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Johnson, Mustangs Hurdle Indians in Opener

Written by: on Saturday, August 25th, 2018



What could have been a night to remember for the fans of the Juniata Indians, ended up being a night to forget. In a matchup against the West Perry Mustangs, a team they have not played since 1991, the Indians fell and didn’t put points on the board, falling 41- 0.

Coach Gary Klingensmith, coaching in his 50thseason at Juniata High School, would have earned his 300thwin Friday night with a victory against the West Perry Mustangs. The Mustangs stole the story, and in particular, Kenyon Johnson stole the night with his electric playmaking.

Johnson was the focal point of the Mustang offense all night long, taking the majority of the snaps for the game, and breaking multiple plays for 20 or more yards. His ultimate highlight of the night came early in 2ndquarter. The Mustangs had the ball on the Indians’ 20-yard line when Johnson broke out to the left, got a great block from his running back, hurdled the final Indian defender and front flipped into the end zone for the 14-0 lead.

Johnson kept rolling throughout the first half, breaking out a 30-yard touchdown run on the very next drive and putting a 3-possession cushion on the board heading in to halftime.

In the second half, the Indians tried to force the Mustangs to beat them through the air, and at the start of the half, it seemed it might work as they forced a fumble on the first drive. However, after an empty drive by the Indians, Johnson throws a 50-yard pass that set the Mustangs up in the red zone and would later throw a short touchdown pass to open the score further. He would do the exact same thing on the very next Mustang drive.

When asked about what was going through his head at the moment front flip opportunity formed in front of him, Johnson said: “I got a great block in front of me. It was down to the last defender between me and the end zone, and there was only one way to do it.”

There was “only one way to do it” for Johnson and that way was spectacular. If opening night is anything to expect for the rest of the season, Johnson could be looking to have an amazing year for the Mustangs.

Hopefully though for the Indians, the opening night isn’t what to expect for the rest of the season. The Indians struggled to find any rhythm on offense and did not enter the red zone once all game.

The Indians also battled the opening night injury bug. On their first drive of the game, Senior captain Bryson Clark went down with what was reported to be a hamstring injury that sat him out for the rest of the game. Many other players including quarterback Jeremiah Parson were seen limping or grimacing by the end of the game.

Hopefully some of those aches and pains subside for the Indians as they travel to Tri-Valley High School on August 31 in their first league game of the year. And, for Indian fans, hopefully Klingensmith can earn his 300thwin then.

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