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Juniata Little Indians claim Super Bowl

Indians win in Midgets’ Super Bowl

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Burnham Bulldogs quarterback Reese Christine carries the football on a keeper as multiple Juniata Indians players attempt to tackle him in the first half of the Central Keystone Football Midget Division Super Bowl on Sunday at Armagh Field in Milroy. The Indians won, 18-12.

The two powerhouses of the Central Keystone Football and Cheer League clashed Sunday night in the Midget Super Bowl.

For the third time this season, the Juniata Indians went up against the Burnham Bulldogs, this time in a winner-take-all contest.

The Indians came into the game with a perfect record while Burnham came in with just two losses, both of which came at the hands of the Indians. While Juniata was looking to make the sweep, Burnham was hoping that the third time would be a charm.

The game lived up to the hype, as it wasn’t decided until the final play of the game.

In the end, Juniata comes back from 6-0 deficit to win a nail-biting 18-12 thriller over the battling Bulldogs.

Both running backs for the Indians, Daylyn Kennedy and Jasper Shepps, came up with big plays to help lead their teams the victory.

Despite taking the loss, the Bulldogs got strong efforts from Reese Christine and Avery Aurand, who kept their team within striking distance throughout.

In the second half, Juniata defense was able to kill a long nine-play drive that had Burnham sitting on the four yard line. That defensive stand sparked the offense.

Kennedy led the drive as he broke around the end for a 20-yard run from the 11. Shepps put the Indians at the Bulldogs 36-yard line after a pair of runs.

With one swift move, Kennedy broke the line and blazed his way in for the touchdown at 7:32, tying the game.

After holding the Bulldogs tough in the following possession, the Indians went right back to work.

Two plays later Shepps called his own number and put his team up 12-6. Burnham stopped the PATs on all the touchdowns in the contest.

Playing with no fear, the Bulldogs bit back on its next touch of the ball.

Christine finished off a long time consuming eight-play drive to knot the game at 12.

It looked as if the Bulldogs were going to get the extra point but a holding call on the PAT, keeping the game tied at 12.

With 34 seconds left, Juniata went to air and found Kennedy in stride as he blazed his way to a touchdown after the catch. Burnham rallied back in the final few seconds, getting it to the Indians’ 36 before running out of time.

Defensively, both teams took control of the first half.

Burnham had its defense with their backs on the shadows of the goal line but still was able to keep the Indians off the scoreboard.

After forcing Juniata to punt on its first possession, the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard early when Aurand muscled his way through the interior lineman on a 4-yard run, capping off a 7-play drive.

The Indians remained perfect on the season with the hard fought victory Sunday.

McVeytown Eagles 14, Kish Indians 0

The running game was in used in full force in the third place game of the Central County Midgets championship weekend. Brice Rishel led the Eagles running attack with an 104-yard rushing performance as his team shut out Kish 14-0.

Defensively, both teams were hard to score on.

After an unsuccessful first drive, McVeytown was able to get the ball back thanks to its tough defense. Starting with the ball on their own 35, it took only three plays for the Eagles to get on the scoreboard. Gatlin Kauffman connected on a 40-yard pass completion to Rishel, making it a 6-0 contest with only 55 seconds left in the opening stanza.

Kish showed its defense of prowess as well, keeping McVeytown out of the end zone on the PAT.

Both defenses settled in as the team exchanged possessions numerous times.

Kish’s Gavin Powell intercepted an Eagles pass, killing a potential touchdown for the Eagles. Neither offense was able to cross the goalie the rest of the first half as McVeytown finished holding onto a 6-0 advantage.

Two early consecutive turnovers on consecutive plays gave the ball to Kish. However, their drive fizzled and was forced to give it back to McVeytown at the Kish 29.

The Eagles got its momentum back and marched down on a 6-play drive the culminated in a Jace Rishel 1-yard run, upping their lead to 12-0 with 4:51 left in the third.

But that’s all the Kish defense would give up as the shut down the PAT and later got another interception by Powell.

Late in the game, the Kish Indians was forced down in their end zone, giving the Eagles a Saftey putting it to a 14-0 contest.

That was the last score the Eagles’ needed as they went into the 14-0 victory to capture third place.

Terrace Tigers 48, Decatur Cyclones 0

The Terrace Tigers Midget team came ready to play Sunday afternoon in the Central Keystone Midget championships. Offensively, the Tigers rolled out 48 points over a small Derry Decatur team that battled to the very end before falling short.

Terrace got the kick to start and wasted little time putting points on the board. After starting at its own 29, it took Terrace just seven plays to reach the end zone.

Quarterback Zakria Kauffman found Bryce Slemons for the 16-yard TD reception. With successful extra point, Terrace led 7-0.

Derry Decatur had a hard time with the faster Tigers’ defense and had its second possession go three and out. On the punt return, Terrace’s Gavin Herrington ran it back for a 25-yard punt return.

Cyrel Green also scored on a 40-yard punt return, upping the Tigers lead to 21-0.

Going into the second quarter Terrace picked up where it left off as Raul Rodriquez scored on a 14-yard end around. Defensively, the Tigers forced another turnover minutes later when Slemons intercepted the ball for yet another touchdown, upping the “Yellow and Black” attack to 35-0. Terrace would score late in the second to go up 42-0 at the intermission. That touchdown came from Herrington.

With the clock continuously running in the second half. Terrace added just one more score before the game ended. That came from Jack Adair, ending the game a 48-0 contest.

Pee Wee Football

McVeytown Eagles 37, Kish Indians 33

The Kish Indians and McVeytown Eagles showed why they were playing in the biggest stage in the Central Keystone Football and Cheer League Pee Wee Championship game.

It would be a contest that both teams would run for more than 200 yards on the ground which proved to highlight the evening. Both proving that they were the best two teams in the league.

In the end, the game proved to be a prime-time classic with McVeytown Eagles coming out on top with a hard-earned 37-33 victory.

Leading the running game for the Eagles was Maddox Hobbs who finished with four touchdowns and 142 yards rushing. Jaxson Strohecker was a one-man wrecking machine, posting 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns which helped his team keep pace with the Eagles through out the game.

It would be a turnover that would start the scoring when Kish recovered a fumble. Kish would go to the air for the first score.

Noah Wolfkill hooked up with Alex Picciurro on a 60-yards TD, that put Kish ahead 7-0. McVeytown battled right back as the Eagles scored on a 2-yard score by Hobbs, with PAT the game tied the game.

It took only two plays for McVeytown to earn a turnover of its own.

The momentum stayed on McVeytowns’ side when on the following kick the Eagles covered the as it covered the ball on the onside kick.

Again, McVeytown gave the ball to Hobbs for his second touchdown of the evening, taking the lead at 13-7.

The Eagles defense held Kish on its next possession. McVeytown forced the Indians to turn the ball over on downs. It took just seven plays for the Eagles to score once again, this time it was Ethan Covert that got the call as he muscled his way in from nine yards out, making it a 19-7.

In the second quarter, Kish got back into the game as its offensive line opened up some holes and Strohecker took care things from there. Strohecker scored the last touchdown of the first half, when he got out around the end for a 23-yard touchdown while in moving his team up on the scoreboard, cutting it to 19-13.

The tension started to rise in the second half as the teams exchanged scores numerous times. McVeytown opened the half with the ball and went right to work, handing the ball to Hobbs, Covert and Beau Wise.

The Trio moved the ball from their 25 to the Indians 12 before they handed the ball off to Hobbs to finish off the drive with a 12-yard TD scamper, upping the lead to 25-13.

But the Indians weren’t going away anytime soon as they feed it to Strohecker on their next drive.

The drive took just four plays when Strohecker broke loose from the end and blazed the ball downfield for the TD, cutting things to 25-19 game.

Again, the Eagles did not worry as their offensive line once again shined, allowing Hobbs to score from 5-yards this time, upping the lead to a 31-19 game with 3:03 left in the third.

Kish struck back once again when Strohecker continued to push the ball downfield.

He carried all eight handoffs in the drive, scoring once again and putting his team within striking distance at 9:55.

With Hobbs was still rolling along, the Eagles went on a time sustaining drive that ended eight-play drive and another TD. The Indians scored again, cutting the lead to 37-33, but the Eagles hung on for the victory.

Juniata Indians 12, Burnham Bulldogs 7

In the battle for third place in the Central Keystone Football’s Pee Wee Division, the Juniata Indians went head-to-head with the Burnham Bulldogs. It was old school football at its best as both teams grinded it out and when the dust settled, the Indians would be the survivors of a 12-7 nail biter that wasn’t settled until the end of the game.

It took a strong defensive performance by the Indians to stop a last-minute run by the Bulldogs to hold onto the victory with a turnover on downs with 28 seconds left.

Burnham looked to take the lead on an Asher Pearce keeper for the 35- yard touchdown but it was brought back on a holding call, keeping the Indians with the lead.

After starting with the ball to start the game, the Burnham offense was forced to punt and give Juniata good field position at the Bulldogs 26. But the Bulldogs defense had some big play capabilities of its own causing the Indians to go for it on fourth down with the shadow of the end zone on the Bulldogs’ back.

One of the key plays of the drive was Octavian Gonzalez’s smack down of the ball keeping the wide receiver for Juniata from waltzing in with an easy touchdown.

Burnham stood strong and took the ball back on downs.

However, the Juniata defense was strong as well, forcing its second punt in as many possessions.

Juniata scored two plays later when Garrett Kerstetter plowed his way through for a 6-yard TD. Burnham forced the Indians back on the PAT, trailing just 6-0.

Both defenses dug in their heels and both made some big plays, killing drives by both teams. As the buzzer sounded for the intermission, Juniata held a 6-0 lead.

Fortunes changed when the two came out of the halftime as the Bulldogs came out offensively and started to move the ball.

Burnham recovered a fumble on the kickoff, putting them in its best field position of the afternoon. Two plays later, quarterback Asher Pearce got free out around the end and scored from 11-yards out.

Pearce also picked up the hard earned extra point after looking as if he would come up short before stretching out his arms over the goal line before his knees touched, giving the Bulldogs a 7-6 advantage.

Kerstetter grinded it out and put his team down to the Burnham two. They called Kerstetter’s name at the two and he did not disappoint, running it in for the go ahead TD.

Again, the PAT failed and Burnham only trailed by five. In its last possession, the Bulldogs had Pearce run out around and he got into the secondary and blazed his way to a score with 59 ticks on the clock but in the backfield was a yellow flag, which brought the play and the score back.

From there, the Indians took the victory formation and went home with the third place trophy.

Decatur Cyclones 34, Terrace Tigers 6

The Derry Decatur Cyclones’ offense came out hot from the start, scoring 28 points in the first half to top the Terrace Tigers 34-6 in the 5th place game of the Central Keystone Football and Cheer League’s Pee Wee championships.

Cyclone running back Blake Specht rushed for over 100-yards, ran back a punt return to the house and pulled down an interception en route to the victory.

The Terrace got a strong running effort from Ryer Herrington as he scored a 32-yard touchdown scamper for the Tigers lone touchdown on the day.

On the first Derry offensive drive, the Cyclones marched their way down the field on an eight-play drive that culminated in a 2-yard TD run by Tristan Fultz. With the successful PAT, Derry led 7-0. After a stop, the Tigers punted the ball to Specht and he took ball back all the way for the 32-yard punt return, upping the lead to 14-0.

Terrace’s second possession was also a 3-and-out, giving the ball back in the hands of the sizzling Derry offense.

The Cyclones scored five plays later on a quarterback keeper by Charles Hampton. Rounding out the first half scoring was quarterback Wyatt Wilson who scored from a yard out, ending the half with the 28-0 advantage.

In the second half, Derry Decatur scored on its first possession thanks to an interception by Rylie Kahley. With the momentum still tilted in the Cyclones direction, Fultz capped off the scoring for his team with a 36-yard run.

However, the Tigers never gave up as they moved the ball down the field in the third.

On its second play from scrimmage Herrington broke free and put his team on the board, ending the scoring at 34-6.

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