Eagles Strike Twice Late to Get Past McDaniel

Zach Krug
Zach Krug tallied 2.5 sacks as the Eagle defense caused problems for the McDaniel offense all day long.

WESTMINSTER, Md.- The Juniata football team scored twice in the final two minutes of the game to pull away from McDaniel with a 28-14 victory, Saturday afternoon at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium.  

The Eagles started with the ball to open the game, and put together one their best drives of the seasons as they methodically went 75 yards on 14 plays while using over seven minutes of game clock.  Austin Montgomery (Bedford, Pa. / Bedford Area HS) found Ben Lauver (Mifflintown, Pa. / Juniata H.S.) for a nine-yard gain, Calvin Bembry II (Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) for a 14 yards and Jake Puia (Slatington, Pa. / Parkland HS) for four yards to help get the Eagles into McDaniel territory. Montgomery found Lauver again for 32 yards to get down to the Terror eight-yard line. A Bembry II rush followed by short completions to Sean Owens (Schwenksville, Pa. / Perkiomen Valley HS) and Shaheed Ross (Philadelphia, Pa. / Delaware Valley Charter HS) left JC at the one. Charles Debose (Tonawand, N.Y. / Cardinal O'Hara HS) ran it in to get the Eagles on the board first. 

The Eagle defense forced a punt from the JC 45, on third and five Zach Krug (Ashville, Pa. / Penn Cambria HS) got to the quarterback to end the drive. 

The Eagle offense was forced to punt on their next drive. McDaniel took over at the Eagle 42 and drove the ball down to the JC 25. They attempted a 42-yard field goal that was blocked by Adam Kipp (Mt. Wolf, Pa. / Northeastern) and recovered by Joshua Singleton (Philadelphia, Pa. / Olney HS West) at the 27.  

Juniata began to drive again, with Montgomery picking up 18 yards on the ground, finding Owens for 15 yards and Nathan Bargo (Reedsville, Pa. / Mifflin County HS) for 14 to get the Eagles back in the red zone. On third and goal from the three, Debose ran it in for his second TD of the game and put the Eagles up 14-0. 

Juniata led 14-0 at the half. 

The teams traded punts to open the third before McDaniel embarked on a 16 play, 76-yard drive that lasted over eight minutes and into the fourth. It culminated in a Green Terror touchdown to pull the hosts within seven. 

Juniata couldn't get anything going, so McDaniel took over at their own 38. They went 62 yards on seven plays, all rushing, and found the end zone again to tie things at 14-14. 

The Eagles responded with another long drive, this one 14 plays over 75 yards. Debose carried the ball for 17 total yards, Montgomery found Owens for a 14-yard pickup and on third & three found Lauver for a touchdown to give Juniata the lead with a minute and 40 seconds to go in the game.  

This was the first game since the Dickinson 38-14 win in 2017 that the defense held a team under 20 points.  

The defense held firm, and on fourth and four, they forced an incomplete pass to get the turnover on downs at the McDaniel 47. Bembry broke a 44-yard run to the Green Terror three, and two plays later he tacked on a touchdown to ensure the victory.

This was the first game since 2013 against Susquehanna that the defense managed to hold an opponent under 200 yards of total offense.   

The Eagles head into the bye week 2-3 (2-2 in conference) and will take on Gettysburg Saturday, October 19th.