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Bellefonte suffers first loss, SC and BEA continue to roll

by on October 04, 2018 1:12 PM

The last thing the Bellefonte Raiders could do was get off to a bad start at Clearfield on Friday night, but that unfortunately was exactly what happened in the Bison’s 49-21 victory.

Both teams came into the game undefeated, but Clearfield quarterback Isaac Rumery threw two touchdown passes in the first three minutes of the game, and then he connected for another one as the second quarter began to give the Bison a 21-0 jumpstart.
Bellefonte briefly came back after a 12-yard TD pass from Kyle Myers to Noah Badger, but two more Rumery connections before halftime essentially put the game out of reach.

Rumery for the night completed 10 of 13 passes for 253 yards and five touchdowns and led a relentless Bison offense that racked up 530 yards in the game.

Bellefonte, to its credit, kept at it with two touchdowns in the second half, but the Clearfield start was too much to overcome.

At the same time the Raiders were having their problems in Clearfield, Penns Valley was locked in a tense struggle at non-league foe Midd-West.

The Rams, down by eight points in the final two minutes of the game, came back on a 3-yard touchdown pass by Aaron Tobias to make it 23-21.

Tobias then completed another one for a two-point conversion that tied the game and sent it into overtime.

In OT, however, it would be the extra point that would doom PV. After going ahead 29-23, PV missed the extra point, leaving the door open for Midd-West. Midd-West then scored, converted the extra point and came away with a 30-29 victory.

Last season, Bellefonte got the best of PV in this local rivalry, but the Rams have improved in every facet from that team. The stakes are high here for both teams, and it looks like the extra pressure will be on the Bellefonte defense. If the Raiders can keep a lid on Tobias and the PV offense, they will likely be able to keep pace with Clearfield and BEA in the Mountain League standings.
 

Bald Eagle Area (6-0) at Huntingdon

Huntingdon, Friday, Oct. 5

It took a very long time — since 1994 to be exact — for Bald Eagle Area to come up with a win over Tyrone, but when it finally happened, it could not have been more decisive.

The Eagles scored early and often, ran up a 35-point halftime lead, and played shut-down defense all night in a 35-0 Mountain League victory Sept. 28.

Matthew Reese scored two touchdowns for BEA, one on a fumble return, while Nick Turner, Kael Gardner and Matt Bittinger each had one score in the rout. Quarterback Jaden Jones completed 13 of 20 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and Reese, Jones and Gage McClanahan combined to add 94 yards on the ground.

The real story, however, might have been the BEA defense. The Eagles allowed Tyrone just 63 yards of offense all night, and held the Golden Eagles to minus-24 yards on the ground, a total that included seven sacks.

With both units functioning at such a high level, BEA just coasted out in the second half for its sixth win of the year without a loss.

Next up for the Eagles will be the 2-4 Bearcats from Huntingdon.

Huntingdon had an easy opening-day 40-0 win over Mount Union and picked up its second victory Sept. 28, 21-14, over Bishop Carroll.

In between, however, there were four losses to top Mountain League contenders such as Bellefonte, Penns Valley and Clearfield.

In the back-and-forth win over Carroll, the teams were tied late in the fourth quarter, 14-14, when Huntingdon’s Derrick Fultz intercepted a pass at his own 37 and returned it inside the BC 10. Two plays later, Ryder Kocik took it in from the 3 and gave Huntingdon the winning margin.

Playing on a mud-soaked field that made any kind of running difficult at best, the Bearcats went with quarterback Michael Hudy and their passing game. Hudy completed 9 of 15 passes for 145 yards and two long touchdowns in the win.

Against BEA, though, the Bearcats will have to somehow find a little running daylight or Hudy will have to face a relentless Eagle pass rush.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

State College (6-0) at Harrisburg (5-1)

Harrisburg, Saturday, Oct. 6

While the State College Little Lions were improving their record to 6-0 with a 39-15 win over Central Dauphin East on Sept. 28, the Harrisburg Cougars were taking out the other Central Dauphin team, the Rams, by a score of 20-5 at Central Dauphin.

The two wins gave both SC and Harrisburg perfect 3-0 records in the Mid-Penn Colonial and set up a first-place showdown for Saturday, Oct. 6, in Harrisburg.

The Cougars and the Lions have actually been circling each other for the past three years. After State College won two straight conference titles in 2015 and 2016, Harrisburg broke the streak with a perfect 6-0 record and a championship in 2017. That record included a 51-28 win over State College in Week 8 that sent HHS to the title and into the PIAA 5-A state tournament.

In the 2017 game, Harrisburg received a monster performance from a guy named Micah Parsons who gained 231 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns on just 12 carries. Fortunately for SC, Parsons is now playing at a different level just down the street, but that doesn’t mean Harrisburg is without returning talent.

The Cougars are 5-1 so far. with wins over Reading, Cedar Cliff, CD East (42-0), Cumberland Valley and Central Dauphin. They can score points in bunches, averaging over 40 points per game, but what’s scarier is they’ve given up just five points total in their last three wins.

On Sept. 28, CD scored on a safety and a field goal in the first quarter and took a 5-0 lead, but that was it for the Rams. They would not get another point.

Harrisburg scored touchdowns after two long drives in the third quarter and then Rynell Gantt came up with a 42-yard pick-6 to put the game away.

Harrisburg quarterback Kane Everson completed 11 of 19 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for another 54 yards on 10 attempts in the game. Everson’s touchdown passes went to Trevion Carey (31 yards) and Donte Kent (19 yards), while the Harrisburg D was throwing a second-half shutout at the Rams.

In State College, Cohen Russell was finding lots of different ways to score for the Little Lions in their game against CD East. Russell scored on a 75-yard pass from Tommy Friberg, a 45-yard run and a 60-yard return of a blocked field goal that he blocked. Penn State recruit Keaton Ellis also got into the act by returning the opening kickoff 98 yards for the first touchdown of the night.

The Little Lions went up 29-7 by halftime and coasted out from there.

This game will be a chance for the Little Lions to avenge last season’s one-sided loss, and a win also will give them sole possession of first place in the conference with three games remaining.

Expect the unexpected here, with two highly motivated teams that both have explosive offenses and stingy defenses.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Vincentian Academy (0-2) at Philipsburg-Osceola (0-6)

Oct. 5, Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School

The Philipsburg-Osceola football team will not turn things around in one week, or even in one year for that matter.

But the Mounties are making strides, although they are yet to show up on the scoreboard.

It figured to be a challenging night Sept. 28 in Martinsburg against Central for the Mounties, and in many ways it was.

P-O fell behind by 27 points at halftime after big plays fueled a 20-point second quarter by the Dragons.

Yet the Mounties kept going and scored 21 points in the second half behind the play of quarterbacks Bubba Slogosky and Ryan Whitehead. Slogosky threw two touchdown passes, to Aaron Depto and T.J. Thompson, and Whitehead threw another, to Depto, as P-O chalked up just under 300 yards of offense in the game.

Almost all of that came in the passing game, however, as the Dragons limited P-O to just 10 yards on the ground. But Slogosky threw for 220 yards and Whitehead added 70 more with Thompson and Depto combining for eight catches, 171 yards and all three touchdowns.

This week, the Mounties will host Vincentian Academy out of Pittsburgh on Friday, Oct. 5, at the high school.

Vincentian, a Class AA school, is 0-2 with losses to Madonna (25-14) and Iroquois (16-8) so far this season.

The Braves are led by sophomore dual-threat quarterback Alex Khorey and 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior running back Vincenzo Battaglia.
Battaglia is Vincentian’s top tackler at linebacker and is the team’s leading rusher. He will many times take a direct, shotgun snap in the offense and is a threat going outside or inside for short yardage.

This could be a good matchup for P-O to show is growth, although Vincentian is not to be taken lightly. The roster may be relatively small, but there are quite a few 200-plus pounders, and Battaglia is a hard runner.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

 



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