MIFFLINTOWN — Going into Friday night’s Homecoming 2011 football game, Juniata was looking to even its mark at 2-2, while on the other side of the field, winless Bellefonte (0-3) was simply looking to be respectable and hopefully come away with a win.
Coming out of the game, the Indians did even their mark at 2-2, while for Bellefonte, it was much of the same as they came out on the short end of a 50-0 final at rain soaked Deitrick Field.
“It has been a long time since we had a win like this one,” said Juniata head coach Gary Klingensmith. “Tonight everything was just clicking on all cylinders for us and we got a good effort from everybody who played.”
While Klingensmith was happy with the win and the effort of his squad, Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch, although happy with the effort he got from his players, was disappointed with the way he prepared his team for the battle.
“I just didn’t have the kids ready,” said Besch. “I thought we had a good game plan coming in and I thought we had something we could put together, but obviously I wasn’t able to get them in the right place at the right time for them to do the right things. Our kids played the assignments we taught them, they played hard, but quite frankly this one (loss) is on me because I honestly feel that I didn’t have them prepared for this game.”
Through their first three games, the Indians featured a strong running game which averaged 237.3 yards per game. Doing the bulk of the leg work for the Red & Blue had been Cody Saner with 273 yards on 48 carries good for three scores, while Saner’s supporting cast of Adam Goshorn (23-151-2) and Neil Bodley (26-148-4) give the Indians a well-balanced attack.
However, with Goshorn and Bodley both dressed in street clothes and standing on the sideline nursing concussions, Klingensmith inserted Scott Sneath and Chad Eberle, and the Indian ground attack never missed a beat.
Eberle amassed 176 yards on eight carries good for a pair of scores, Sneath chipped in with 58 yards on a half dozen totes and Saner again went over the century mark with 140 yards on 11 tries while scoring twice. For the game, Juniata backs combined for 429 net yards rushing.
“We had a couple of our top running backs out and we had to practice all week with some new kids,” Klingensmith said. “The Eberle boy and the Welfley boy was in there and the kids never missed a beat.”
As for Besch, the absence of Goshorn and Bodley combined with insertion of Sneath and Eberle might have been responsible for throwing a wrench into the wheel of the Raider defensive scheme.
“I thought we were going to face a team that was going to power us and do some other things,” Besch said. “They were able to do some things differently than I had originally thought and when you fall behind like we did, it makes it tough to play catch-up. I didn’t have the team prepared the way that I was hoping to so now we are going to go back to the chalkboard because next week we have another game to play.”
Not only happy with the win, Klingensmith was also proud of the shutout his team tossed at the Raiders.
“We played well both offensively and defensively and this was our first shutout,” said Klingensmith. “Our defense was outstanding and I am very proud of them. I told the kids all season long that we are a good football team, but we just haven’t jelled yet, but tonight I think we did. Our record is deceiving at 2-2 because I feel that we can beat anyone our schedule.”
The Indians went on the warpath early and often as they scored 14 points in the opening period before adding another 29 in the second quarter for a 43-0 halftime lead.
Sneath opened the scoring when he ripped off a 38-yard scoring jaunt before Saner tallied the second Juniata TD on an 11-yard run.
Colton Shertzer got into the act to open the second period scoring on a 1-yard run, and following Shertzer’s score, it only took the Indians three plays to score more three touchdowns when Saner ripped off the left side of his line from 55 yards out before Eberle raced 74 and 41 yards for his pair of scores.
With the reserves of both teams on the field, Dakota McNemar scored on an 11-yard run for Juniata’s seventh touchdown of the night.