By Fred Parnell
MEXICO, PA - I’m really looking forward to this one. We have two good football teams who know how to points on the board. They appear to rather evenly matched which should make for an exciting, competitive game.
The Indians have performed up to expectations while the Bubblers on the surface appear to be underperforming. But a close examination of their record (3-4) reveals that have played a very difficult schedule. Nonetheless, this was know in the preseason when the experts projected this team would go far in the AAAA state tournament. This seem unlikely now.
So, what should we expect in this matchup? I think both teams will move the ball and put points on the board. Looking at the defenses, I think Juniata has an advantage. They have been solid every week and there is no reason to believe they won’t be this game. I do wish this was a home game but we must travel to Boiling Springs, about an hours drive.
What does Juniata have to do to win this game? I thinks there are two things that would greatly enhance our chances…
(1) The defense needs to buck up and limit the Bubblers to 20 or fewer points.
(2) You’ve heard this before…commit fewer turnovers than Boiling Springs.
If we can accomplish these two things, I think we will a good chance of a pleasant trip home.
Let’s look down the road. Regardless of the outcome of the Boiling Springs game all our pre-season goals remain obtainable.
Winning the Liberty Division of the Mid-Penn League: Clearly this is a two horse race between us and Upper Dauphin. The winner of that game will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Conference Championship.
Making the District VI AAAA Playoffs. Realistically this already mission accomplished. We have a 99% chance of making the Districts regardless of what happens in the remaining regular season games.
Winning the District VI AAAA Championship. I’ll be brutally honest. Bellefonte is a bad football team. They have one win and best case scenario they will beat Huntingdon Friday night and end their season with a 2-8 record which was also their record last season. There is some question if Bellefonte will elect to participate in the District Tournament if they finish with one win. And that would not be good. I’m not certain what the District VI would do but most likely they would simply declare us the District Champion. Nobody wants to win a District Title that way. I will keep everyone updated on this situation.
With a District title in hand we would then go on the road to District IX to face their champion which will almost assuredly be Dubois. The game would be played somewhere in District IX. Dubois is improved and won’t be a push over. We will need to come ready to play.
If we are still alive after that we would again meet up with Meadville. And they are every bit as good as they were last season. One difference is we would not have to make that trip. The game will be played in District VI at either Altoona or Bald Eagle High School. Both are very nice facilities. But we have a lot to accomplish before we even think about that.
Boiling Springs deserves our full attention. They aren’t as good as previously advertised but they are far better than any Liberty Division team we have seen this year. It will take a total team effort to win this game. I expect to see just that.