Juniata rebounds from loss
HALIFAX — Coming off a valiant effort against an undefeated Upper Dauphin team, Juniata’s schedule pulled U-turn as the Indians faced winless Halifax Friday.
Juniata’s offense couldn’t be stopped as it marched down the field on every drive except one in a 49-7 win over the Wildcats — their first road win of the season.
The one drive the Indians didn’t score on was when they took a knee to send the game into halftime.
Not only was the Juniata offense dominant, it was balanced. Quarterback Jacob Condo threw for three touchdowns and the Indians rushed in four more.
The Indians received the opening kick and proceeded to use their multi-headed run offense to march down the field on a 10-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a three-yard rushing score from Condo.
Halifax’s offense came out fired up and that caught the defense of the Indians off guard. The Wildcats went on an 11-play drive and, since they we’re already trailing, went for it on fourth-and-three on Juniata’s 14-yard line.
The Indians defense held firm and forced a turnover on downs.
Juniata’s offense picked up right where it left off as Condo and the Indians manufactured another impressive drive, this time taking just nine plays to score on a two-yard rushing touchdown by fullback Garett Kint. The Indians took a 13-0 lead with 10:19 left in the second quarter.
On the Wildcats’ next drive, they faced a fourth-and-1 and came out in punt formation. Judah Miller took the direct snap from the center and pushed ahead to get the first down on the fake punt attempt. This seemed to spark Wildcats’ running back Hunter Smith as he took the next play 58 yards to the end zone for a Halifax touchdown, cutting the lead 13-7.
Juniata was not comfortable with a six-point lead and the offense continued its calculated attack of the Wildcats. Thanks to some solid passes from Condo and great routes by wide receivers Emannuel O’Donell and Steven Ranck, the Indians found themselves on the Wildcat 1-yard line facing a fourth down. Jamie Bailer punched it in and a Caleb Seeger’s two-point conversion gave the Indians a 21-7 lead.
Halifax refused to quit, orchestrating a drive with just 2:45 left in the half. Their impressive drive brought them to the Indians’ 9-yard line. Looking to cut into Juniata’s lead, quarterback Micah Deitrich took the snap and rolled right, trying to avoid the Indians’ pass rush. Deitrich lobbed the ball to the back of the end zone where Juniata’s Ranck intercepted the pass. The Indians took a knee and went into halftime protecting their 21-7 lead.
Juniata did not let up in the second half as it immediately forced an interception from Deitrich. This time it was Bailer who picked it off.
A few rushes from Kint and completions by Condo led the Indians down the field to the Wildcats’ 4-yard line. Ranck ran a fade route and Condo put the pass right on the money to give the Indians a 27-7 lead.
Not to be outdone by the offense was the Juniata defense, which kept the Wildcats at bay. Their only real miscue was the Smith touchdown run in the first half. Following the Ranck touchdown reception, the Indians forced a three-and-out and gave the ball right back to their offense.
“We gave up that one big play, but overall the defense played pretty well,” Juniata coach Kurt Condo said.
Bailer rushed for a long 60-yard pickup putting the Indians in position to strike yet again. On the next play, Jacob Condo found O’Donell for a 10-yard score and the lead ballooned to 35-7 in favor of the Indians.
Again, the defense showed up, forcing yet another punt from the Wildcats. The snap was off-target and fumbled. Mason Shearer fell on the ball and the Indians took over on the Wildcats’ 4-yard line. Caleb Seeger ran right up the gut for the score and a 42-7 lead for Juniata.
After receiving another punt, the Juniata offense struck one final time as Condo hit Ty Martin on a screen pass. Martin proceeded to weave his way through the Wildcats’ secondary for a 67-yard score.
After putting up 42 points on a stingy Upper Dauphin defense, coach Condo was pleased to see his offense pick up right where it left off.
“We wanted to get back to the fundamentals a little bit and run the stuff that we traditionally do well,” Condo said. “I think it’s a big psychological boost … to come in here and basically sharpen the sword a little.”
Picking up their first road win of the season was a monkey that Condo was relieved to get off their back. After playing well against last week, Condo felt his team was ready to get a big win against a winless Halifax team.
“I felt like they were loose and they had a little bit of swagger before the game,” Condo said. “I just told them ‘Guys, I’m telling you, you gotta be confident in yourself. If you feel this energy before any game, you’re gonna be ok.'”
Juniata faces Millersburg on Oct. 18.
Juniata 49, Halifax 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Juniata 7 14 21 7–49
Halifax 0 7 0 0–7
J–Condo 3 run (Shellenberger kick), 7:53
J– Kint 2 run(kick failed), 10:29
H– Smith 58 run (Lehman kick), 8:17
J — Bailer 1 run (Seeger run), 2:45
J– Ranck 4 pass from Condo (kick blocked), 5:56
J– O’Donell 10 pass from Condo (Bailer run), 4:00
J — Seeger 1 run (Shellenberger kick), 2:13
J– Martin 67 pass from Condo (Shelleberger kick), 8:35
First downs 15 12
Total yards 478 220
Rushes-yards 30-298 22-112
Yards passing 180 108
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 11-12-0 11-26-2
Punts-avg. 0-0 2-38
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-29 3-30
RUSHING: J– Trent Martin 5-33, Seeger 4-17 TD, Bailer 4-68 TD, Condo 7-50 TD, Kint 8-58 TD, White 2-4; H– Smith 11-98 TD, Enders 9-16, Miller 1-1,, Deitrich 1-(-3).
PASSING: J– Condo 11-12-180 3 TDs; H–11-26-2-108.
RECEIVING: J– O’Donell 4-55 TD, Ranck 5-58 TD, Ty.Martin 1-67 TD; H–Smith 4-38, Enders 2-11, Miller 1-20, Bowman 2-12, Stahl 3-27.