Juniata Defeats Clearfield in Season Opener

By Fred Parnell, owner of Juniata Football Past & Present


JUNIATA. 20

CLEARFIELD. 7


It took over 24 hours to get this game played but it was worth it. The Indians put together an outstanding performance and sent Tim Janocko home without his 300th victory. He should get it next week against BEA.


I will have to admit I was surprised. Not that we won but that we played such a complete game. I have only a couple very minor negatives to bring up later. This was a complete team effort. The offense was varied. They mixed the running game and passing game together quite well. And speaking of the passing game, it was outstanding.


My early season concerns about the passing game are gone. Plus, the running game is solid. The mad scientist, otherwise known as Kurt Condo, is always adding new wrinkles and I am quite certain there are more to come.


About those two negatives. We missed two PAT’s. I’m not concerned about this yet. Juniata has a great coaching staff and will make whatever tweaks are necessary to fix this. Also, we had only one turnover in the game but we did put the ball on the ground several times. I always quote this stat because it is so telling: anytime a team commits two or more turnover more than their opponent, they have a 90% probability of losing that game. Ball security is critical.


Turning to the defense. This year’s defense is different. Last year’s defense was punch you in the face and throw you for big losses. In football parlance this year’s defense is more of a “bend don’t bread defense.” By that I mean they make you earn your points. They don’t give you the big plays. They are just very solid. Obviously, I am saying this after only one game. Maybe they will become more dominating, but I am very comfortable with a defense that surrenders only seven points to Clearfield. Congratulations on a job well done.


A LOOK AHEAD: Next week it gets even tougher. We have to make the trip out 35 to Selinsgrove to take on the Seals. Over the years, they have had our number. Our all-time record against Selinsgrove is 7-23 and this year’s team is VERY GOOD. The are already listed as Honorable Mention in the Class AAAA rankings! The game will be interesting for another reason…it will give us some idea of where we stand against District 4 foe Bellefonte. Selinsgrove shut out Bellefonte 32-0 Friday night. We will have to be considered underdogs in this but keep in mind we were considered underdogs against Clearfield. An interesting note about the Liberty Conference. Everybody in the Conference lost this week except Juniata and James Buchanan. That bodes very well for us in Conference play.


A LOOK AHEAD AT DISTRICTS AND BEYOND: With one exception all our potential opponents performed as expected. Bellefonte and Greater Johnstown got blitzed. Meadville put up over half of hundred points on the Board. University Prep lost to a team that I know nothing about. Carrick (another team from the District 8 won. The one unexpected result was a two touchdown Underdog Dubois beating Karns City by three touchdowns. In both Born and MaxPreps Karns City has the same power rating as Juniata. That throws up a red flag. We will get a much better handle on how good Dubois is in two weeks as they match up with Clearfield. We would run into Dubois if we win Districts so we need to keep an eye on them.


In summary, it was a great game one for us. But we now go from the proverbial pot into the frying pan. It’s only a 45 minute trip out 35 to Selinsgrove. The team wants and needs your support. A large contingent of Big Fans will do nothing but help the cause…

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