ALEXANDRIA — Glendale fell into a 22-6 halftime hole Friday evening at Juniata Valley. The Vikings got things rolling better in the second half, but only managed to play even over the final 24 minutes and lost a 37-20 decision.
The Vikings slip to 2-4 on the season, while the Hornets improve to 4-2.
Glendale got off to a rocky start.
The Vikings fumbled the opening kickoff, giving Valley the ball at the 28. Five plays later, Hornets’ Gabe Brower went straight up the gut for the 1-yard TD. He then ran for the two-point conversion to give the Hornets an 8-0 lead.
“That’s the way our season has gone,” said Viking coach Dave Trexler. “We’ve made a lot of little mistakes that have cost. We’re a better team than we’ve been showing. We just don’t have the depth to overcome those things.”
After a four-and-out, Glendale got on the scoreboard when Blaine Seilhamer picked off a Hunter Johnson pass and returned it 24 yards for a TD. The Vikings tried to pass for the two-point conversion, but missed the connection.
Valley came right back, marching 67 yards in six plays. Brower ran for 27 to get things started, then Hunter Johnson finished it with a 29-yard pass to Jacob Johnson. This time, Jacob Rodkey kicked the PAT and the Hornets led 15-0 with 4:44 left in the opening quarter.
Another three-and-out led to Valley regaining possession at the Viking 44. It took 10 plays for the Hornets to score. Adam Boone started the drive with a 12-yard run and Brower picked up 10 on a reverse. Fullback Jayce Rand scored the TD on an eight-yard toss sweep. He was hit short of the goalline, but twisted into the end zone. Rodkey again converted the kick.
Glendale had a couple big plays in the closing minutes of the half. Garrett Misiura completed a 30-yard pass to Seilhamer and a 23-yarder to Zeke Dubler, but the Vikings couldn’t get into the end zone.
Glendale got the second half off to a pretty good start, stopping Valley on fourth-and-one from the Viking 13.
However, a 43-yard run by Brower on the Hornets’ second possession of the half moved them well into Viking territory. Six plays later, Boone powered up the middle for the TD with just 1:44 left in the third period. Hunter Johnson ran for two-point conversion after a bad snap on the kick attempt and the Hornets led 23-6.
Glendale came right back, marching 73 yards in 11 plays. Misiura completed four passes along the way for 45 of those yards. Misiura eventually scored on a 3-yard option keeper, then passed to Seilhamer for the two-point conversion.
Three plays into the Hornets’ next possession, Brower took the ball on a sweep to the right, patiently waited for his blockers to clear the way, then sprinted 54 yards down the sideline for Valley’s final TD of the night.
Glendale continued to use the airways on its next possession. Misiura completed three passes to Seilhamer for 72 yards, the last a nine-yarder to complete a 94-yard, eight play march to set the final score with 3:06 left to play.
“Juniata Valley has a very good, battle-tested team,” Trexler added. “They play a very physical game, but we stayed right with them blow-for-blow in the second half. It’s a good sign that we were able to play right with them.”
Misiura fiinished his night completing 13 of 18 passes for 210 yards and a TD. Zeke Dubler had eight catches for 103 yards and Seilhamer caught five for 107 and the score.
The Vikings struggled on the ground, netting just 50 yards. Suds Dubler led the way with 52 on a dozen carries.