PUNXSUTAWNEY — In a low-scoring gridiron battle on a chilly Tuesday night, the Jammin' Juniors ran 'Reitz' past the Super Seniors, 8-6, in the annual Powder Puff flag-football game held at Jack F. LaMarca Stadium.
Juniors twins Emily and Ashley Reitz combined for their team's touchdown and two-point conversion runs with 10:47 left in the game for a rare Junior Class win.
The Juniors defense stopped Super Senior Chelsea Engeholm three yards short on the game-tying two-point conversion run attempt to keep it 8-6 with 1:42 left in the game.
On the previous play, senior Ashley Bacha sprinted around the left side with a convoy of blockers 43 yards for the Super Seniors lone score of the night.
"We didn't think we had a chance," commented Jammin' Juniors coach Parker Weaver afterwards.
Both the Super Seniors and Jammin' Juniors were playing hard on the flag football gridiron as well as having fun for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which will receive all proceeds from the event.
The two classes hope the Tuesday night festivities will outraise last year's $3,800 to grant at least one wish this Christmas season.
In the game, the first half proved to provide few game highlights overall with the biggest thrills of the night coming with the two halftime classes' cheerleading dances.
After an opening simulated punt by the Juniors, the Seniors took over. The elder team would not have the ball long as Juniors Emily Travis intercepted a Sydney Weaver pass over the middle.
The Seniors defense held on the next series to finish the opening frame scoreless.
Following a Seniors punt, the Juniors committed their first turnover of the night when Ashley Walls swiped the younger squad's pass.
On the Seniors' series, Engeholm burst around the right end for the biggest gainer to that point of the night for 42 yards down to the Juniors 35-yard line. The Seniors could manage only two yards on the next four plays to turn the ball over on downs. The game remained a scoreless deadlock, 0-0, at the intermission.
It was the Seniors with the game's deepest penetration of the game midway through the third quarter. The Seniors looked destined to score after 15-plus yard runs from both Lauren Ball and Maija Carol. The Super Seniors could get no closer than the Juniors' 14-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
With 28 seconds left in the third quarter, Sydney Phillips took off around the right end for 51 yards to put the Juniors in business on the Seniors' 35-yard line. After switching ends, Stephanie Smith added 10 more yards to the drive before Ashley Reitz gained nine yards on the ensuing run to the 16-yard line.
From the 16-yard line,Emily Reitz took the next handoff for the Jammin' Juniors and outran three Super Seniors defenders to the endzone for the first score with 10:47 remaining in the contest. Ashley Reitz punched in the two-point conversion run to make it 8-0.
The Super Seniors tried to answer with their own points. Bacha hit Shayla Brink on an 11-yard running pass. The two tried the same type play a second time in a row, only to see Jammer Taylor Newcome pick off the pass and return it to the home 39-yard line with 7:16 left in the game.
The Juniors could not move the ball and turned the ball over on downs. Brink ran the Seniors first play for 14 yards before pulling in another Bacha aerial down to the Juniors 33-yard line.
For a second straight defensive series, Newcome reached up and pulled in an interception to thwart the Seniors' drive.
After a simulated Juniors punt, the Seniors finally broke onto the scoreboard. On the following first play, Bacha ran around the left side 43 yards for the score, but Engeholm was stopped on the two-point run to keep it 8-6.
The Jammin' Juniors could not run out the clock and punted again.
In their last chance for the win, the Super Seniors took over on the juniors 39-yard line with 38.6 seconds showing in the contest. Newcome broke up the Seniors first pass and the Juniors held the second down run to a short gain.
After a third down incompletion, Engeholm broke free down the left side before being stopped at the Juniors 15-yard line with 3.7 ticks on the clock.
The Jammin' Juniors held on the final play to take home the 8-6 win.