WILLIAMSTOWN - When Neil Bodley executed a quarterback keeper for an eight-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, the Juniata Indians were in business. After all, the Williams Valley Vikings came into the game 7-0 and were heavily favored to keep right on winning.
Bodley's sneak pulled the Indians within 13-6 with just over six minutes remaining in the third stanza.
Juniata's dreams of glory ended, however, when the Indians gave up a touchdown on the ensuing possession and ended up falling to the unbeaten Vikings by a 27-12 count.
On Williams Valley's decisive drive, Brendan Miller took the kickoff back to midfield. After four runs by Cole Barnhart netted 13 yards, Vikings quarterback Stephen Sedesse found Miller wide open down the middle for a 37-yard scoring strike. Miller again was the recipient on the two-point conversion pass and the Vikings held a 21-6 lead at the end of the third quarter.
"That was tough to come back from," Juniata coach Gary Klingensmith said. "But I'm proud of our kids. We played with a lot of fortitude."
The Vikings scored first in the contest as Barnhart slipped into the end zone from the two yard line. The PAT made it 7-0 Williams Valley.
*Juniata travels to Halifax Oct. 26
Following Jake Mika's second fumble recovery of the half, the Vikings were in business again from the Juniata 30. Barnhart ripped off a 25-yard scamper, and Williams Valley set up first-and-goal from the five yard line. Two plays later, fullback Trevor Whelski hit paydirt, staking Williams Valley to a 13-0 lead.
That lead would last into halftime.
However, with 1:44 left in the first half, lightning struck - literally - and the contest was suspended for about 35-40 minutes.
In the third, Bodley was a machine as the Indians mounted their comeback. He intercepted Sedesse in the end zone and then, from both the quarterback and runningback positions, he gained 24 yards (and two first downs) on four carries.
Bodley then calmly heaved a 49-yard strike to wing back Scott Sneath, setting the Indians up at the Williams Valley 8-yard line. Bodley took it in from there to make it 13-6.
Following the decisive drive by Williams Valley, the teams traded scores in the fourth.
Barnhart ripped off a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 27-6. Then Cole Kellison hit Sheldon Miller with a four-yard TD pass before the Vikings ran out the clock.
"I am proud of the way they played,"?Klingensmith said. "It took guts to do what they did."
Juniata is now 4-4 on the campaign, 3-4 in the TVL.