Bearcat Preview, Week 5: Huntingdon vs Juniata
Written by: Chad States on Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Fridays’s game matches the 5-0 Bearcats vs the 4-1 Indians. Last week the ‘Cats breezed to a 56-8 victory over an over matched Penns Valley team. Speaking of breezing, Juniata defeated Millersburg 70-0 in Tri-Valley league action. Juniata was the District 6 runner-up last year.
Huntingdon has wins over Mount Union (57-0), Bellefonte (52-31), Tyrone (26-14) , Clearfield (45-27) and Penns Valley (56-8)
Juniata has wins over Susquenita (35-0), East Juniata (31-10), Tri Valley (7-0) and Millersburg (70-0). Their lone loss is against Williams Valley 35-13.
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OFFENSE: Huntingdon has weapons. Many weapons. Try to shut down one and another emerges. Ian Border continues to lead the Bearcat ground attack amassing 890 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. The Bearcat rushing attack is averaging 7.0 yards per carry and 236 yards per game. Through the air, QB Andrew Hudy continues to be efficient throwing for 537 yards and 6 TD’s. He has also added another 108 yards rushing and 2TDs. The air attack is averaging 139 yards per game and 18.3 yards per completion. Jonathan Price continues to lead the receiving corps tallying 22 catches for 305 yards and 4 TD’s. Over the last couple of weeks, Jacob Wagner has emerged as another threat. Last week he had 3 catches for a season high 113 yards and an 80-yard TD. The Bearcats are averaging 375 yards of total offense and 47.2 points per game. The ‘Cats have outscored opponents 236-80.
DEFENSE: While the offense gets the headlines, the defense has more than done their fair share. The Bearcats limited Penns Valley to 8 points last week and 207 yards of total offense. Take away a late 4th quarter 60 yard against Huntingdon’s JV unit and the defense was even more impressive. Huntingdon is currently +6 in turnover ratio with 8 interceptions (Alex Mykut and Price lead the team with 2 each) and 4 fumble recoveries. The Bearcats are allowing 16.0 points per game and have allowed opponents into the Red Zone only 10 times in 5 games this season. With a 28% third down conversion rate by opponents, you can quickly see how well this unit is playing in all facets of the game. From the defensive line to the secondary, through the first five weeks the Bearcat defensive unit has been swarming opponents.
The Opponent: Juniata enters the game with a 4-1 record after a total demolition of Millersburg last week 70-0. The Indians are averaging 153 yards per game on the ground and are led by Bryson Clark with 280 yards and 7TD’s. Ethan Grove and Zac Piper each have over 100 yards rushing on the year. Quarterback Jeremiah Parson is the trigger man for an offense that is averaging 109 yards passing on the year. Parson has thrown for 492 yards and 4TD’s but has also thrown 4 INT’s. His favorite target is SR tight end Ben Lauver who has 10 catches for 174 yards. Stephen Ranck has 7 grabs, and Clark has 6 showing that Parson likes to spread the wealth. The Indians defense has tallied 19 sacks, 7 INT’s and 2 fumble recoveries through the first 5 games.
Keys to the game:
For Huntingdon—Jump out to an early lead (the ‘Cats have scored 101 pts in the 1st quarter this year) and force Juniata into playing catch up quickly. Limit the penalties (averaging 6 for 54 yds per game) and the Juniata passing game that they desperately want to unleash.
For Juniata—Easier said than done, but they must figure out a way to contain the Bearcat ground game and force Huntingdon to throw the football. Lauver is a fantastic tight end and he must figure prominently in this game. Play opportunistic defense and capitalize on any Bearcat mistakes.
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