High School Sports

State College defense will be key against high-powered Williamsport

State College’s Alex Aspray tackles Central Dauphin’s ball carrier Michael Burgwin during Oct. 9, 2015 game at Memorial Field. Central Dauphin won, 35-17.
State College’s Alex Aspray tackles Central Dauphin’s ball carrier Michael Burgwin during Oct. 9, 2015 game at Memorial Field. Central Dauphin won, 35-17. CDT photo

How about these stats?

Averages of 50 points and 519 yards per game. And 1,885 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns.

The first two are team stats, and the rushing totals are individual stats for Williamsport. These are just scratching the surface for the Millionaires.

Consider 2,224 passing yards and a 6-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. Three players with more than 600 yards rushing and five receivers with more than 200 yards receiving.

The State College defense has the task of stopping Williamsport’s video game-like offense in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Selinsgrove High School.

“We are playing a very explosive offense,” State College coach Matt Lintal said. “No one has held them under 35 points all year long. To think about shutting them out is probably a long shot just knowing how explosive that young man is.”

The young man Lintal is speaking of is Treyson Potts.

Potts is a sophomore running back for the Millionaires and has those 1,885 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns. He’s done it all on 159 carries for an average of 11.9 yards per carry. Potts has three 200-plus yard rushing games and one game where he had four carries for 186 yards. There was just one game where he didn’t score a touchdown — the second game of the year. It also was the lowest rushing total he had with 69 yards.

Potts also has 217 yards receiving and two more touchdowns.

“Treyson Potts is good as we’ve seen all year,” Lintal said. “He can make you miss in a phone booth type deal. He’s special.”

That’s saying a lot for State College (10-1) since it plays in, according to Lintal, one of the tougher conferences “out there.”

State College comes into the game as one of the top defenses in the state when it comes to points allowed. The Little Lions are giving up just 10.2 points per game. The most they allowed was 28 points to Harrisburg. They also shut out Mechanicsburg, Carlisle and Chambersburg this year.

State College has 41 sacks on the year and 58 tackles for loss.

“I believe defense wins games,” Lintal said. “Obviously, our ‘D’ has played tremendous football all year long. Our kids are excited for the opportunity and challenge.”

Williamsport (11-1) has two others with more than 600 yards rushing. Quarterback Isaiah Hankins has 740 yards rushing on 99 carries and fellow running back Marty Clark has 604 yards on 59 carries.

If you add Hankins’ 2,224 passing yards to his rushing yards, the senior is 36 yards shy of 3,000 yards. He also has 24 passing touchdowns to just four interceptions and has a total of 36 touchdowns.

Elliott Walker leads the receiving corps with 604 yards on 34 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Dante Wright (575 yards, 7 touchdowns), Jalen Jackson (304, 3) and Tristan Connor (342, 2) account for most of the rest of the receiving totals.

“We’ve got to wrap,” Lintal said. “We’ve got to gang tackle. We have to play team defense like we have all year long and hopefully we can slow them down.”

Nate Cobler: 814-231-4609, @ncoblercdt