It was supposed to be a homecoming celebration for the Chambersburg football team, but instead Friday was Valentine’s Night.
The State College junior returned the opening punt for a score and added two touchdown catches as the Little Lions improved to 2-0 in the Mid Penn Conference with a 42-6 rout of the Trojans.
John Weakland tossed three touchdowns for State College, which overcame a sloppy night with penalties to smack the Trojans (0-5). Chambersburg remained winless against the Little Lions since State College joined the league.
The Trojans got the opening kickoff, but on fourth-and-1 from their 34 elected to punt. Valentine caught the punt on the run and raced 58 yards for the touchdown. Kevin Cramer’s first of six extra points made the score 7-0 just 2:06 into the game.
On State College’s first offensive play, Weakland was picked off by Boaz Pogue, who returned the ball to the Little Lion 25. State College’s defense allowed just two yards and the Trojans settled for Nazeer Taylor’s 39-yard field goal.
Chambersberg would never get any closer.
Jordan Misher rushed for 36 yards in 64-yard march, going the final yard with a direct snap to make the score 14-3 with 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
After an exchange of punts, Weakland and Valentine connected. On fourth-and-1 from the Trojan 45, Weakland hit Valentine on a quick slant and Valentine broke a couple of tackles on the way to a touchdown jaunt that made it 21-3.
A 44-yard catch and run by running back Darius Johnson set up a 34-yard field goal goal from Taylor to make it 21-6.
But after the kickoff, Weakland and Valentine were back at it again to cap a 49-yard march. On third-and-14 from the 24, Weakland found Valentine across the middle at the 10 amd Valentine raced in as the Little Lions pushed the lead to 28-6.
A fumbled punt gave the Trojans, who have scored just two touchdowns all season, a chance to score before the half. But a bad snap on first-and-goal at the 5, ended that chance just before the half.
Brett Graham took care of the Little Lions’ next scoring drive from two different perspectives. His 37-yard punt pinned Chambersburg deep and a three-and-out by the defense gave the Little Lions the ball at the 35. Misher gained 21 yards on three carries before Weakland hit tight end Graham with a 14-yard strike to make it 35-6 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Chambersburg had one more chance to break its touchdown drought. Hunter Leedy’s 38-yard pass to Jacob Melegro keyed a drive that got to the State College 4. But on fourth down, Misher stopped Mitchell Hollar a yard short of the first down.
With reserves in the contest, State College tacked on a one more score in the final quarter. Aziz Salamy went the final four yards with 3:12 remaining.
The Little Lions were able to put up the big numbers, despite racking up 14 penalties, including three for delay of game. They lost 131yards in penalties.
Weakland finished 11 of 22 for 165 yards. Misher led the Little Lions with 107 yards on 19 carries.
Leedy went 14 for 26 for 128 yards for the Trojans.
The Little Lions travel to powerful Central Dauphin (4-1) next Friday.