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5 High school highlights from a winning Centre County weekend

State College wide receiver Keaton Ellis celebrates scoring a touchdown with offensive tackle James Pone during Friday’s game against Mifflin County.
State College wide receiver Keaton Ellis celebrates scoring a touchdown with offensive tackle James Pone during Friday’s game against Mifflin County. psheehan@centredaily.com

High school football season kicked off this weekend with some big performances. One quarterback set a school record, while a kicker nailed a game-winning field goal. Here are our five biggest takeaways from the first week of action.

1. Bald Eagle lit up the scoreboard on Friday night, scoring 50 points against Troy High School in a 50-6 victory. The Eagles were paced by junior quarterback Jaden Jones, who set a school record with 486 passing yards. He threw for five touchdowns, rushed for another, and was able to spread the ball around to multiple wide receivers.

Junior receivers Matthew Reese, Kaden Bittinger and Gage McClenahan all had more than 100 receiving yards and at least one touchdown. The trio was led by McClenahan, who had six receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

2. The Eagles were just as good defensively as they were on offense, and were paced by senior linebacker Kael Gardner. Gardner led the team with 15 tackles, two of which were for a loss. The defense contributed to the scoreboard as well, with a 30-yard scoop and score for defensive end Dylan Bisel. The Eagles will take on Philipsburg-Osceola Friday at 7.pm.

3. Bellefonte won its season opener in dramatic fashion, taking down the Jersey Shore Bulldogs, 17-14. The Red Raiders earned the victory with a game-winning 28-yard field goal by senior kicker Chris Persiko. The victory came in spite of six turnovers by the Red Raiders. The Red Raiders will travel to Huntingdon Friday at 7. p.m.

4. Penns Valley ran roughshod over Fairfield and were carried by senior running back Ryan Ripka, who accounted for five of the Rams’ seven touchdowns, scoring three on the ground, one on a reception, and one more on a kick return. The other two touchdowns came through the air from junior quarterback Aaron Tobias, who threw three total touchdowns. The Rams will play at home this Friday at 7 p.m. when they face off with the Clearfield Bison.

5. State High opened with a 35-12 victory over Mifflin County. The Little Lions took a 35-0 lead into halftime and coasted from there. Penn State commit Keaton Ellis contributed to the winning effort with a 73-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. They’ll travel to New Jersey this Friday to take on St. Augustine Prep. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.

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