By Sarah Whitesel
For The Daily Item
BEAVER SPRINGS — When East Juniata topped Bucktail 35-7 for its season opener Aug. 30, it meant that in one game the Tigers had matched the number of wins they were able to muster in 2012.
Friday, the deal got a little bit sweeter.
In the first home game of the season, East Juniata cruised to a 27-0 win over Tri-Valley League opponent Halifax, meaning the Tigers have not only started out with a 2-0 record — a notable accomplishment after a string of poor seasons in the past — but more importantly it marked East Juniata’s first TVL victory since reentering the league last year.
"Halifax was a solid team," East Juniata coach Simon Cameron said. "They hit a lot harder than we expected and we knew it was going to be tough."
Whether the Tigers were surprised by Halifax’s hitting or not, the Wildcats likely felt the same way when on East Juniata’s first scoring drive with four downs on the four-yard line, Cameron decided to go for the touchdown rather than kicking the field goal.
With the scoreless tie it was a bit of a risk, but it paid off for the Tigers when quarterback Josh Zimmerman hit an open Kevin Allen with a four-yard pass to make the score 7-0 with 2:29 left in the first quarter.
On East Juniata’s next chance, three incomplete passes from the Wildcats’ five-yard line failed before the clock ran out to end the first half, keeping the score at 7-0 heading into the break. But as Cameron explained, East Juniata wanted to put it away early, even if going for the touchdown.
"We kind of want to put them away early," he said. And that’s my fault. Next time we need to take the field goals when they’re available."
Dalton Rowe kicks field goals for us, so in hindsight we probably should have kicked the field goals."