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Klingensmith Ends on High

Written by: on Saturday, October 27th, 2018

 

Coach Gary Klingensmith knows how to make an exit, and he does so by leading the Juniata Indians to a second half comeback victory over the Newport Buffaloes 28-19. The night started with the Buffaloes taking the opening drive down the field and scoring the opening touchdown on a rush from the 1-yard line. After the opening drive, it looked like the Juniata defense may have had their hands full for the night.  

In the second, after multiple stops of the Juniata offense, Newport found their way into the end zone again with another 1-yard touchdown rush to make the score 13-0. With a little over 3 minutes left in the half quarterback Jacob Condo went over the top to find Steven Ranck wide open for a 25-yard touchdown to make the score 13-7 going into halftime. A halftime adjustment by Klingensmith and his staff turned the tide in the second half, and the Indians would go on to score a total of 21 unanswered points to lead the Buffaloes 21-13 by the end of the 3rdquarter. “We found out we couldn’t run a couple of our bread and butter plays. So, we went to a play we haven’t used since the start of the season, and it was the right thing. We were going off the right tackle and that got us some big chunks,” said Klingensmith after the game. Newport would start the final quarter with the ball, and quarterback Sean Taylor was able to complete a 13-yard touchdown pass to bring the game close. A failed two-point conversion however, kept the Indians in the lead with 7 minutes to play. The Indians worked their way down the field, eating as much time off the clock as they could, and Ty Martin scored to cushion the lead with just under 2 minutes to play in the game. The Buffaloes would try to work their way back, but Steven Ranck intercepted a Taylor pass over the middle to seal the game for the Indians.  

After the game, 50 years of Juniata football flooded the field to celebrate with coach Klingensmith. Klingensmith took pictures with a number of coaches that assisted him throughout his time at Juniata. Also, his first ever quarterback came on to the field to congratulate Gary on his career.  

Celebrations of Klingensmith lasted well after the final whistle blew, many people willing to stand in the cold and rain to get to see a football legend on the field for his final time. Gary said after the game, “I still have gas left in the tank, but it’s time to go.” The game against Newport was a landmark ending to an illustrious career.

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