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GAME RECAP: Juniata 48 - James Buchanan 0

By Fred Parnell, Juniata Football Past & Present

MEXICO, PA -- I just finished watching the game film and changed my mind only slightly about what I intended to write. I was going to lead with “Juniata came out a little flat to open the game”. That really wasn’t the case. Coach Condo used the term sloppy and I think that is more accurate.

After one quarter, the Indians led 7-0 but it was obvious that they were the superior team. Moving forward they dominated all facets of the game and walked away with a 48-0 whitewash of the Rockets. And it needs noted that this shutout was number three in a row and third for the season. Last year’s unbelievable defense tallied five shutout in their 13 game season. This year’s team has a chance of equaling that benchmark. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I am an avid Juniata fan; I have to be, having been connected to the team in one facet or another since 1963. But I feel an obligation when writing these pieces to be neutral, calling it as I see it. And what I saw last night was a complete performance by a team gaining confidence. However, I did find one thing to be disconcerting. We were flagged 7 times for 75 yards. It didn’t matter in a game like this but it will matter if we do it next week. We need to clean that up.

It’s now crunch time. The two best teams on our remaining schedule are coming up on the road the next two weeks, that being Boiling Springs and Upper Dauphin. Both games are winnable. But both games are also potential losses if we don’t play well. Boiling Springs has become somewhat of an enigma the last few weeks having lost three games in row. In their defense all three losses were against quality teams.

And then there is Upper Dauphin with a very dangerous offense coupled with a somewhat porous defense. Both teams present a challenge. My gut tells me the Boiling Springs game is a toss up while the Upper Dauphin game is one we should win, if our defense comes to play and they always do. What I can say for sure is the next two Friday nights will be interesting.

In other games of interest last night Boiling Springs got blown out by a very good West Perry team. Bellefonte got shut out by Hollidaysburg. Dubois got shutout by Punxsutawney and Meadville hammered a good but not great Oil City team. The only surprise here is how badly Boiling Springs was defeated by West Perry.

When District VI announces the updated District power rankings tomorrow morning, they will look like this:

Juniata 430

Bellefonte 90

Greater Johnstown 0

We are now a virtual lock to secure the number one seed. But there is a potential problem. If Bellefonte fails to win another game (and this is possible) then they will finish the season 1-9. Will they elect to play in the District Championship game with only one win? Last year they played with a 2-8 record. I would like to see them win one more game (it would most likely be against Huntingdon). If Bellefonte elects to not play, we become the District Champions without having to win it on the field. That takes some of the luster away, through no fault of our own.

Keep watching this page for the latest update on the District situation.

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