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Penns Valley at P-O Headlines Week 2 of Centre County High School Football

by and on September 18, 2020 5:00 AM

Update (3 p.m., Sept. 18): The Penns Valley at Philipsburg game has been canceled. Penns Valley superintendent Brian Griffith said the district was informed on Friday that a player from Clearfield, which the Rams played last week, tested positive for COVID-19. All Penns Valley players who played in that game have been advised to quarantine and so the Rams do not have enough players to field a team.

Original story:

The 2020 football season did not get off to an auspicious start for local Centre County teams.

Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Bald Eagle Area all took opening-night losses, with Philipsburg-Osceola being the only team to begin the season with a win. That win for the Mounties, however, was an eye opener, and it sets up a big Week 2 showdown with Penns Valley.

Here’s a brief look at that game and the others coming up:


It had been a long time — since 2011 to be exact — since P-O beat Huntingdon on the football field, but the Mounties emphatically snapped that streak with a 35-20 Mountain League victory on Sept. 11 in Huntingdon.

P-O went into the game with many unanswered questions, but the Mounties quickly established a big-play running game and rode that all night against the Bearcats.

Two P-O running backs gained more than 100 yards each — Kaleb Stamm gained 151 yards and scored two touchdowns and Hunter Weitoish added 132 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Wide receiver Aaron Depto scored twice for the Mounties — once on a pick-6 in the first quarter that gave P-O a 7-6 lead, and then on a 21-yard pass from Ryan Whitehead in the third quarter.

Philipsburg started slowly, giving up two early turnovers and a touchdown, but Depto’s interception return put it ahead for good. The rest was up to Stamm and Weitoish.

Penns Valley, on the other hand, had no enviable task taking on league powerhouse Clearfield. The Rams are in rebuilding mode after losing a ton of seniors from last year’s team, and it showed against the Bison.

Clearfield quarterback Oliver Billotte threw for 210 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 57 yards and two more scores in the 27-0 victory over PV.

Billotte scored the first two touchdowns of the night on short runs, giving the Bison an early 14-0 lead. He then hit receiver Karson Kline for a TD pass late in the second quarter to give his team a 21-0 halftime lead. Another touchdown pass to Kline in the fourth quarter ended the scoring for the night.

Penns Valley managed just over 100 yards of offense in the game, with quarterback Aidan Brinker completing 8-of-17 passes for 44 yards.

Now, in a complete flip of last season, it is Penns Valley that has to right its ship coming into the game with P-O.

The Mounties did a good job defensively against Huntingdon, holding the Bearcats to two offensive scores and a long kick return. The Rams’ new offense will have to step up in Game 2, and their defense will have to plan for what looks like a dangerous P-O running game.

This game could easily come down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter.


If there could be a theme this early in the Mountain League football season, it would be to watch out for last year’s sub-.500 teams.

All three of those teams won in Week 1 — P-O, Tyrone and Central — and two of the three will be in action against local teams in Week 2.

Central, which had a disappointing season in 2019, is back after a 33-9 win in Week 1 over Bald Eagle Area. The Dragons dominated the line of scrimmage — they held BEA to negative rushing yards — and sophomore quarterback Jeff Hoenstine threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Central led 21-2 at the half and extended that to 33-2 by the end of the third quarter. BEA did get on the scoreboard late with a 36-yard touchdown reception by Owen Irwin from Garrett Burns.

Bellefonte traveled to take on another team with a subpar 2019 record on Friday: the Tyrone Eagles.

Tyrone, with just three wins last year, outlasted Bellefonte 21-13 in a physical battle in Tyrone. Statistically, the game was virtually even, but Tyrone’s Tommy Hicks scored from 11 yards out with 2:37 left to play to give the Eagles a 21-13 lead they did not give up.

Bellefonte quarterback Ethan Rossman, who had 24 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, scored earlier in the third quarter to make the score 14-13, but the Raiders were held scoreless the rest of the night.

This week, the Raiders will face Central at home in another matchup that flips the script from last season. It will be Bellefonte fighting for its first win against the Dragons who are looking to build on a very impressive Week 1.

This is another game that could go down to the final plays.


Neither Bald Eagle Area nor Huntingdon had very good opening games.

The Eagles fell decisively to Central, 33-9, and Huntingdon was taken down by Philipsburg-Osceola, 35-20.

In fairness, both teams lost most of the skill people that produced big seasons in 2019 and are breaking in new offensive players across the board. So one game shouldn’t be seen as an indication of what is to come.

The saying goes in football that teams improve most from their first game into their second, which if true makes this an important game for both teams.

BEA did very little on the ground against Central, and Huntingdon gave up more than 300 yards on the ground to P-O. Both will be looking to improve their performances there, and that could be the key to this game.

If BEA can get a running game going, along with the passing combination of Burns to Irwin, it should be able to put points on the board.

The Bearcats, on the other hand, need to stop the run. If they can’t, the Bald Eagles will have a good shot at win number one.

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 [email protected]
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