Hornets end experiment, make hay of Trojans
ALEXANDRIA — Juniata Valley experimented with playing quarterback Quinn Zinobile at wingback and backup Caden Rupert at quarterback to start Friday night’s game against Mount Union.
Hornets coach Bill Musser, though, ended the experiment in the final minutes of the second quarter, and Zinobile returned to quarterback.
The move made an immediate impact as Zinobile threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Grant Musser with 1:55 left in the half. Zinobile threw one more TD pass and ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Green Hornets beat the Trojans, 38-20, at A.R. Simkins Field.
“I think they were trying to find themselves in the first quarter,” Mount Union coach Jamie Brumbaugh said. “You’ve got to take your hat off to Juniata Valley. They have some great athletes on their team, great speed, great skill. We struggled a little bit on defense then.”
“It felt very good, because I think we became a team tonight,” Musser said. “We just needed to get some confidence built. I don’t think we gained as much yardage with Quinn not at quarterback, but I think it settled us down. When we had to make some adjustments, I’m really proud of my assistant coaches. They made the appropriate adjustments.”
Mount Union looked like it might run away with the win as the Trojans found the end zone twice in the first quarter as quarterback Quinton Posey scored on a 12-yard run with 2:41 left and he threw a 30-yard scoring strike to Vincent Lear with 31 seconds remaining.
The Hornets sputtered until linebacker Jakob Simmet caused and recovered a fumble with less than five minutes left in the first half. That’s when Zinobile stepped in for the Hornets, who were without the services of injured receiver Cameron Collins (shoulder).
The Hornets went on a seven-play, 61-yard drive that ended with Zinobile’s TD pass to Musser. Hornets kicker Jefferson Hill got his team closer with a 30-yard field goal with 15 seconds left to make the score 14-9 at halftime.
Mount Union’s only second-half touchdown came when Ethan Carbaugh returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a score.
“We were trying to get him the ball,” Brumbaugh said. “We were trying to get him a return to the side we wanted him to go on, but he’s definitely a threat for us back there.”
But it was all Hornets after that.
Zinobile, who threw for 151 and ran for 107 yards, directed the Hornets 71 yards on the ensuing possession on 10 plays, and he finished it off with a 16-yard TD pass to Musser. The tandem connected again for two points to draw within three points, 20-17.
“When you have a quarterback who is able to scramble the way he’s able to scramble, it’s hard to defend,” Brumbaugh said.
The Hornets took the lead for good with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter when Zinobile ran 34 yards for a touchdown, carrying Carbaugh with him into the end zone.
Zinobile ran for a 1-yard score, and Gabe Brower intercepted Posey and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown to finish off the scoring.
“If I’m disappointed in anything, I’m disappointed in our conditioning and our will to work this week,” Brumbaugh said. “I thought we had a great week mentally this week, but we’ve got to come in and get better conditioned.”
Juniata Valley 38, Mount Union 20
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Mount Union 14 0 6 0–20
Juniata Valley 0 9 8 21–38
MU–Posey 12 run (Kick failed), 2:41.
MU–Lear 30 pass from Posey (Posey run), 0:31.
JV– Musser 29 pass from Zinobile (Pass failed), 1:55/
JV– Hill 30 Kick, 0:15.
MU– Carbaugh 85 return (Kick failed), 11:47.
JV– Musser 16 pass from Zinobile (Musser pass from Zinobile), 6:46.
JV– Zinobile 34 run (Kick failed), 9:34.
JV– Zinobile 1 run (Hill kick), 5:34.
JV — Browser 43 Int return (Johnson pass from Zinobile), 4:20.
First downs 12 16
Total yards 189 313
Rushes-yards 35-96 39-144
Yards passing 93 169
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 7-20-2 8-14-0
Punts-avg. 2-33.5 4-21.5
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-40 6-50
RUSHING: MU– Posey 18-49, Carbaugh 8-35, Willooughby 7-34, Team 2-(-22); JV– Zinobile 12-107, Jax. Rand 19-66, Betres 2-4, Jay. Rand 1-0, Brower 2-(-1), Team 1-(-1) .
PASSING: MU– Posey 7-20-2-93; JV– Zinobile 7-11-0-151, Rupert 1-2-0-18, Team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: MU– Lear 4-61, Woodward 1-12, Brumbaugh 1-11, Carbaugh 1-9; JV– Derugen 4-70, Musser 2-45, Jax.Rand 1-36, Betres 1-18.