Blackhawks Upset Indians
Written by: Brad Strawser on Friday, September 7th, 2018
Juniata started strong but left defeated as they fell to their league opponents, the Susquenita Blackhawks 28-14 at Detrick Field Friday night.
Storms loomed over the field an hour before kickoff, but as it got closer to game time the sun started to make its way through, and Juniata’s hopeful fans started pouring in. However, in this story, the sudden nice weather was not foreshadowing of good things to come for the home team.
Each team started the game with no success on the scoreboard through the first quarter. The Blackhawks made use of the read option and saw some success driving down the field. Yet, when things started to go well for them, their quarterback Antonio Garcia fumbled the ball and the Indians recovered.
The Indians would capitalize on this turnover with a 35-yard pass and catch between QB Jeremiah Parson and WR Steven Ranck. The pair would hook up for multiple big plays in the game, the two just couldn’t string enough together to keep the lead for the game.
Garcia would make up for his miscue on the next drive, bumping and grinding his way down the field to level the score in the 2ndquarter. Garcia would prove all night that he would be a problem for the Indian’s defense, especially in the 2ndhalf.
The biggest moment in the game for both teams came on the last play of the 1sthalf. The Indians drove the length of the field and were within the Hawk’s 15-yard line with 8 seconds to play. Parson completed a pass to a teammate by the far sideline. The receiver was brought down and both teams started celebrating. The official call on the field would be that the runner was down before the ball crossed the goal line, keeping the score tied going into halftime.
“That would affect the entire format of the game. I thought that play was a big momentum changer for sure,” said coach Gary Klingensmith on the play in question.
The play seemed to have an effect on the Indians as they entered their locker-room as they felt they were cheated.
At the start of the 2ndhalf however, the Indians came out and responded, as Ethan Grove broke free for a 65-yard touchdown that put the Indians back on top. This would be the last shining moment for the Indians on the night.
The night was marked with many big hits from both sides. The crowd could often be heard reacting to the sounds of cracking helmets or a low hit that would send a player flying. Hits like this sparked emotions out of both teams and tempers started to flare.
After each play, fans could see players getting in each other’s faces or getting away with taunting after big plays. This seemed to cause a wave of emotion on the field, and Susquenita took that wave and would ride it for offensive success down the stretch.
Garcia responded immediately to the Grove touchdown, by breaking off multiple rushes and leveling the score midway through the 3rd.
After an empty Indian drive, Austin Kenny would take his turn to score for the Blackhawks, and gave them their first lead of the night as the teams went in to the 4thquarter.
In the 4th, the Blackhawks would find themselves in the red zone with 6 minutes to play. The home defense pushed them to 4thdown. The Susquenita coaching staff decided they wanted as much space between them and the Indians that they would go for it on 4th-and-1 and would score the game’s final touchdown.
The Indians would try to work their way up the field in hopes to swing the momentum, but an errant pass by Parson landed in the hands of a Blackhawks defender, and the game was sealed.
“They controlled the ball way too much. For two straight weeks now, we’ve been in the game and put ourselves in position to win. We just haven’t been able to sustain,” Klingensmith said after the game.
A big win for Susquenita, who were big underdogs coming into the night, as the stole a big milestone win from Juniata. The team will have to keep searching for their coach’s 300thas they travel to Line Mountain (1-2) on September 14th.
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