It boggles the mind that is the last game of the regular season. The season just flew by. It closes with a very tough opponent, the Susquenita Blackhawks. For those into score comparisons, the Blackhawks defeated Line Mountain by two touchdowns. This is not always an accurate gauge, but it indicates that this will not be a walk in the park.
I was unsuccessful in finding any season statistics for Susquenita. One advantage of my having spent 60 years of association with Juniata football is I know people everywhere throughout the Tri Valley League(now the Liberty Conference). My contact at Susquenita tells me that the Blackhawks are in love with the forward pass. They would rather pass than run.
Is this a good or bad thing? It could be either. We have a good defense including our secondary. The key will be putting pressure on the quarterback. The quarterback hasn’t been born who can throw successfully from his back. We have some outstanding pass rushers and they will play a key role in this game. What I don’t know is just how good their running game is. If it is not good enough to successfully move the chains, I think we will be in a really excellent position.
On the flip side of the ball, Juniata’s offense has not been firing on all cylinders lately. We can attribute some of that to facing good defenses. Susquenita’ s defense does not appear to be exceptional as they have surrendered 30 or more points on three different occasions. I think we can and will move the ball and score on the Blackhawks.
So, putting it all together, it once again comes down to what nearly every game comes down: limiting the opponent’s chunk plays (plays gaining 20+plays). And of course, win the turnover battle. By winning the turnover battle, I mean having two or more fewer turnovers than their opponent.
I am obviously biases but I think Big Red rises to the occasion and closes out the regular season with a win. It will not be easy, but I like the attitude and tenacity of this team; they have never quit and will do what it takes to close out a successful season with a win. As always, fan support is a big asset to this team. Since we’ve been to Susquenita, they have made major upgrades to their facilities. They now have the best facility in the Liberty Conference. And at this time of the year the weather will be good.
Help the team out, make the trek to Cove and show your support for the Indians.