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Centre County Football Squads Turn Toward Home Stretch

by and on October 06, 2017 3:03 PM

What a stage it was for Bellefonte quarterback Dylan Deitrich to have the biggest game of his career in the Raiders’ 55-28 win over Clearfield on Sept. 29 in Bellefonte. Bellefonte moved to 5-1 and will now face Penns Valley on Friday, Oct. 6, at home in another Mountain League game.

And, just when it seemed like State College couldn’t possibly get more revved up on offense, the Little Lions posted 70 unanswered points (no misprint) in a 70-14 runoff against Carlisle.

Penns Valley got untracked, both running and passing, in a 48-24 win over Philipsburg-Osceola, and Bald Eagle Area was plagued by mistakes in a close 27-19 loss at Tyrone.

Everyone will be back on the field Friday, Oct. 6, including St. Joseph’s Academy, as the teams turn toward the home stretch. Here’s the lineup:

STATE COLLEGE (5-0)  AT CUMBERLAND VALLEY (4-1) FRIDAY, OCT. 6

Cumberland Valley has some very impressive wins so far this season over teams such as Coatesville, Bishop McDevitt, Chambersburg and Central York, but for some reason, every Central Dauphin game is at best a toss-up.

Last week, the coin fell in CD’s favor and the Rams survived with a 20-14 win. CD scored the winning touchdown with 11 minutes remaining in the game, which was more than enough time for CV to respond, but the Eagles fumbled deep in Ram territory and lost their chance at a comeback.

Still, as one of the Mid-Penn Colonial elite, nothing comes easy against Cumberland Valley and that will hold true when SC comes to visit.

As usual, the Eagles are all about running the ball and playing defense. They score just more than 30 points per outing and give up fewer than 14. They also throw the ball fewer than 10 times per game, for about 90 yards and a touchdown each outing, but they have already run 221 times this year for 1,260 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Junior Jared Plessinger is the quarterback and he’s completed 25 of his 49 passes for 470 yards and five touchdowns. In the backfield, however, Plessinger has five running backs who have run for more than 100 yards so far, led by senior Jake Palmer who has 513 and six touchdowns.

Something will have to give in this matchup with the Little Lions. Cumberland Valley is known for keeping teams off the scoreboard, while SC has been scoring at a record pace. Against Carlisle, the Thundering Herd scored first after a Lion fumble, but before halftime the score was already 42-7. SC went on to score four more times before Carlisle added the last touchdown of the night.

Central Dauphin, Cumberland Valley and State College have been playing round-robin in the conference for the past three years, and this game will be a big chance for SC to decrease this year’s race to just CD and itself. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

PENNS VALLEY (2-4)  AT BELLEFONTE (5-1) FRIDAY, OCT. 6

Where to start?

How about these numbers for Dylan Deitrich in Bellefonte’s 55-28 win over Clearfield on Sept. 29? He had 178 yards rushing on 17 attempts, six touchdowns, 5-for7 passing for 140 yards, a 30-yard touchdown run, a 57-yard touchdown run and an interception.

Deitrich led his team to 527 total yards and 35 second-half points that overwhelmed the Bison and gave the Raiders their first win over Clearfield since 2007. Four of Deitrich’s touchdowns and more than 100 of his running yards came in that decisive second half.

Penns Valley, that same night, found some of the offensive balance it has been looking for in the 48-24 win over Philipsburg-Osceola. Besides 244 yards on the ground, PV quarterback Aaron Tobias completed 16 of 25 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

After taking a 24-8 lead into the locker rooms at the half, PV scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter and then two more quick ones as the final quarter began to put the game away.

More of the same will be needed in Bellefonte, but with the added incentive of this neighborhood rivalry, PV has a chance to keep this one close into the fourth quarter. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

HUNTINGDON (6-0)  AT BEA (3-3) FRIDAY, OCT. 6

At first glance, it might seem like Huntingdon’s 6-0 record would be a big surprise at this point in the 2017 season.

But when a guy like Ian Border is in the backfield, maybe nothing is a surprise.

Still, having wins over Mount Union, Bellefonte, Tyrone, Clearfield, Penns Valley and, most recently, Juniata, is impressive.

Border is having a monster season. He already has 937 yards on 203 carries, an average of 6.8 per attempt and 16 touchdowns. But the thing is, when Border is slowed down like at Juniata on Sept. 29, quarterback Andy Hudy can pick up the slack. He has 788 yards passing on 68 completions and eight touchdowns, and in the Juniata game, he threw three TD passes while JHS was piling up on Border (only 52 yards). So, it’s pick your poison with the Bearcats, not to mention the 18 sacks and 10 interceptions they’ve pulled off on defense.

Those two figures should be of concern as much as anything else for Bald Eagle Area coming into this game. The Eagles committed far too many errors — including a fumble that went the other way for a touchdown — in their loss to Tyrone. As it was, they were in the game and lost by only one score despite that fumble, another one and an interception.

It is going to be difficult enough keeping Border, Hudy and the Bearcats in check without making things too easy for them. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

CENTRAL (4-2)  AT PHILIPSBURGOSCEOLA (1-5) FRIDAY, OCT. 6

Central might have two losses — and uncommonly big ones to Chestnut Ridge and Huntingdon — but this is still Central and the Dragons will be coming into Philipsburg with things to work on.

In its Sept. 29 42-2 loss (that’s right, 42-2) to Chestnut Ridge, Central scored first on a safety and then did not get a point the rest of the night.

The Lions scored on two pick-6s in the second half to pull away from the Dragons and held them to just more than 200 yards of offense all night. Still, Central was 4-1 coming in, and it will certainly be looking to atone for a bad half of football.

Philipsburg has also been plagued by mistakes, even though the Mounties are putting points on the scoreboard.

Against Penns Valley, Bubba Slogosky passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns, and the running game picked up another 102 yards and a touchdown by Brandon Anderson. But two interceptions and three fumbles (none lost) hurt P-O’s chances to make a run.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

ST. JOSEPH’S ACADEMY (0-4) AT HALIFAX (2-4) FRIDAY, OCT. 6

The Wolves are coming off a bye week and hoping the time off will help with their injury issues. Senior quarterback Brendan Robinson has missed time, and he will be needed if SJCA is to stay competitive with Halifax.

Halifax has wins against Millersburg (48-19) and Pine Grove (38-7), but the Wildcats have now lost four in a row to go 2-4 for the season.

The latest losses were by a score of 27-21 in overtime at East Juniata on Sept. 22 and then 21-0 to always-tough Line Mountain on Sept. 29.

Halifax averages 280 yards per game in offense almost evenly divided between the run (158) and pass (122). Junior quarterback London Johnson averages 156 yards passing (936 total) and has thrown six touchdowns, while junior running back Jay Zerby has 583 yards (97 per game) on 68 carries and nine touchdowns. Zerby’s best effort was 212 yards on just seven carries against Millersburg.

For SJCA, defense will be a priority, especially since the Wolves have given up more than 40 points in each of their last three games.

Still, they have also scored 48 in the last two, so they can move the ball. How well they can slow down Halifax will be the key to this one.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Halifax.

 



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.


Pat Rothdeutsch covers Penn State football for The Centre County Gazette. Email him at sports@centrecountygazette.com
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