Juniata Holds off Rams For Win
Written by: William Albright on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SPRING MILLS — Juniata and Penns Valley played in probably one of the longest football games in the history of either school that concluded here late Monday afternoon.
The game originally began Friday night with the opening kickoff at 7:01. After two lightning delays that lasted nearly three hours forcing postponement until Monday at 4 p.m., the two teams finally decided the issue at 5:25 with the Indians hanging on by their fingernails to post a 29-28 victory over the Rams.
“That was quite a game,” said an exhausted Juniata head coach Gary Klingensmith. “We came up with the big play when we needed it, but before that, our defense fell apart a little bit. I think we have to get ourselves in better shape.”
Despite the loss, Penns Valley coach Martin Tobias felt his players gave a good effort and left everything on the field.
“We as coaches are all very proud of the effort we got from the kids,” Tobias said. “They came out, played hard and overcame some mistakes they made to put themselves in a position to win the game.”
Although the Indians never trailed in the game and led by as many as 22 points (29-7), the final seconds proved to be of the anxious variety.
Taking a while to warm up, Ram senior quarterback Sam Snyder engineered his team to three straight touchdowns on TD tosses to Austin Auman, Derek Dasham and Taylor Collison to get the Rams within a point of tying the game with 30 ticks left on the clock.
“I don’t think we reacted very well to some of the passes,” said Klingensmith. “We have to come up with interceptions when he (Snyder) throws the ball like that which we didn’t do. But it is a win and I don’t care if it is by one point or a hundred points. It was a win, we needed it and we got it. Penns Valley has a good football team and we were just glad to get out here alive.”
Electing to go for the win instead of the tie, Tobias chose to go for two, but the Rams came up just short of the goal line and the Indians ran the final seconds off the clock following an unsuccessful onsides kick.
“We felt we had the momentum, it was a good play and it was something we had talked about,” said Tobias about the choice to go for the win. “We had it set up and the only debate was where we wanted the ball spotted because we weren’t sure if we wanted to run it from the middle or from a hash (mark). We may have rushed it a little bit because time was running down (on the play clock) and we didn’t have any time outs left.”
Leading the Indians to their win was a stable of running backs that combined to total 326 yards overland while scoring all four touchdowns.
Two of the Juniata backs eclipsed the century mark as Cody Saner rushed 19 times for 115 yards, while Neil Bodley was close behind Saner with 13 totes for 105 yards and once score despite seeing limited action Monday while nursing an injury.
“We had to go without Bodley for most of today (Monday), but the other guys picked up the slack and did an outstanding job,” said Klingensmith. “We had a lot of young kids step in for some of the other guys who were tied and injured and that was big for us.”
As for the Juniata running attack, Tobias was anything but surprised by their plan of attack.
“That is the way they play the game,” he said. “They are hard-nosed, tough kids and that is a good football team. They can mix up the power running with some speed to the edges and that is a typical, well-coached Gary Klingensmith team.”
If there was a turning point in the game, it might have been when the Rams had a chance to run out the clock in the first half, but they fumbled a punt that resulted in a Juniata touchdown on the final play before halftime.
“That was big. Yeah, that was big,” Klingensmith said. “We didn’t get the interceptions we wanted, but we did get the fumbles and that was probably the biggest one of the game. One way or the other, we got the ball on that play and that was big for us.”
Although his Rams put the ball on the ground seven times in the loss, losing three of them, Tobias agreed that the one right before halftime was a big factor in the outcome of the game.
“That (lost fumble) set them up in good position to go ahead and punch one in just before halftime,” Tobias said. “There were a lot of critical plays out there and anytime you put the ball on the ground to give the other team more possessions and good field position, you are putting yourself in a world of hurt.”
While Juniata featured the ground attack, the Rams, behind the right arm of Snyder, did their major damage through the airways. For the game, the senior quarterback completed 20 of 32 attempts for 310 yards and four scores.
“He (Snyder) did a very nice job,” praised Tobias. “Those are the things we have as far as expectations for the kids when they are playing together as a group. Sam obviously took control, led them down the field and put some points on the board for us.”
In Friday’s action, neither team could find the end zone in the opening period, but when play resumed following the first delay, the Indians went on the warpath to score a pair of quick touchdowns on runs of 26 and six yards by Bodley.
On the final play before the second delay that ultimately marked the end of the Friday action with 4:31 remaining in the second period, Snyder found Weaver behind the Juniata defense in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard TD connection.
That was where action picked up Monday afternoon with Greg Witherite tacking on the PAT from placement.
Juniata 0 22 7 0 — 29
Penns Valley 0 7 7 14 — 28
Jun — Neil Bodley 26 run. (Chad Eberle kick). (8:56)
Jun — Bodley 6 run. (Eberle kick). (7:59)
PV — Luke Weaver 10 pass from Sam Snyder. (PAT not attempted) (4:31).
Jun — Bodley 3 run (Bodley rush)(:00)
Jun — Cody Saner 2 run (Eberle kick)(5:19)
PV — Austin Auman 15 pass from Snyder. (Witherite kick)(:04)
PV — Derek Dasham 57 pass from Snyder (Snyder to Weaver pass)(6:14)
PV — Taylor Collison 19 pass from Snyder (rush failed)(:30)
Team Statistics Jun PV
First Downs 17 13
Rushes-Yards 58-326 20-46
Passing Yards 33 310
Passing 2-9-1 20-32-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 7-4
Penalties-Yards 7-68 4-35
Jun: Cody Saner 19-115, 3 TDs; Neil Bodley 13-105, 1 TD; Adam Goshorn 12-80, Scott Sneath 6-11, Colton Shertzer 5-6, Eric Johnson 10-6, Skyler Welfley 2-3.
PV: Austin Auman 7-71, Taylor Collison 2-5, Sam Snyder 11-minus 30.
Jun: Colton Shertzer 2-9, 33 yards, 1 interception
PV: Sam Snyder 20-32, 310 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Jun: Brandon Boone 1-25, Cody Saner 1-8.
PV: Derek Dasham 3-89, 1 TD; Austin Auman, 5-67, 1 TD; Taylor Collison 5-57, 1 TD; Ian Brown 2-38, Luke Weaver, 3-36, 1 TD; Sam Koser 1-21, Dominic Hook 1-2.
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