By Fred Parnell, Juniata Football Past & Present
Frankly this is a game that no one wants to see played. Juniata, probably the best team in the Conference against Halifax, clearly the worst team in the conference.
So realistically what are the goals for Juniata in this game. I think there are three:
(1) Put the game away as quickly as possible.
(2) Get the starters out as early as possible to avoid injuries
(3) Get the backups as much playing time experience as possible.
Halifax on the other hand hopes to get out the game with no injuries as they are playing with a very small roster. If you recall last season Halifax forfeited to Juniata at halftime because of not having enough healthy players to continue. Their numbers are bad again this season but not as bad as last season. Strangely enough, Halifax has won a game this season beating a team from Maryland that is in only their second season of football and the players are still learning the basics of the game.
Juniata, on the other hand is performing as well or maybe a little better than expected. They still have two tough games on the schedule, both on the road against Upper Dauphin and Boiling Springs. The post season is looking promising. Bellefonte remains winless but that will likely changed this Friday night. They will be favored to beat Philipsburg.
But, in this sport you have to take it one game at a time. If Halifax were a little better there would be a concern that Juniata will not take Halifax seriously. It probably won’t matter but it will be interesting to see just how they perform in this game. Next week is somewhat the same situation. But James Buchanan is a couple touchdown better than Halifax so we will have to be ready to play.
I think against Halifax the Mercy Rule will come into play. For those who don’t know the Mercy Rule comes into play when anytime in the second half a team gets ahead by 35 points or more. When it goes into effect, the clock runs continually with just a couple of exceptions. I guess we’ll see.
A word of caution for those of you making the trek to Halifax…it is supposed to be unseasonably cold with wind gusts approaching 20 miles per hour. Dress warmly!