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State College falls in PIAA Class 6A quarters

by on November 30, 2017 8:21 AM

GREENSBURG — The State College Little Lions football season came to a close on Nov. 25 after falling to perennial power WPIAL champion Pine-Richland, 49-21.

State College played even with the Rams through halftime, as the teams were knotted at 14-14 at the break; however, Pine-Richland scored twice in the first two minutes of the second half to begin the onslaught.

The State College defense was picked apart by the Rams’ 6-foot-5, 220-pound Notre Dame-bound quarterback Phil Jurkovec. The senior threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns and her rushed for 119 yards and two more tallies.

Tommy Friberg finished the game 11-of-31 for 188 yards. He also tossed three touchdown passes; two to Brandon Clark, who is heading to Penn State as a non-scholarship walk-on. Clark caught seven passes for 148 yards. Friberg’s other scoring pass went into the hands of Jeremy Bullock.

The Little Lions concluded the season with a 10-3 record.

State College will lose some senior talent to graduation this year; however, a group of youngsters are poised to carry on the Little Lion tradition in the 2018 season.

The team leader in junior quarterback Tommy Friberg will return after throwing for over 2,000 yards this season — 2,031 to be exact. According to maxpreps.com, Friberg completed 121 of 193 passes for a 63-percent completion rate. He also threw 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

State College will miss a workhorse in the backfield with the coming departure of senior Tristan Lyons. The running back carried the bulk of the time in the team’s rushing game, toting the ball 152 times in 2017. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 1,032 yards. He also rushed for 14 touchdowns.

The rushing responsibilities will be passed down to sophomore Isaiah Edwards, who put up some pretty impressive numbers in his limited role in the Little Lions’ running game. Edwards carried the ball just 52 times this season, but when he carried it, it mattered. He recorded 532 rushing yards in those 52 carries, as well as 14 touchdowns — the same amount as his elder.

Friberg was third on the team in rushing with 392 yards on 85 carries. He also rushed for two touchdowns.

The heavily touted Clark was the team’s leader in both receptions and yards. He hauled in 51 passes for 891 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. As he plays with the neighboring Nittany Lions at Penn State next fall, junior Cohen Russell is expected to step up at the wide receiver position.

Russell has caught 35 passes this season for 549 yards. He also caught four touchdown passes.

The defense looks tough for 2018 when looking at the tackling numbers. Two juniors, Tyson Brennan (76) and Titus Thompson (64) were in the team’s top three in tackles on the season, sandwiching in senior Jackson Heasley, who was second on the team with 74 tackles.
Heasley will also be missed when it comes to harassing the quarterback. He recorded a team-high 12.5 sacks this season. Thompson is expected to step up in the pass pressure category. He recorded six sacks this season.

Senior Paul Ollivett led the team with four interceptions in 2017.But not far behind was freshman Sammy Knipe, who has picked off two opponents’ passes this season.

Little Lion kicker Cam Renfrew, a junior, will return in 2018. He converted 63-of-67 point after touchdown attempts and 2-of-3 field goal attempts, his longest make being that of 31 yards.

 

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