If there’s one thing we learned about statistics this season, it’s that one big Friday can shake up the area leaders.
And that’s exactly what happened this week.
Penns Valley shot up the charts after a big passing performance against Bellefonte. The Red Raiders still lead in two of three categories, but Bellefonte will have to work to lock down the other category.
Here’s a look at this week’s leaders:
Penns Valley quarterback Aaron Tobias is the story of the week.
Yeah, sure, the Rams fell to Bellefonte 35-20 — but the game was close until the end. And Tobias stepped up in a big way, going 25-of-42 passing for 343 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That has to give Penns Valley some confidence the rest of the season.
And it definitely had an instant impact on our leaderboard. Tobias moved from No. 5 last week to No. 2 this week — and he could very well be the area’s top passer by next Saturday. He entered Friday night 350 yards behind the leader, and now he’s just 36 yards away.
Philipsburg-Osceola’s Daniel Slogosky remains the leader with 846 yards, but the Mounties are hoping his efficiency improves. He’s completing just under 46 percent of his passes, and he’s thrown two interceptions for every touchdown. State College’s Tommy Friberg isn’t coming off his best game of the season — 153 yards, two TDs, two picks — but he’s still the area’s most effective signal-caller.
Friberg has 15 touchdowns to four interceptions and is third in yards (785), despite playing in one fewer game than Penns Valley and P-O.
Rounding out the top 5 are Bald Eagle Area’s Jaden Jones and Bellefonte’s Dylan Deitrich, and no one behind them is within striking distance — unless they pull a Tobias and throw for 330 yards.
It’s still Bellefonte quarterback Dylan Deitrich and then everyone else, here.
Deitrich boasts a commanding lead with 806 yards, which is 318 yards better than current runner-up Ryan Ripka (488 yards). Penns Valley’s Ripka is averaging a respectable 4.9 yards per carry this season, but Deitrich has essentially been the offensive MVP of Centre County. He’s averaging 8.8 yards per carry, and he’s been a balanced force on offense.
Ripka’s No. 2 spot is far from safe, however. Three other backs — Bald Eagle Area’s Gage McClenahan (441), Bellefonte’s Dexter Gallishaw (409) and State College’s Isaiah Edwards (387) — are all within 101 yards. And the sixth-best back, the Little Lions’ Tristen Lyons, is knocking on the door. (Edwards was injured Friday, and Lyons could certainly take on a heavier load if called upon.)
Unless opposing defenses somehow find a way to suddenly stop Deitrich, it looks as if it top spot is all but locked up. But that appears to be the only spot on our leaderboard that is safe.
For the fifth straight week, the Red Raiders’ Cade Fortney is the area’s leading receiver.
His value to Bellefonte’s offense has been pretty obvious. He’s accounted for 57 percent of his team’s yards through the air, and his nine receiving/rushing touchdowns are second in the area only to Deitrich’s 13.
This could evolve into an interesting battle, however. Penns Valley’s Cole Breon is obviously a talented wideout and if, Tobias’ game Friday was any indication, there could be a lot more passing yards — and, thus, receiving yards for Breon — in the near future.
The bottom of this leaderboard couldn’t be any closer. After Bald Eagle Area’s Matthew Reese at No. 3, there’s definitely a big backlog. In fact, five receivers are separated by only 16 yards.
State College’s Cohen Russell (236) is No. 4, followed by a tie at No. 5 between fellow Little Lion Brandon Clark and the Mounties’ TJ Thompson with 229 yards. And right behind them? Penns Valley’s Nic Kubalac has 228 yards, and BEA’s Kael Gardner has 220.
We could see the receiving leaderboard nearly turned upside-down in a week’s time.
Area stat leaders
1. Daniel Slogosky, P-O, 846
2. Aaron Tobias, PV, 810
3. Tommy Friberg, SC, 785
4. Jaden Jones, BEA, 766
5. Dylan Deitrich, Bel, 697
1. Dylan Deitrich, Bel, 806
2. Ryan Ripka, PV, 488
3. Gage McClenahan, BEA, 441
4. Dexter Gallishaw, Bel, 409
5. Isaiah Edwards, SC, 387
1. Cade Fortney, Bel, 438
2. Cole Breon, PV, 367
3. Matthew Reese, BEA, 357
4. Cohen Russell, SC, 236
T-5. Brandon Clark, SC, 229
T-5. T.J. Thompson, P-O, 229