Indians go up, fall down
HUNTINGDON — Juniata was capable of putting together a solid all-around first quarter, but it wouldn’t last long in a 38-20 loss to Huntingdon Friday night.
There was a lot of good talk when it came to the size and ability of Huntingdon’s skill players, but they had a tough time tough time gaining momentum on offense and slowing down the Indians defensively.
That recipe led to Juniata putting together a 12-play, 69-yard drive on its opening possession.
Quarterback Jeremiah Parson was quick to find Bryson Clark out of the backfield for a pair of 16-yard completions before capping it off with a six-yard pass to Ben Lauver.
The drive knocked six minutes off the clock, and put the Bearcats in a position of playing catch-up early.
Huntingdon wasn’t able to do such with its first possession as the Indians got to the ball carriers quickly, including a pair of sacks on quarterback Andrew Hudy.
Juniata continued its hot play out of the gate by driving 80 yards on six plays. The Indians were seen mixing the play calling some, and kept the Bearcats defense on its toes. The drive resulted in a touchdown run of 20 yards by Ethan Grove.
Then the game went into the second quarter and the wheels fell off for Juniata.
“We get ahead 14, nothing and then things get ugly,” Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith said. “The discipline and wherewithal to keep from making the mistakes like penalties and things like that. Against a team like Huntingdon, you cannot do that.”
The Indians proved they were capable of slowing down the big guys in the Bearcats’ backfield, led by Ian Border. But because they were bringing so much pressure in the box, Huntingdon opted to spread the offense out more and open up the passing game.
The execution style worked for the remainder of the game, and played a large role behind the Bearcats’ 38 unanswered points.
“They’re playing cover one, man free and that allowed us to start taking shots,” Huntingdon coach Micheal Hudy said. “If you want to bunch in there and try to stop Border, we can go out there if we want.”
The Bearcats made the necessary changes on defense as well to slow down Juniata’s tempo and not only close the gap, but also take the lead for good in the second quarter. It all started with the players keeping their eyes on the players behind the line.
“I think it was our players adjusting,” Hudy said. “It’s hard to replicate what Juniata does with the double wing, crisscross and all that stuff in practice. High school kids are taught to look in the backfield and a few times we were caught flat footed.”
After the Bearcats blocked Juniata’s punt while trailing by only a point, Huntingdon was setup with great field position at the Indians’ 11-yard line. They certainly took advantage of that with Border, who ran it in from six yards out and also found room for the two point conversion, and the Bearcats never looked back.
Juniata scored the game’s final points with Parson finding Ranck for his second passing touchdown of the contest. Zac Piper had one of Juniata’s longest runs — 36 yards — for the night.
“We just didn’t put it together,” Klingensmith said. “We started shooting ourselves in the foot with the penalties and interceptions. Finally this team gets excited, and there was nothing we could do to stop the dam from flooding.”
Parson went 11-for-20 with 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a pair of interceptions, both to Jonathan Price. On top of the two turnovers, the Indians also were flagged were nine penalties for 75 yards.
Juniata (4-2) travels to Newport on Oct. 6.
Huntingdon 38, Juniata 20
Juniata 14 0 0 6–20
Huntingdon 0 21 3 14–38
Order of scoring
J–Ben Lauver 6 pass from Jeremiah Parson (Chris Eshkick), 6:28
J–Ethan Grove 20 run (Esh kick), 1:24
H– Andrew Hudy 6 run (Giovan Scacia kick), 6:48
H– Jonathan Price 2 pass from Hudy (PAT missed), 4:48
H– Ian Border 6 run (Border run), 3:31
H– Scaccia 27 field goal, 2:36
H– Price 28 pass from Hudy (Scaccia kick), 9:39
H– Jacob Wagner 63 pass from Hudy (Scaccia kick), 8:23
J– Steven Ranck 1 pass from Parson (Failed 2pt.), 1:16
First downs 10 21
Rushes-yards 36-185 40-157
Passing 77 224
Comp-Att-Int 11-20-2 10-16-1
Total yards 262 381
Punts-Avg. 5-40.4 3-41.6
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 9-75 9-70
RUSHING: J– Bryson Clark 8-18, Parson 12-66, Zac Piper 7-67, Ethan Grove 1-23 TD, RJ Becker 3-0, Ranck 1-6, Ethan Diven 1-5; H– Border 14-52 TD, Hudy 12-52 TD, Wagner 1-0, Drew Weglarz 9-48, Price 1-13, Andrew Finkle 1-(-2).
PASSING: J– Parson 11-20-2-77 2 TDs; H– Hudy 10-16-1 224 3 TDs.
RECEIVING: J–Clark 5-49, Bryce Leonard 1-1, Lauver 3-26 TD, Becker 1-0, Ranck 1-0 TD; H– Border 1-9, Price 4-107 2 TDs, Wagner 4-124 TD, Andrew Miller 1-12.
INTERCEPTIONS: J– Leonard; H– Price 2.