State High Football: Little Lions Trounce Liberty 26-7
State College's senior kicker Ian Fennessey's favorite movie is the remake of the Burt Reynolds classic The Longest Yard.
As Fennessey booted an 48-yard attempt down the historic Memorial Field, the last few yards felt the longest as the ball squeaked through the uprights giving the Little Lions a commanding 26-7 lead with 9:00 minutes remaining.
The score would stay the same as State High won their season opener against Liberty, Friday night.
After a scoreless first quarter, Liberty opened up the scoring with a 74 yard pass to them ahead 7-0 with 10:54 left in the half.
The Little Lions responded just before the half scoring 13 points in the final four minutes of the half to give State College a 13-7 halftime lead following a blocked extra point.
Junior quarterback Patrick Irwin was productive with his first start under center and orchestrated several long scoring drives over the course of the game. Senior Andrew Kelley rushed for two scores and put together a strong start after rushing for 637 yards and 7 touchdowns last season.
A Liberty fumble on their own 40 yard line which was recovered by State College put to rest any comeback hopes with the Little Lions up 23-7 with 11:45 to go in the contest.
The victory moves State College to 1-0. The Little Lions will play two straight games on the road against starting next week at Central Mountain.
State High has advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals four years in a row and seven of the past nine.
The win is State College coach Al Wolski's 74th at the helm as he enters his ninth season as head coach.