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HS football 5 takeaways: Defense dominates for 2 Centre County winners

Bald Eagle Area’s Ethan Moore stops Tyrone’s ballcarrier during the Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 game.
Bald Eagle Area’s Ethan Moore stops Tyrone’s ballcarrier during the Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 game. adrey@centredaily.com

It was a difficult week in area football action as local teams won just two of their five games on Friday night. The most impactful loss was Bellefonte’s as they dropped their first game of the season. Penns Valley lost another close game and Philipsburg-Osceola struggled again as they remain winless.

On a positive note, State College and Bald Eagle both stayed undefeated, cruising to their sixth wins of the season. Here are five takeaways from the games on Friday night.

1. Bellefonte couldn’t keep pace with Clearfield’s offense on Friday night, losing to the Bison, 49-21. The Red Raiders ran the ball well, averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a team. Junior C.J. Funk ran the ball 20 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. Bellefonte needed to get its passing game going to catch the Bison, who jumped out to a 35-7 lead at halftime.

Senior quarterback Kyle Myers was efficient for the Red Raiders with a 64.3 percent completion percentage, but attempted just 14 passes and gained 74 yards, making it difficult to mount a comeback. The Red Raiders will play Friday night at 7 p.m. at Penns Valley as they try to rebound from their first loss of the season.

2. Penns Valley couldn’t extend its win streak to three this week, losing a heartbreaker to Midd-West. The Rams trailed Midd-West 23-7 entering the fourth quarter but mounted a valiant comeback effort.

They scored two touchdowns, and converted on both two-point conversions to tie the score at 23 and take the game to overtime. After receiving the ball first in overtime, the Rams scored again to take a 29-23 lead on 22 unanswered points.

However, they failed on their point after, opening the door for Midd-West. The Mustangs took advantage, tying the game with a touchdown, and subsequently winning on their extra point. The Rams face Bellefonte at home this Friday night at 7 p.m.

3. State College senior slot wide receiver Cohen Russell had a big weekend -- on the field and in his recruitment. Russell showed off his explosive ability in the Little Lions’ 39-15 victory over Central Dauphin East with Penn State coach James Franklin in attendance.

Russell had just five touches all game, but he made the most of them. His four rushes led to a team high 57 yards and his only reception was a 73-yard touchdown. Earlier in the day, Russell announced on Twitter that he received a preferred walk-on opportunity to play at Penn State.

4. The rest of the Little Lions dominated on Friday night as well. They ran the ball 24 times, spreading out the carries between seven players. Isaiah Edwards led the way with eight carries for 47 yards, while sophomore Dresyn Green contributed 37 yards of his own on three carries.

Senior quarterback Tommy Friberg threw just six times on the night, completing three of those passes. He did, however, throw two interceptions. After getting up 29-7 at the half, the Little Lions coasted to victory behind their run game. They’ll travel to Harrisburg this week for a highly anticipated matchup with the 5-1 Cougars on Saturday at 1 p.m.

5. Bald Eagle coach Jesse Nagle said that the Eagles needed to wear Tyrone out and stop their run game if they wanted to earn the victory on Friday night, and that’s just what they did. Bald Eagle dominated the Golden Eagles, 35-0.

Tyrone senior running back Zac Allbright entered the game with 103 carries for 595 yards on the season, good for 5.78 yards per carry. On Friday, Allbright was completely shut down by the Bald Eagle defense, rushing the ball 11 times for only three yards. His 0.3 yards per carry in the game were by far his lowest of the season.

The Eagles will look to keep their defensive momentum going when they travel to Huntingdon to take on the Bearcats on Friday night at 7 p.m.

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