ALEXANDRIA - Southern Huntingdon spent most of Friday night struggling to successfully hand a ball off while Juniata Valley's Caleb Taylor was running Mike Smith's Wing-T offense to perfection.
The result was a 46-0 drubbing in the Green Hornets' favor that signaled what Smith hopes is another solid season in Alexandria.
"Caleb knows the offense inside and out and having him in there is everything," Smith said. "I had a couple issues calling plays, but he knows the play before I even get half of it out. The confidence he brings to the huddle is invaluable."
Taylor engineered seven touchdown drives while passing for 60 yards and rushing for 38 yards and a touchdown. Jesse Claar benefited the most from the smooth offense, rushing for 132 yards on 23 carries and finishing with three scores, including a 53-yard run to open the scoring in the second half.
"Our coach gave us a great scouting report on them," Taylor said. "We were set up for success."
Juniata Valley forced six turnovers, including five forced fumbles. Many of the fumbles resulted in Green Hornets simply ripping the ball away when Southern Huntingdon quarterback Tyler Carowick tried to hand the ball off.
"Every play I got someone hurt, and every other play we're fumbling the ball," Southern Huntingdon coach Ryan Garlock said. "I just don't really know how you fix that."
The game was scoreless through the first quarter thanks to a Juniata Valley turnover on the Rockets' 9-yard line with 6:03 left in the first quarter. Southern Huntingdon was unable to take advantage of the momentum shift, however, finishing with a net total of -2 yards in the first quarter. The Rockets finished with 47 total yards, 29 of which came on a Cam Woodward reception just before halftime.
"The way we played tonight gives me high hopes for this season," Claar said. "Our defense was superb."
Caleb Wagner added a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Green Hornets and had 65 yards on seven carries. Wagner's 19-yard score with 3:48 left in the third quarter made it 39-0 and started the running clock.
It couldn't run fast enough for Garlock.
"It snowballed from the first bad snap to the quarterback the whole way to the fourth quarter," Garlock said. "That had to be the longest four quarters I've ever been a part of. It has to be about midnight. What a long freaking game."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
So. Huntingdon0 20 19 7 - 46
Juniata Valley0 0 0 0 - 0
JV-Claar 2 run (Taylor kick), 9:39
JV-Taylor 1 run (Taylor kick), 8:01
JV-Wagner 2 run (kick failed), 5:07
JV-Claar 53 run (kick failed), 10:40
JV-Claar 1 run (kick failed), 4:49
JV-Wagner 19 run (Taylor kick), 3:48.
JV-Mills 4 run (Taylor kick), 2:15
RUSHING: Southern Huntingdon-Parks 7-14, Vaughn 6-7, Simerson 1-1, N. Carowick 1-(-1), Woodward 1-(-6), T. Carowick 7-(-5). Juniata Valley-Claar 23-132, Wagner 7-65, Taylor 6-38, Maysonet 10-34, McMullen 1-31, Mills 2-0.
PASSING: Southern Huntingdon-T. Carowick 3-7-1-37. Juniata Valley-Taylor 5-8-0-60, Claar 1-1-0-18.
RECEIVING: Southern Huntingdon-Woodward 2-37, Parks 1-0. Juniata Valley-Gildea 2-34, Claar 2-21, Gable 1-17, Maysonet 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Southern Huntingdon-none. Juniata Valley-Maysonet.