Isaiah Edwards’ first varsity touchdown was a memorable one Friday night.
The State College sophomore took the handoff and ran behind the left tackle. Twenty yards down field, he spun out of a tackler’s hands and sprinted away from everyone else for a 61-yard score.
“Waiting for plenty more to come,” he said of the run, one of many highlights for both himself and his Little Lion teammates.
Edwards added two more scores, including a 72-yard jaunt, and finished with 169 yards on a mere eight carries. He was one of three State College runners to break the century mark in a 55-27 victory over Hollidaysburg at Memorial Field.
Tommy Friberg added 127 yards on the ground, and 66 yards passing with two more scores, while Tristen Lyons had 113 yards and two touchdown runs.
“That’s crazy,” Edwards said when learning there was a trio of 100-yard rushers. “That’s a dream come true. Everybody was having a good game.”
State College’s ground game was definitely good, finishing with 473 yards. The average of 11.3 yards per carry had to impress the large crowd on hand that included a huge contingent of Little Lion alumni and Penn State coach James Franklin.
“They have some good running backs who got in some space,” Golden Tigers coach Homer DeLattre said. “They ran some schemes. We were out of alignment a couple times and that’s what happens. They’re good.”
DeLattre’s team relied on the 1-2 offensive punch of running back Patrick Young, who had 15 carries for 56 yards, and quarterback Brady Walters, who added 51 yards on the ground and 78 through the air with three scores.
State College got off to an ideal start. The Little Lions raced down the field on the opening possession, covering 80 yards in just 75 seconds capped by a Lyons run from the 1 yard-line. Hollidaysburg then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and four plays later Friberg hit Brandon Clark on a quick slant for a 13-yard score and a 14-0 lead just 2:35 into the contest.
“It was great to start off strong, start off with confidence,” Friberg said. “The team was playing pretty well today.”
But Hollidaysburg put together a pair of long, time-consuming drives, capped by two Jack Sauserman touchdown catches, to draw within one, although Keaton Ellis blocked an extra point kick to preserve the lead.
The Little Lions then got a little breathing room in the second quarter with a Friberg-to-Jeremy Bullock 17-yard score before Edwards took off on his spectacular run.
The sophomore added another 13-yard score before halftime, and burst to a 72-yard gallop midway through the third.
“I know my linemen are going to do their job, my teammates are going to do their jobs,” Edwards said. “I’ve just got to do my job and make them look good. They’re making me look better.”
State College opened the second half recovering an onside kick, setting up a 35-yard Lyons scoring run, but the Little Lions could never ice the game. A little Later, the Tigers’ Mason McCready blocked a punt that Danny Molliver recovered in the end zone. State College coach Matt Lintal had started to use more backups on the offensive series, but then had the starters back on the field and his team could not put the game away.
“They kept going,” Lintal said. “We’ve got to be able to put teams away when we have them there.”
Molliver also caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the fourth, and Lyons capped the scoring with a 15-yard run to put him over 100 for the night and deliver an exclamation point to the Little Lion ground game.
“We trust our kids to make plays,” Lintal said. “We want to make sure we take advantage of getting our kids into the best situation possible.”