The dirt will fly as the annual clash for Curtin Bowl bragging rights its set to commence on Friday night when the 1-3 Red Raiders look to keep the traditional backyard trophy in Bellefonte against a game 2-2 Bald Eagle Area squad.
Bellefonte took the 2019 clash easily, beating BEA 38-0.
The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Rogers Stadium in Bellefonte.
In other action, State College will travel to Carlisle for its third Mid-Penn Conference game, Penns Valley will be in Martinsburg to take on Central, and Philipsburg-Osceola will be at Tyrone.
Here’s a brief look at the Curtin Bowl matchup, and other games scheduled for local student-athletes:
BALD EAGLE AREA (2-2) AT BELLEFONTE (1-3) OCT. 16, BELLEFONTE
Both the Eagles and Raiders took care of business on Oct. 9 with Mountain League victories. BEA wore down Philipsburg-Osceola, 28-6, for its second win of the season, and Bellefonte finally broke into the win column with a walk-away, 62-20 win over winless Huntingdon.
In Huntingdon on Friday, it was no contest as Bellefonte swept to its first win of the season. The Raiders racked up 626 yards of total offense led by an incredible 300 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries by sophomore Jamal Saunders. Quarterback Ethan Rossman ran for three scores and 46 yards and also passed for 67 yards and another touchdown.
It was a breakout win for the Raiders after three losses to good teams to begin the season.
In Philipsburg, the Mounties’ Aaron Depto scored on a first-half pick-6, but otherwise the game was all BEA as the Eagles won for the second time this year.
After taking a 14-6 halftime lead, the Eagles pulled away when quarterback Garrett Burns hit a wide-open Camron Watkins for a 27-yard touchdown and a 21-6 lead late in the third quarter. BEA then put it away in the fourth quarter after another touchdown pass by Burns, this time a 20-yarder to Gavin Eckley with just over four minutes to play.
P-O had its chances in the game, but each time the Mounties threatened, the stingy BEA defense came up with a stop or a turnover.
So now it’s the Raiders and the Eagles in the 2020 Curtin Bowl with the memory of last year’s surprising 38-0 win still fresh.
And it’s not hard to figure out the keys to this game. BEA needs to stop the Bellefonte running game, and the Raiders need to corral Burns and the BEA passing game. Not an easy deal for either team, but the one with more success should come out with a victory.
Video by Joe Skinner | Centre County Report
PENNS VALLEY (1-2) AT CENTRAL (5-0) OCT. 16, MARTINSBURG
It seems as if this year’s Mountain League is turning into a three-headed monster with Tyrone, Central and Clearfield growling at everyone else from the top of the standings.
Penns Valley has two losses this season — to Clearfield and Tyrone — and guess who’s coming up this week? That’s right, the 5-0 Central Scarlet Dragons.
In Tyrone last Friday, the Rams took the Golden Eagles to the hilt, but Tyrone scored with just 1:40 left in the game to steal a 27-21 win.
PV had just tied the game at 21-21 with five minutes to play on a 95-yard kickoff return by Gage Ripka, but the Rams fell victim to the dangerous combination of quarterback Brandon Lucas and receiver Damon Gripp. As time ran out, Lucas hit Gripp down the left side for a 45-yard pass-and-run touchdown that gave Tyrone its second last-minute win in a row.
Central meanwhile was sweating out a 25-21 win at home over Clearfield to remain unbeaten and claim one of the top spots in the league. Quarterback Jeff Hoenstine was again the catalyst for the win with three touchdowns through the air and 258 yards.
So the Rams’ mission here is fairly clear: slow down Hoenstine and take advantage of their chances. Oh, and get the ball to Ripka who is becoming one of the most dangerous players in the league.
Penns Valley's Miles Brooks (28) looks for running room against Tyrone in an Oct. 9 contest which saw the Golden Eagles come out victorious with a 28-20 victory. Photo by Tim Weight | For the Gazette
P-O (1-3) AT TYRONE (4-0) OCT. 16, TYRONE
Philipsburg-Osceola has some growing pains and has been inconsistent in its four games so far this season.
The Mounties can move the ball and are markedly improved from last season, but they are not converting on their chances.
Last week at home against BEA, P-O scored early on a pick-6 by Aaron Depto but was unable to put anything up after that.
BEA’s defense had a lot to say about that, and the Eagles subsequently wore down P-O for the 28-6 win.
And there will be no rest for the Mounties this week as they travel to Tyrone to take on Brandon Lucas, Damon Gripp and the Golden Eagles.
Tyrone is 4-0 and atop the Mountain League with undefeated Central, and it certainly wants to stay there.
Gripp is an all-stater, and holding him in check along with the rest of the Tyrone offense will be a major challenge for the Mounties.
STATE COLLEGE (1-1) AT CARLISLE (1-1 ) OCT. 16, CARLISLE
The Little Lions have a newly-refurbished and impressive Memorial Field, and with just one home game to be played on it this season, it doesn’t look like it’s going to depreciate very much.
The good news is the Lions made the best of that one game with a 31-0 run away against Cumberland Valley.
SC ran out to a 24-0 halftime lead, scored another touchdown in the third quarter, and played it out from there for its first win of the season.
Talented quarterback Conrad Moore threw for 97 yards and a touchdown and ran 119 yards (on just four carries) and two more touchdowns as the Lions evened their record after a Week 1 loss to powerful Central Dauphin.
This week in Carlisle State College will try to keep things going.
The Thundering Herd is 1-1 after a victory over Chambersburg (21-9) and a 35-0 loss to CD.
The Herd doesn’t throw the ball much, but their running game with senior Sean Smith and sophomore Ezeekai Thomas is a major concern.
Against Chambersburg, those two exploded for 383 yards between them and three touchdowns, but they were held relatively in check by CD.
That’s what the Little Lions will try to do as well — easier said than done of course — but SC needs another win to keep pace with Central Dauphin in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth.