ALEXANDRIA - With his team already trailing by a touchdown, Juniata Valley quarterback Seth Carper collapsed under a heap of Glendale defenders for a 9-yard loss on third down during the Green Hornets' fourth possession.
Carper stayed on the field for several minutes while trainers attended to his injured ankle.
Unfortunately for Glendale, he got up.
Juniata Valley coach Mike Smith discusses his team's win over Glendale
After Juniata Valley forced a Vikings' punt, Carper returned to the field and threw two touchdown passes, to seniors Nick Gildea and Rick Musser, in the final minute of the first half while leading the Hornets to a 28-20 victory Friday at A.R. Simkins Memorial Field.
"Our passing game really helped us to get the lead, and then we were able to run a little," Juniata Valley coach Mike Smith said. "I think Seth plays better when he's hurt, because he takes the time and thinks about his mechanics a little bit better."
With the victory, the Hornets improved to 6-0, but Carper has even higher goals.
Mirror photos by Patrick Waksmunski
Juniata Valley’s Nick Gildea catches a TD pass in front of Glendale’s Ty Stackhouse on Friday night.
"I thought the touchdowns sparked us going into halftime," said Carper, a senior playing his final home game on combined senior night and homecoming. "Our line really showed what they can do tonight, and I think they're going to carry us to an undefeated season."
For most of the second half, it appeared the Hornets would cruise to a victory.
Glendale didn't make a first down on its first two possessions of the second half, and Juniata Valley used an 11-play touchdown drive to burn the rest of the third quarter.
"We knew coming in that we had to possess the ball as long as possible," Smith said. "We know [Glendale quarterback Tyler] Jenny is very good, and their offense is very good and well coached.
"We knew we had to keep the ball as long as possible, and we had a couple nice drives."
Jenny threw an interception to Mason Varner on the first play of Glendale's next possession. The Hornets followed with a 14-play touchdown drive that was capped by Dalton Weicenburg's second rushing touchdown of the game, and the Vikings had only 3:44 left to make up a 28-7 deficit.
They nearly did.
Jenny completed passes of 11 and 50 yards that set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Ferrell to cap a 37-second drive.
Glendale recovered the ensuing onside kick, and Jenny went right back to work. He found Ferrell for a 17-yard gain and then connected with Ethan Cree on a 8-yard touchdown to finish a 24-second drive. Mitch Gedman missed the extra point, but the Vikings were within one score with 2:43 remaining.
"We were right there at the end," Glendale coach Michael Keith said. "Our offense didn't get going until 3 minutes to go in the game. They had the ball the whole second half."
The Vikings nearly recovered a second onside kick, but used its timeouts and held Juniata Valley to a three-and-out to get the ball back with just less than 2 minutes to play.
Jenny connected with Lucas Westover, who had six catches for 123 yards and recovered a fumble in the end zone for Glendale's first score, on an 11-yard gain to the Vikings 47-yard line. Jenny tossed a pair of incompletions before finding Damon Braniff for 5 yards on third down, but Cree was hit just as Jenny's fourth down pass hit his hands. The ball fell to the ground, and the Hornets ran out the clock.
Glendale finished with three turnovers and eight penalties for 89 yards.
"When you turn the ball over you are never going to win a game," Keith said. "The penalties hurt. Put quotes around that word - penalties - in the paper."
Game notes: Lindsay Aungst was named Juniata Valley's homecoming queen at halftime. ... The Hornets travel to West Branch next week. ... Glendale hosts Bellwood-Antis.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Glendale0 7 0 13 - 20
Juniata Valley0 14 7 7 - 28
G-Westover rec. fumble in end zone (Gedman kick), 11:53.
JV-Gildea 6 pass from Carper (Sommers kick), 1:01.
JV-Musser 16 pass from Carper (Sommers kick), 0:18
JV-Weicenburg 3 run (Sommers kick), 0:04.
JV-Weicenburg 4 run (Sommers kick), 3:44.
G-Ferrell 10 pass from Jenny (Gedman kick), 3:07.
G-Cree 8 pass from Jenny (kick failed), 2:43.
RUSHING: Glendale-Jenny 8-48, Braniff 8-22, Bickford 6-24, Sutton 1-4, Cree 1-0. Juniata Valley-Morrison 19-56, Weicenburg 16-59, Varner 6-26, Carper 5-(-11), TEAM 3-(-3).
PASSING: Glendale-Jenny 15-27-1-192. Juniata Valley-Carper 6-11-1-79.
RECEIVING: Glendale-Westover 6-123, Ferrell 4-48, Bickford 2-1, Cree 1-8, Braniff 1-5, Stackhouse 1-7. Juniata Valley-Varner 2-26, Gildea 2-22, Musser 1-16, Morrison 1-15.
INTERCEPTIONS: Glendale-Ivory. Juniata Valley-Varner.