Blue Jays Blank Eagles

Matt Denver

HUNTINGDON, Pa.-A banged up Juniata football team lost the penultimate game of their season to visiting #17 Johns Hopkins, 56-0, on a cool sunny afternoon at Knox Stadium. 

Johns Hopkins capitalized on their first three drives of the game as their third touchdown put them ahead 21-0 nine seconds into the second quarter.  

On first and 10 from the Johns Hopkins 37 midway through the second, Josh Parson (Port Royal, Pa. / Juniata H.S. (Kutztown)) recovered a fumble to help the defense get their first stop of the day. 

Johns Hopkins managed two more scores before the half ended, as Juniata went into the locker room trailing 35-0. 

The Blue Jays started with the ball and started to move down the field, getting into the red zone. On second and five from the Eagle 14, Zeb Fowler (Huntingdon, Pa. / Huntingdon Area HS) and Zach Krug (Ashville, Pa. / Penn Cambria HS) sliced into the backfield and brought down the running back for a five-yard loss. After JHU failed on third down, they set up to attempt a 36-yard field goal. A false start set them back five yards and Juniata took advantage. Krug blocked the kick and Adam Grajewski (Export, Pa. / Franklin Regional HS) scooped it up and ran it back to the Johns Hopkins 43. 

Juniata could not gain any traction, and had to punt again. A well-placed Brendan Gardner (Muncy, Pa. / Hughesville Area HS) punt made the Blue Jays start at their own nine. A 33-yard pass through the air and runs of six, ,11 and 14 yards quickly moved the Blue Jays in to the red zone again. On first and 10, Thayer Phillips (Cuddy, Pa. / South Fayette HS) and Kaleb Weyant (East Freedom, Pa. / Central) combined for an 11-yard sack to move JHU back to the JC 28. Hopkins couldn't convert on their next three plays, including on fourth down, and Juniata took over at their own 23.

Jason Jones (Port Matilda, Pa. / Bald Eagle Area) found Daulton Snyder (New Oxford, Pa. / New Oxford) for a 14-yard gain and a first down, but Juniata couldn't keep it going and had to punt again. Gardner boomed a punt 59 yards, but it bounced into the end zone for a touchback. 

Nine play 80-yard drive ended with a three-yard run as Hopkins went up 42-0 with thirteen and half minutes remaining in the game.  The Blue Jays scored twice more in the quarter to push their advantage to 56.

Gardner had 11 punts for 446 yards and an average of 40.5. Grajewski had a game high nine total tackles along with a pass breakup. Five other Eagles tied with sack total tackles.  

Juniata will wrap up their season next Saturday at Susquehanna for the annual Goalpost Game at 1:00.