - rushing for two and throwing three.
"He's a gamer, he just makes plays and that's all you can ask for to put us in good situations and he's done that so far," Knock said.
East Juniata's offense came out with a shaky start, having back-to-back three-and-out drives before Bennett was picked off in Line Mountain territory on the Tigers' third drive. The first two drives each saw Bennett just overthrow his wide receiver that would have resulted in an East Juniata touchdown.
"Whenever you throw the ball, that's one of the risks you run and unfortunately that caused us to go three-and-out," East Juniata coach Simon Cameron said. "They're a very strong team. I think our kids gave them a little more than they expected, which was good. We didn't lose our heads, we stayed in it.
"We improved on our greatest weakness tonight."
While Morris is a solid player at quarterback for Line Mountain, the Eagles' ground game was just as important against East Juniata on Friday. The Eagles ran the ball 44 times, netting 234 yards - a team-high 67 from Austin Snyder - and three rushing touchdowns.
Through the second and third quarters, Line Mountain strung together five consecutive drives that each resulted with a touchdown.
"They're just a solid all-around team," Cameron said. "You take out the quarterback, the running backs, (Snyder, Cory Warford), all of those guys (can score). They got weapons all over the place."
The Tigers were able to run against a talented Line Mountain squad in the loss. David Brantley accounted for 137 of East Juniata's 197 rushing yards, including his 70-yard touchdown run on East Juniata's final possession.
"This is actually probably one of the better games we played. We finally had our defensive line not getting blown up, allowed our linebackers to flow," Cameron said. "We scored three times on the first string, then we got our last touchdown on their second string, so we moved the ball on them. They're getting better."
The Tigers trailed by as much as 31 in the third quarter.