The high school football season is upon us, and plenty of programs and players are ready to make their mark on not just the 2017 season, but also the history books.
But what about those performances that are already in Centre County lore? And what about those games that people just can’t stop talking about years later?
Well, we’re bringing some of them back to life.
Each week, the CDT sports staff will flash back to some of the biggest storylines from that high school football weekend 10 and 20 years ago — and maybe even further. This go-around, we’ll look at past season’s Week 1 contests, even if they happened a little earlier or a little after the dates.
If you have suggestions for future key plays or games, we’re all ears. But for now, let’s get into it:
20 years ago (Aug. 29, 1997): Bellefonte beats State College in Iron Kettle game
At the time, State College held a 44-22-3 series lead in its rivalry game against Bellefonte — and the Little Lions had two times as many players as their opponent.
But in front of a capacity crowd at Rogers Stadium, the Red Raiders were victorious — beating State College 36-22.
“Unbelievable,” Bellefonte coach Steve Guthoff told the Centre Daily Times at the time. “We said this was going to be a ‘Rocky’ movie. They were going to punch us, and we were going to go down. We were going to punch them, and they were going to go down. And that’s what happened all through the game. ... But we have resiliency.”
Future Penn State star running back Larry Johnson put up a solid statline, as expected. The bulldozer racked up 116 yards on just 17 carries.
However, Bellefonte’s Chris Shivery outdid Johnson with 179 rushing yards on 32 attempts. Shivery scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and accounted for 62.6 percent of the Red Raiders’ yardage.
Johnson struck first, though. He notched two first-half touchdowns, but Bellefonte led 15-12 at the break with a couple of Bill Witmer goal-line scores.
After Shivery’s first fourth-quarter score, Bellefonte went up 29-15 — but State College responded. Tony Johnson, Larry’s brother, housed a reverse handoff 80 yards to cut the lead to seven.
But Shivery finished it off, putting Bellefonte ahead by two touchdowns with 2:16 left in regulation.
“We said in a way, it would be good to stay close, stay close to State College,” Guthoff said. “But if we’re going to stay close, why not just beat them?”
And that’s what the Red Raiders did.
10 years ago (Sept. 1, 2007): Philipsburg-Osceola defeats defending District 9 champs Brookville
Philipsburg-Osceola averaged 202.7 rushing yards per game in 2006 — but in its 2007 season opener, the Mounties were effective throwing the football.
P-O senior quarterback Bo Reifer put on a show in the Mounties’ 29-20 win over Brookville, the defending District 9 champions.
Reifer tore up Brookville, a team that went 10-2 the year prior, with 211 yards and a touchdown on 8 of 16 passing.
Yes, 211 yards on eight completions — that’s 26.4 yards per hookup.
Brookville led 13-3 early until Reifer connected with J.D. Mason for a 65-yard score to close the second quarter.
As far as scoring, the second half belonged to P-O earth-mover Dimitri Sidorick. The full back powered in third-quarter touchdowns from four and five yards out, giving the Mounties a lead it wouldn’t surrender.
Brookville cut into that advantage with a 65-yard passing touchdown in the fourth quarter, but Reifer capped his stellar performance with a 1-yard rushing score.
It was the first win in a 9-3 campaign for P-O.