Across it’s 86-year history, Veteran’s Memorial Field in Philipsburg has seen a multitude of memorable games.
Old-timers will tell you about the 8-7 win over DuBois in 1953 when a 138-pound tackle named Joe Shedlock blocked a kick to preserve the then Philipsburg win. Or they’ll bring up the 1959 romp over then undefeated Lock Haven when the Bobcats scored the first touchdown and then P-O scored the next 34 points in a 34-12 romp. More recently there was the 7-6 win over Tyrone in 2005 when the Golden Eagles chose not to kick a field goal and instead went for it on fourth down on three different occasions and didn’t make it.
Unfortunately, the last varsity game to be played in the stadium will be remembered sadly but not fondly as Huntingdon beat the Mounties 56-15 Friday night.
Trouble started right away for the Mounties when Huntingdon’s Noah Glenny ran the opeining kickoff back 86 yards for a touchdown and Tim Lightner kicked the PAT.
The next time the Bearcats got the football they drove 60 yards with Ian Border, who gained 202 yards and scored four touchdowns, went in for the score from the two to make it 14-0 with 5:30 to go in the quarter.
Huntingdon scored two more times in the quarter, once when Jonathan Price took off on a jet sweep to the right then reversed his field and went down the far sideline for a 29-yard score.
And before the quarter ended Andrew Hudy scored from the nine with 17 seconds to go.
“It’s always great when you can start off with a kickoff return for a score,” Huntingdon coach Mike Hudy said. “We’ve been close to breaking one different times this year. We didn’t want them using their emotions (about this being the last game on this field) to keep them in the game.”
The Bearcats made sure that didn’t happen with three more scores in the second quarter as Border scored from 27 yards out, then went 49 yards for another score and added his final score of the night on a 14-yard run to make it 49-0 with 3:02 to go.
“I think he went over 1,000 yards tonight,” Hudy said. “He’s a tough running back. He spends a lot of time in the weight room.”
That was obvious to P-O coach Mike Mann, who was impressed with the Huntingdon junior.
“That kid’s a stud,” he said. “He was all over the field. He’s hard to bring down. And on defense he was everywhere.”
Huntingdon got its final touchdown on its first possession of the third quarter when Nick Troha hooked up with Jarius Werner in the back corner of the end zone from 20 yards out with 5:59 to go in the quarter.
Huntingdon reached the P-O 3 with over two minutes left in the game but went into the victory formation on three snaps to run out the clock.
P-O scored twice in the fourth quarter, on a one-yard run by Bradley Dunkle and on a 15-yard pass from Dan Slogosky to TJ Thompson. Brandon Anderson ran for the conversion following Dunkle’s score and Keegan Soltis kicked the PAT following the Thompson touchdown.
Mann, himself a former Mountie player, was hoping the historical significance of the game would fuel his players.
“All week we talked to the kids about coming out and playing hard,” he said. “We were hoping it would go a lot better. We tried to explain to them what it means to play here. But when we got smacked in the mouth in the first 15 seconds of the game, it all went downhill from there.”