Vikings strike quickly, hold off Tigers
COCOLAMUS – The night didn’t start how East Juniata would have liked.
Williams Valley scored early, on a 74-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, and often as the Vikings defeated East Juniata 40-19 in a Tri-Valley League football game at West Snyder Elementary School Friday.
“It’s hard to stop all those big plays,” East Juniata coach Simon Cameron said. “I was glad with the fact that they didn’t get any long, sustained drives on us. They guys really stepped up. Williams Valley is a good team. They played hard.”
David Brantley carried 22 times for 103 yards and a touchdown and threw for 67 yards and another score.
“I can’t speak enough for him,” Cameron said. “He’s a good all-around athlete. We’ve played him at slot wideout, he’s thrown the ball for us and run the ball for us. He runs hard and you know he’s going to give it everything he has.”
Williams Valley struck again with 3:53 left in the first quarter when Nick Rodichok tossed his second touchdown of the night to Tim Schorr to give Williams Valley the 12-0 advantage.
East Juniata came right back with its first score of the night.
Brantley gained 49 yards on eight straight carries culminating in a three-yard touchdown run to pull the Tigers to within five.
East Juniata was gaining some momentum when the Tigers forced a Williams Valley three-and-out at the start of the second quarter.
They got the ball back and got back on the Vikings’ side of the field, but Brantley was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 and the Tigers turned the ball over.
The Tigers then forced a Williams Valley punt and turned to freshman quarterback Chris Schulgen. Schulgen completed three straight passes, including two to Matt Aurand.
But Schulgen’s next pass was intercepted by Williams Valley’s Albert Wolfgang and returned 37 yards for a Viking touchdown.
“You got to give them credit,” Cameron said. “They have athletes all over the field. The pick-six was big. We had a freshman quarterback in, so we have young guys learning. That was a big thing.”
The ensuing two-point conversion run by Cole Barnhardt put the Vikings up 20-7 going into the half.
The second half started exactly how the first half did for East Juniata: Barnhardt returned a punt 75 yards for a Williams Valley touchdown to give the Vikings more breathing room.
Brantley and the Tigers answered right back though, when he hit Matt Aurand for a 29-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to 26-13 on a halfback option play.
“We can’t just line up and play regular offense or we’re going to be in trouble,” Cameron said. “We’ve got to make teams prepare for multiple offenses. If you keep on switching and they have to adjust – that’s where our scores came from.”
Schorr scored twice over the course of 11 seconds to give the Vikings a 40-13 lead late in the third quarter.
Reed Bruner tossed a 27-yard touchdown to Andy Hartman with 1:43 to play in the game to finalize the scoring and earn Williams Valley the 40-19 victory.
East Juniata honored the careers of 14 seniors on senior night and ends the season at 2-8.