Juniata dominant over Millersburg
MILLERSBURG – Juniata thoroughly dominated Millersburg in every facet of Saturday’s rescheduled Tri-Valley League football game as the Big Red cruised to a 59-6 victory.
In the process, Juniata racked up 533 yards of offense including 428 on the ground.
“Everything we did seemed to work,” Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith said.
Leading the charge was senior Chad Eberle, who amassed 163 rushing yards and a pair of scores on seven carries. Junior Ty Treaster picked up 85 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while sophomore Chantz Swartz had two of his three touches for 52 yards finish in the end zone.
Freshman Tyler Clark completed three of his seven pass attempts for 105 yards and a score.
Senior Dakota McNemar was on the receiving end for two of those completions for 91 yards including the touchdown.
The defense did a superb job as well, limiting Millersburg to 188 yards of total offense (including just 67 on the ground).
Junior defensive end Ed Hampton spent enough time in the Millersburg backfield to buy a time share recording five tackles for losses and a pair of sacks.
“We have had offense all year long, but defense had been our Achilles’ heel,” Klingensmith said. “I felt our defense played very well today.”
After Juniata punted on its opening possession, the next 10 drives by the visitors resulted in points.
After stopping Millersburg on downs, Juniata needed only one play to grab the early 7-0 lead as Clark found a wide open McNemar for a 59-yard scoring strike.
The defense quickly forced a three-and-out and Juniata proceeded to cover 80 yards on nine plays. Key to the march was Treaster’s 32-yard blast to convert a fourth-down and a 32-yard completion to McNemar. Treaster plowed in from the 2 and then plunged in on the conversion to put Juniata up 15-0.
Alex Frederick’s 45-yard kickoff return allowed Millersburg to start its next possession across midfield, but the Juniata defensive stiffened and repealed the threat and Millersburg punted.
Juniata needed only three plays to traverse 87 yards and extend the lead to 22-0. Eberle’s 84-yard scoring dash accounted for the bulk of it.
Millersburg responded with a six-play, 78-yard scoring march of its own. Having little success running the ball, Millersburg went to the air as freshman quarterback Christian Wingard connected with Austin Lehman for 29 yards and Cole Shomper for 18 more, before finding Frederick for a 37-yard score to cut the Juniata edge to 22-6. Wingard completed six of his 18 passes for 121 yards in the game. Conner Keim led the Millersburg rushing attack with 48 yards on 12 attempts.
A one-yard sneak by Clark capped off an eight-play, 60-yard Juniata march extending the advantage to 29-6.
Hampton delivered a fourth-down sack to end the next Millersburg possession, and Eberle bolted 55-yards on the very next play to give Juniata a 36-6 halftime lead.
The opening drive of the second half resulted in a 23-yard Eberle field goal to stretch the lead to 39-6.
Millersburg then fumbled (the game’s only turnover) and three plays later Swartz finished a 50-yard drive by rumbling in from 37 yards outs and Juniata lead 46-6 going to the fourth quarter.
A Millersburg fake punt went array and gave Juniata a short field. Swartz’s seven-yard touchdown scamper completed the 27-yard stomp and the Indians lead 53-6.
Sophomore backup quarterback Cole Kellison led his team one last scoring march covering 39 yards on four plays. Junior Hank Moore and freshman Fletcher Hart delivered runs of 15 and 14 yards, respectively, along way. Kellison finished the scoring by calling his own number from a yard out to make the final margin 59-6.
“We really seem to be coming together as a team,” Klingensmith said.
The big test for Juniata (3-4 overall, 3-3 TVL) will be this Friday when Williams Valley visits.