WESTMINSTER, Md. – Juniata converted a two-point conversion in overtime to defeat McDaniel 42-41 in Centennial Conference (CC) football action on Saturday.
Matt Schleifer (Brick, N.J./Brick Twp.) led the Green Terror (3-2, 2-2 CC) with 254 all-purpose yards. He hauled in five passes for a career-best 145 yards while also racking up 105 kickoff return yards and four punt return yards. Bamasa Bailor (Carlilse, Pa./Carlisle Area) also had 100 yards receiving, grabbing nine passes for 129. Matt Cathey (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial) had career highs of 32 carries and 164 yards on the ground for an offense that rolled up 535 total yards.
Austin Montgomery le the Eagles (2-3, 1-3 CC) with 219 yards passing and three touchdowns but he also caught the game-winning two-point conversion on a trick play in overtime.
A flurry of activity in the fourth quarter started when Cathey capped a five-play, 63-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown run that gave McDaniel a 31-27 lead with 8:19 to play.
Juniata advanced to midfield on the ensuing possession but after punting, the defense was called for 12 men on the field and the Eagles had a fourth-and-1 from the Green Terror 49. Markos Katrakazis (Broomall, Pa./Marple Newtown) met the running back in the backfield for a two-yard loss and the ball went over on downs.
A heavy dose of Cathey moved the ball to the Juniata 18 before the drive stalled and McDaniel opted for a 35-yard field goal attempt. Joel Reighard got a hand on the ball at the line and pushed it just left to keep it a four-point game with 2:34 to play.
Montgomery hit Jake Notestine for a 34-yard completion on the first play before the quarterback twice converted third downs to move the ball inside the 20.
After a breakup at the goalline and a sack, Montgomery found AJ Brocato wide open in the middle of end zone on third down for a five-yard score. The ensuing Sam Craig extra point made it a 34-31 game with just 18 ticks remaining.
After a timeout on each side with four seconds left, Spencer Wiersberg (Salisbury, Md./J.M. Bennett) converted a career-long 46-yard field goal – the longest by a Green Terror kicker in nearly 11 years – to force overtime for the second straight week.
A 20-yard completion to Bailor on the third play of overtime set up first-and-goal at the Juniata 2. Four runs later, Cathey scored his second touchdown of the day from one inch out. The Wiersberg extra-point made it a 41-34 game.
On the second play of the Eagles' possession, Montgomery hit Matt Lehr out of the backfield and the visitors elected to go for two.
After a pair of timeouts, Montgomery motioned out and Juniata direct snapped to Lehr, who pitched back to Jake Notestine. Notestine found Montgomery by himself on the left side of the end zone for the victory.
A Schleifer 68-yard reception – the longest play from scrimmage this season by the Green Terror – set up a Koester one-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with 7:30 to play in the first quarter.
A Montgomery two-yard run with 13:11 to play in the second quarter closed the deficit to 7-6 but a failed extra point kept it a one-point lead for the hosts.
Notestine caught a nine-yard touchdown pass and Nick Gray returned an interception 59 yards for a 20-7 lead with 2:30 to play in the opening half.
Koester, however, found Bailor for a 24-yard touchdown toss to cap a nine-play, 66-yard drive and close the deficit to 20-14 with 37 seconds remaining in the first half.
A Wiersberg 26-yard field goal made it a three-point game before Chamberlin and Lehr traded short touchdown runs early in the fourth quarter.
Koester completed 22 of 34 passes for a career-best 354 yards. Ray Doh (Silver Spring, Md./Blake) led the defense with nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Kiree Moore (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) added a career-best eight tackles. Chris Inge (Delran, N.J./Williamstown) had an interception and two pass breakups.
McDaniel returns to action at Dickinson on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.