High School Sports

Looking back on this week’s high school football games ... from 10, 20, 30 years ago

Bellefonte’s Robbie Irwin, seen here against Indian Valley during the 2007 season, scored two late touchdowns against Clearfield on Sept. 28, 2007, to win 41-31.
Bellefonte’s Robbie Irwin, seen here against Indian Valley during the 2007 season, scored two late touchdowns against Clearfield on Sept. 28, 2007, to win 41-31. Centre Daily Times, file

It was another spectacular performance by Larry Johnson, a crazy fourth quarter at Rogers Stadium and an even crazier end in the Tyrone-Bald Eagle Area rivalry to highlight Centre County high school football on this date in history.

Each week, the CDT sports staff is flashing back to some of the biggest high school football storylines from 10, 20 and 30 years ago.

Take a look at this week in the history books:

10 years ago (Sept. 28, 2007)

Bellefonte survived a wild fourth quarter with Clearfield at Rogers Stadium with two late touchdowns by Robbie Irwin securing the 41-31 win. First, Irwin returned a fumble 68 yards for a score, and later caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Poorman. That was set up by a long interception return by Bryan Rogers down to the Bison 2-yard line, as the teams combined for 41 points in the final period.

“It was a thriller,” Bellefonte coach Zac Wynkoop said after his team improved to 4-1. “Clearfield doesn’t go away and they didn’t tonight.”

Poorman threw four scoring strikes, three in the final quarter.

State College was denied a comeback win over Bishop McDevitt at Memorial Field when Terna Ityokumbul, who had just scored on a 21-yard run with 56 seconds left, was stuffed on a two-point conversion attempt. McDevitt’s Mike Jones ran for 200 yards, had 310 all-purpose yards and scored all five of his team’s touchdowns in the 35-34 win.

Meanwhile, Penns Valley held Chestnut Ridge to 138 yards of offense and improved to 4-1 on the season with a 7-0 win as Matt Johnson scored the only touchdown. And Philipsburg-Osceola followed the lead of Dimitri Sidorick to beat Bald Eagle Area 20-7. Sidorick ran for 115 of his 154 yards in the second half and scored a pair of touchdowns, while Zack Czap returned a fumble for another TD.

20 years ago (Sept. 26, 1997)

A pair of explosive offensive — and defensive — performances highlighted the weekend.

Larry Johnson had another huge night for State College with 15 carries for 251 yards in a 42-0 romp over Huntingdon. The future Penn Stater scored four times, including on runs of 73 and 77 yards, and had 659 in his last three games. He also had another 50-yard run called back by a penalty and recorded a sack on defense.

Penns Valley’s win over East Juniata was even bigger — 68-0. The Rams rolled up 533 yards of offense, led by Jason Creeger’s 168 yards and four scores on just nine carries, and David Royer was 5-for-5 passing for 120 yards and two more touchdowns.

BEA could not hold off Tyrone, which played in the state title game the previous season, in a 21-14 loss. Mark Wyland ran for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the winner with 7:41 left.

P-O could not overcome the injury loss of senior leader Bill Condo on the game’s third play in a 32-13 loss to Indian Valley, while Clearfield romped over Bellefonte 35-7. The lone Red Raider score, a Chris Shivery touchdown, was set up by Kevin Shivery’s 75-yard kickoff return.

30 years ago (Oct. 2, 1987)

A drenching rain made for some wild games around the region, though the wildest came at Bald Eagle Area. The host Eagles thought they had a 20-14 win locked up when Mike Thompson scored on a one-yard run with eight seconds left, but Scott Hoover returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown with no time left on the clock. Hoover also had an 81-yard kick return for a score earlier in the game.

P-O posted its fourth shutout in five games with a 9-0 homecoming victory over Chief Logan, with Paul Lamb picking off his fifth interception of the season and Billy Tressler’s 17-yard touchdown run joining a safety as the night’s only scores.

Penns Valley and West Branch could not manage any scoring — playing to a 0-0 tie. The Rams drove inside the Warriors’ 10 twice but were denied by interceptions, and had a 27-yard field goal with 18 seconds left miss the mark.

Craig Collison scored State College’s only touchdown on the game’s opening drive in a 7-6 win at Altoona, while Bellefonte was held to 15 yards rushing and suffered five turnovers in a 13-0 loss to Lock Haven.

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