West Perry rolls to season opening win
MIFFLINTOWN – The West Perry Mustangs left it all out on the field Friday night in a season opening victory over the Juniata Indians.
The Mustangs were on a roll from the word go Friday night, improving to 1-0 on the young season with a 41-0 shutout win.
“Juniata is tough,” Coach Deven Whitfield said. “We knew we were coming into a hornet’s nest with Klingensmith going for his 300thwin. They have some big tough kids but we forced things to go our way.”
After winning the toss and choosing to defer to the second half, the Mustangs put up a strong defensive stand and forced Juniata to punt.
The punt pinned West Perry deep in its own territory, but that was no problem for junior quarterback Kenyon Johnson. Johnson orchestrated a 12-play, 95-yard drive to put the Mustangs on the board and give the visiting team momentum.
Johnson capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run which would be far from his last in the game.
Johnson finished the game with 163 passing yards to go along with 147 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
“He’s a gamechanger.” Whitfield said. “You put him together with some of the other guys we have. We have a lot of talent here.”
Johnson was personally responsible for the first three touchdowns on the game, striking pay dirt from eight yards away, and then later in the opening half from 46 yards away.
“Their quarterback was just too fast for our kids.” Juniata Coach Gary Klingensmith said of Johnson.
The junior wasn’t only effective with his legs, as he also connected on a second-half passing touchdown.
Johnson hit Preston Weber on a 14-yard slant in the second half to put West Perry up 27-0.
Also making an impact for the Mustangs in the second half was starting halfback Terrance Quaker. Quaker added a pair of second half rushing touchdowns to the Mustang’s tally in the 41-0 victory.
The West Perry win delayed a milestone for the Juniata football program. Coach Klingensmith – who entered his 50thseason as head coach of the Juniata Indians – fell short of collecting his 300thcareer victory.
“That guy is a living legend up here,” Coach Whitfield said of his coaching counterpart.
The Juniata offense was sluggish all night long, going three-and-out on four separate occasions.
One week in the team is battling some major injury problems.
“Losing (starting running back and linebacker Brycen Clark) didn’t help us,” Klingensmith said. “He’s the backbone of our defense. We already had our nose tackle out and the to lose the backbone of the defense made us weak in the middle. Had we had everybody healthy I think you’re looking at a different ballgame.”
West Perry racked up 440 yards of offense in the game while Juniata mustered just 117 yards. 32 of those yards came on the Indians’ final drive of the game after the mercy rule had already been in effect.
“I know we’re a better team than that,” Klingensmith said. “This is a hard loss, but sometimes that happens. Even the best team in football can have a bad week sometimes.”
Juniata (0-1) moves on to face a tough opponent in Tri-Valley (1-0) next week. The Bulldogs come off a 26-7 victory over Mahanoy Area.
Meanwhile, West Perry (1-0) will take on York County Tech (0-1) next week. The Spartans dropped a 32-8 decision to James Buchanan in week 1.
“We’re not the guys that are going to roll in and get pasted anymore,” Whitfield said. “We’re going to play four quarters of football. That’s our goal.”
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