BELLEFONTE, Pa. – Meadville overcame a slow start to earn a 27-14 win over Juniata in their PIAA Class 4A first-round game on Saturday at Bald Eagle High School.
Khalon Simmons, who had 200 yards on the ground, put the finishing touches on the win for the Bulldogs with a 65-yard touchdown run, his third of the game, with 1:31 to play.
Meadville (12-1), which beat Juniata in the same round a year ago, found itself on the short end of a 6-0 score after Waylon Ehrenzeller’s 3-yard touchdown run broke a scoreless tie with 4:41 to play in the second quarter.
Simmons responded with his first touchdown of the game just over two minutes later on a 6-yard run to make it 6-6 with 2:16 to go in the first half.
The Indians (8-4) answered back, executing a two-minute drill that was capped off with Aaron Kanagy’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Jasper Shepps with just 11 seconds to go in the half, making it 14-6.
The Bulldogs showed no panic despite trailing at halftime for just the second time this season.
Brady Walker got the Bulldogs within two, 14-12, after his 4-yard touchdown run with 3:39 to go in the third quarter (the 2-point conversion was no good).
Simmons was able to give Meadville its first lead of the game, 20-14 on a 2-yard run with 6:02 to play.
With the win, Meadville advances to play Allentown Central Catholic, a 38-31 winner in overtime over Jersey Shore, in the PIAA quarterfinals next week at a site and time to be determined.