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GAME REVIEW: Juniata vs Boiling Springs

BY FRED PARNELL, Juniata Football Past & Present.

MEXICO, PA -- I just finished watching the film of this game. It was as enjoyable as watching it live last night. It was a hard earned victory over a quality team. The Indians did it the hard way. They allowed the Bubblers to march down the field on the opening possession of the game and score a touchdown. It would be the last time they saw the end zone all night.

I can’t say enough about this defense. They forced SIX turnovers and as everyone knows by now, I consider turnover differential the most telling stat of them all. Tonight proved it. We committed ZERO turnovers. If you look at all the other stats, you wonder how we won the game. We had right about 150 yards of total offense while Boiling Springs had far bigger numbers. To win football games you absolutely have to take care of the ball. We did that last night and won a game that on paper we should have lost.

As usual I was with the Juniata County Radio gang and none of us saw the late game rally coming. We were not moving the ball consistently on the ground and the passing game was also not being productive. Fortunately Boiling Springs started treating the football like it was a hot potato and every time they put it on the ground we recovered it.

A game like this can provide great momentum moving forward. And we will need that momentum next week as we travel to Elizabethville to face a very dangerous Upper Dauphin team that scores points in bunches. They run an intricate offense that forces the defense into very specific assignments and if one of those assignments is missed, a huge play is often the result. The stakes are high for this game. The winner has a 99% chance of claiming the Liberty Division Championship. Add to that the fact that Juniata has never lost a Liberty Conference game and you have a lot riding on the outcome of this game. And oh by the way, a score from last night. Upper Dauphin 72, James Buchanan 13.

In other games of interest…Clearfield lost to a good Tyrone team. Bellefonte failed to beat a bad Huntingdon team and will most likely finish at 1-9. Will they elect to play in Districts with that record? I don’t know but I sure don’t want a District Campionship handed to us without it being earned on the field. Dubois lost a game they should have won. They will be our first opponent after District play and we will have to travel to District IX to face them. Meadville got hammered by a very good Erie McDowell team but should have no trouble getting by University Prep which would set up a Juniata/Meadville rematch should we get past Dubois which is certainly not a given. But the good news is should there be that rematch, it will happen in District VI, at either Mansion Park in Altoona or at Bald Eagle Area High School.

Oh, one more last thing…When D6 announcers their official updated District playoff standings on Sunday morning, they should look like this:

Juniata 540 Bellefonte. 90 Greater Johnstown. 0

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