By Fred Parnell, Juniata Football Past & Present
MEXICO, PA -- Since the Chief Logan Mingoes went out of existence, Juniata has been without a true rival. If I had to pick the closest thing to it, it would be the Newport Buffaloes. We have played them more often than any team and for the most part the series has been competitive with Juniata holding the edge.
Having said that, the Buffaloes team visiting Dietrick Field tomorrow night is not a typical Newport team. They seem lost. They have had three tough opponents but have not even put up a fight against any of them. They have scored a total of seven points while surrendering 145. I have to believe morale is very low at this point. But they do like to beat Juniata so I expect they will come out playing hard and if we don’t put them away early, things could get interesting.
I’m not about to say this is going to be a barn burner. I think it’s probably a 50-50 proposition that this game becomes a mercy rule game. Newport’s statistics show no one is standing out but in all fairness, their schedule mirrors ours. They have played three very good opponents. If Juniata takes care of the football and plays their usual game, this contest will not be in doubt. But you never know until you tee it up!
Now, turning to the Indians…This is a get well game for us. We got HANDLED last week. There is no other way to describe it. We got dominated on both sides of the ball. It’s time to rebound. The first thing that needs to happen is reestablishing the passing game. Last week we had no passing game. It wasn’t the quarterback’s fault. He was running for his life every time he dropped back to throw. There is no blame to be assessed here. This is the kind of thing that happens when you play a superior football team.
Juniata needs to forget about the West Perry game. The loss did not hurt our chances of obtaining any of our goals. The best thing we can do is treat this like the first game of the season because in a way it is. Being totally realistic we should be favored to win six of our remaining seven games Boiling Springs is very good but we’ll deal with them when that game arrives.
Juniata is still looking very good for Districts. A win tonight will had 80 ranking points and if Clearfield wins (which they certainly should) we will pick 10 bonus points. Bellefonte and Greater Johnstown have both yet to win. Looking at the schedules, I would think Bellefonte might win as many as three game and Greater Johnstown will be looking to just get in win…it’s been awhile!
Tonight is Military Appreciation Night so let’s pack the house and get Big Red headed back in the right direction.