The end of State College’s playoff run Saturday capped the high school football season in Centre County.
It proved to be a memorable campaign as both the Little Lions and Bellefonte finished with 10 wins and set records along the way.
Let’s take a look at the notable statistical achievements recorded this year:
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Tommy Friberg took over at quarterback for State College this season and led the Little Lions’ offense with confidence.
The junior became the sixth quarterback in county history to throw for more than 2,000 yards in a season, ranking sixth with 2,021 yards. He completed 61.7 percent of his passes, good for the best mark in the county this year.
And he nearly tied the county’s single-season record for touchdown passes of 29 set by Brook Hart in 2006 — Friberg finished with 28 touchdowns after a three-touchdown effort in the team’s season-ending loss to Pine-Richland in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals Saturday.
By the end of next season, Friberg could become the county’s all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
If he records another 2,000-yard season, he’ll be the first player in county history to throw for 4,000 yards in his career — Bellefonte’s Bill Witmer ranks No. 1 with 3,878. The career mark for touchdown passes (36) belongs to Bellefonte’s Ryan Poorman.
Fellow area quarterbacks Penns Valley’s Aaron Tobias, Bald Eagle Area’s Jaden Jones and Philipsburg-Osceola’s Daniel Slogosky will also be back next season.
You have to go back 51 years to find another season like Dylan Deitrich’s in the history of Bellefonte football.
In 1966, Jerry Shivery rushed for 1,792 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Red Raiders. Both marks still stood as school records heading into this season and ranked among the top individual seasons in county history. Shivery now has company in the record books after Deitrich rushed for 1,535 yards and 26 touchdowns in a brilliant 2017 campaign.
Deitrich is tied for fourth in county history in rushing touchdowns, and he also owns some of the top single-game performances seen in the area.
Deitrich was the only player in the county to surpass the 200-yard mark in a game this year. He achieved the feat twice, rushing for 203 yards and a county-best six touchdowns against Clearfield and 262 yards against Central.
Deitrich’s success translated to a record-setting season for the team, too, as the Red Raiders captured their first league title since 2005 and their first district championship since 1999 on their way to the fourth 10-win season in program history.
Deitrich easily finished as the county’s leading rusher, but he wasn’t the only player to break the 1,000-yard mark.
State College running back Tristen Lyons finished with 1,032 yards rushing.
Lyons needed 51 yards in Saturday’s game against Pine-Richland to reach 1,000 yards, and he finished with 83 yards on 19 carries to secure the milestone.
Brandon Clark put together one of the greatest seasons by a receiver in county history.
The State College wide receiver finished with 16 touchdown catches to break the previous single-season record of 12 shared by former Little Lions Gary Ellis (1974) and Noah Woods (2016). Clark’s 51 catches and 895 receiving yards both rank fourth in county history.
The 6-foot-4 senior — who is headed to Penn State as a preferred walk-on — was unstoppable during State College’s postseason run. He hauled in a combined 19 passes for 385 yards and six touchdowns against Erie, Delaware Valley and Pine-Richland.
Against Pine-Richland, Clark finished with seven catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns in one of his best performances of the season. He had nine catches for 149 yards — both season-high marks — during the regular season against Harrisburg. And he caught a touchdown in each of the Little Lions’ final five games.
Bellefonte’s Cade Fortney finished second in the county this season with 634 yards receiving, and State College’s Cohen Russell was third with 555 yards.
Area stat leaders
1. Tommy Friberg, SC, 2,021
2. Aaron Tobias, PV, 1,400
3. Daniel Slogosky, P-O, 1,334
4. Dylan Deitrich, Bel, 1,245
5. Jaden Jones, BEA, 1,071
1. Dylan Deitrich, Bel, 1,535
2. Tristen Lyons, SC, 1,032
3. Dexter Gallishaw, Bel, 802
4. Ryan Ripka, PV, 778
5. Isaiah Edwards, SC, 540
1. Brandon Clark, SC, 895
2. Cade Fortney, Bel, 634
3. Cohen Russell, SC, 555
4. Cole Breon, PV, 464
5. Matthew Reese, BEA, 401