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Previewing Week 9 of Centre County High School Football

by and on October 18, 2019 6:00 AM

The plague of injuries afflicting the Philipsburg-Osceola football team finally took its ultimate toll.

The Mounties announced on Oct. 15 they will forfeit their final two games because of dwindling numbers and concerns for the safety of their remaining players.

Head coach Brian McGonigal said it was not a decision the program took lightly, but one they felt had to be made.

The two teams remaining on the schedule — Clearfield and Penns Valley — will try to find replacement games, but at this point in the season, that will be very difficult.

As it is, Penns Valley will now end its season on Friday at Tyrone. It's uncertain if Clearfield will even play another regular season game this year.

The Bison were scheduled to face Bishop Carroll on Oct. 25, but the Huskies have forfeited their scheduled game this week at Bellefonte. No decision has been announced yet for the finale.

Bellefonte, now 7-2, will still hold senior day activities for the team, cheerleaders and band at Rogers Stadium on Friday night — just minus a game. The Red Raiders close out the season on Oct. 25 at Bald Eagle in the Curtin Bowl.

Last week, meanwhile, saw State College fall from the ranks of unbeaten teams, while Penns Valley, Bellefonte and BEA all kept pace in the race for the Mountain League title.

Here’s what happened and a look forward to Week 9.

STATE COLLEGE (7-1, 5-1) AT ALTOONA (1-7, 0-5)
OCT. 18, 7 P.M.

This might be a good opportunity for State College to get over the disheartening 34-13 loss to Central Dauphin on Friday night.

SC actually outgained the Rams in the game by almost 200 yards and led 13-7 going into the last quarter. But a CD touchdown and then two quick defensive scores by the Rams suddenly turned the game in their favor.

The Little Lions could not recover, and another CD touchdown sealed the win and first place in the Mid Penn Commonwealth for the Rams.

This week, SC will be on the road against the Altoona Mountain Lions. Altoona has not been having very much success so far this season and suffered its fifth loss in a row and seventh overall against Cumberland Valley, 59-14, on Friday night.

The Mountain Lions’ only win came against Taylor Allderdice, 33-29, on Sept. 6, but since it has been all losses, and all to Mid Penn teams.

The main problems for Altoona seem to be turnovers and a lack of a passing game. Against CV, Altoona did rush for 180 yards, but it attempted just four passes and turned the ball over three times, all fumbles.

State College, on the other hand, has a balanced attack with dangerous players in both the passing and running games. Quarterback Brady Dorner and backs Dresyn Green and Isaiah Edwards are threats almost any time they touch the ball.

And the Lions will be especially wary of another loss since they are still just a game behind Central Dauphin in the standings.

SC will be looking to get better here.

JERSEY SHORE (5-3) AT BALD EAGLE AREA (7-1)
OCT. 18, 7 P.M.

Bald Eagle Area won one of its biggest games in years last Friday night over Clearfield, 36-28, and this week will be taking a break from Mountain League competition. But that doesn’t mean it’s taking a break, period, because this week’s rival is non-league opponent Jersey Shore — the same Jersey Shore that bested Bellefonte in Week 1 by 20 points, 55-35.

In the same breath, however, it’s difficult to assess the Bulldogs because they either win in a blowout or lose in a blowout. Their wins have been by an average of 30 points, but they have also lost three games by an average of 32 points. Their latest loss, to Southern Columbia Area on Oct. 4, was by a score of 56-14.

Jersey Shore rebounded a week later to beat Lewisburg, 47-21, so the team will likely be on a much more even footing when it shows up in Wingate on Friday. Led by quarterback Tanner Lorson, JS piles up 405 yards of offense per game (255 passing) and it has scored 38 touchdowns. Lorson has thrown for 1,950 yards and 19 touchdowns, and he is also the leading runner with 537 yards and 9 more scores.

Couple that with a very aggressive defense (13 sacks, 14 takeaways) and the Bulldogs are a very dangerous opponent.

BEA gave up 28 points in the first half against Clearfield, but the Eagle defense showed up big-time after that.

The Bison didn’t score in the second half as BEA rallied for two touchdowns and the win. Jaden Jones led the Eagles with 204 yards passing and 4 touchdowns, and he also ran for the go-ahead score in the third quarter.

BEA in all totaled 340 yards of offense and 17 first downs.

Given the abilities of Lorson and Jones, this game could threaten, literally, to get into triple digits.

PENNS VALLEY (7-1, 5-1) AT TYRONE (2-6, 2-4)
OCT. 18 7 P.M.

Penns Valley is so close to the Mountain League championship that now is not the time to get off the accelerator.

PV did have only two teams from the bottom third of the league — Tyrone and P-O — left on its schedule, but one of those is already going to be a win with P-O forfeiting the rest of the season. So the Rams will be sure to show up with their A Game for this one, which looks like it will be PV's regular season finale.

Tyrone is now 2-6 overall and has two league wins, but the Golden Eagles have had major injury problems and are just getting back to full strength. In addition, the junior combination of quarterback Brandon Lucas and receiver Damon Gripp is a dangerous one capable of making big plays.

In last week’s 41-13 loss to 5A Hollidaysburg, Tyrone hung in for the first half, down by just a point, before the Tigers put the game out of reach with 20 third-quarter points.

How well Tyrone will be able to keep up with Aaron Tobias, et. al., and the Rams’ high-energy offense remains to be seen, but PV will surely not be taking anything for granted.



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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