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Juniata captures D6 title in rollercoaster title tilt over Bellefonte

Bellefonte    Juniata

Juniata         0 14 7 3 -24

Bellefonte     7  7 7 0 – 21

Scoring

First quarter

Bellefonte – Chris Palosky 9-yard TD run (Hayden Walker kick),5:28.

Second quarter

Juniata – Jacob Condo 18-yard TD pass to Yaniel Ortiz (Ben Wagner kick), 9:08.

Bellefonte – Jalen Emel 62-yard run (Walker kick), 8:48.

Juniata – Codo 10-yard TD pass to Jace White (Wagner kick) :50.

Third Quarter

Bellefonte – Emel 5-yard TD run (Walker kick), 4:41.

Juniata – Caleb Seeger 63-yard run (Wagner kick), 3:38.

Fourth Quarter

Juniata – Wagner 23 -yard field goal, 3:56.

TEAM STATISTICS

                                   JUN   BEL

First Downs               14     17

Rushes-Yards     37-215 34-272

Comp-Att-Int       6-14-1 6-15-2

Passing Yards        64       80

Total Plays-Yards   279   329

Fumbles-Lost         0-0   3-1

Penalties-Yards    4-25  2-25

 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Juniata – Jace White 7-19, Jacob Condo 16-75, Yaniel Ortiz 8-48, Caleb Seeger 6-73. .

Bellefonte – Jacob Hummel 3-23, Jalen Emel 22-229, Team 4-(-45), Chris Paloskey 4-63, Ethan Rossman 1-2.

Passing: Juniata – Condo 6-14 64. Bellefonte – Ethan Rossman 2-4 25, Emel 4-11 55.

Receiving: Juniata – . Bellefonte – Fitzgerald 1-14, Stephen Icivic 5-66.

Interceptions— JUN  – 2. BEL – 1.

By Kenny Varner

ALTOONA – With time running out in the fourth quarter, Bellefonte and Juniata found themselves tied at 21 in this year’s District 6 Class AAAA championship game.

Facing fourth down and goal on the six, the Indians chose to try their first field goal of the season.

Kicker Ben Wagner set up for a 23-yard field goal with 3:56 left. He hit it through the uprights, giving them a 24-21 lead.

Minutes later with Bellefonte driving  Zachary Harr snatched a Jalen Emel pass, giving Juniata its first District championship in 31 years, 24-21.

“It was tough for the kids. They put a lot of time in. Some of these kids were fifth graders when we came in,” said Bellefonte coach Shanon Manning. “For them to fall short it hurts. We fought hard. We could have rolled over after we lost to Penns Valley. We didn’t. We kept playing hard. I’m proud of them.”

It was a championship game that lived up to the hype.

With the 4-1 Juniata football team facing a 3-3 Bellefonte in the District 6 Class 4A.

Emel and his offensive line had its running game in full force, finishing with 229. He also finished with 55 yards passing in the contest.

Juniata quarterback Jacob Condo finished with 75 yards rushing and 64 through the air.

Bellefonte used a time consuming drive to get its offense started in the third.

The Red Raiders marched down the field using mainly its running by Emel and his passes to Stephen Icivic.

After driving down the field for a 13-play drive, Emel scored on a 5-yard run, upping it with the PAT to 21-14 with 4:41 left in the third.

It it didn’t take Juniata long to answer the call to tie the contest once they got the ball back.

Caleb Seeger broke through the line and blazed his way down the field for a 63-yard TD run tying things again.

“I think getting that quick touchdown after they scored, changed the momentum there when we were struggling defensively,” said Juniata coach Kurt Condo. “Really we didn’t have much control there until the end. That was the type of game it was. The kids never quit. They fought hard. They knew the adversity they faced all season long. Coming into the game we told them the game was going to come down to who wanted the most.”

It was a battle from the very start.

After holding Juniata on its first possession of the game, the Bellefonte defense got the ball on its own 23.

The Red Raiders went to its running game after picking up two first downs.

Facing a fourth down and 10 from the Its own 23, Bellefonte captured its  second first down on a 14-yard hook up from Jalen Emel to Ryan Fitzgerald, putting the ball down to its 37.

On the next play, Emel called his own number and broke loose into the secondary for a 48-yard scamper to the Indians 15.

Two plays later, while facing a third down Chris Paloasky blasted his way in from nine yards out. With a Hayden Walker kick, the Red Raiders held a 7-0 advantage with 5:28 left in the opening period.

After a couple of alternating turnovers, and four exchanges, Juniata worked its way down the field to knot the game at seven.

It took 10-plays but the Indians scored on. 4th down when Jacob Condo hit Yaniel Ortiz on a 18-yard TD hook up,tying the contest at seven.

But before the Indians had a chance to celebrate, the Red Raiders took back the lead on a 67-yard run by Emel on the first play from scrimmage.

However, the Indians took the two teams into the intermission tied at 14 when Condo hit a covered Jace White with 50 seconds left.

The game had a sense of the possible excitement that would come in the second half.

With the win, the Juniata improves  to 5-1 on the year while the Red Raiders fall to 3-4.

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