High School Sports

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

Philipsburg-Osceola’s Zack Czap consoles his teammate, as Penns Valley celebrates beating the Mounties on Oct. 5, 2007.
Philipsburg-Osceola’s Zack Czap consoles his teammate, as Penns Valley celebrates beating the Mounties on Oct. 5, 2007. Centre Daily Times, file

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

In this week’s edition, rivalry games and comebacks define the past. Take a look:

10 years ago (Oct. 5, 2007)

This was a rivalry game to remember.

Penns Valley and Philipsburg-Osceola both entered Friday night’s matchup with winning records. The Rams were 4-1, while the Mounties were a perfect 5-0 — and this one couldn’t have been any closer.

In one of the longest games ever played involving two Centre County teams, Penns Valley outmuscled P-O in double-overtime by a 13-10 score. Penns Valley’s 30-yard field goal attempt with 10 seconds left in regulation was blocked. Then, the two teams traded field goals in the first overtime.

That set up memorable overtime No. 2. Penns Valley’s Adam Brown stopped P-O’s Corey Shimmel a single yard short of the end zone to prevent a touchdown, and defensive tackle Ethan Hull then recovered the Mounties’ failed center-to-quarterback exchange. Three plays later, Brown — who was also the kicker — was set up once more for the game-winning field goal

From 24 yards, he nailed it to give Penns Valley its first win over P-O since 2002. “This is a big win,” Brown told the CDT. “P-O is good.”

Added Jacob Homan, the Rams’ holder: “I told Adam just to relax. ... He’s a great kicker. I saw the ball coming back, and I set it there. I knew everything was going to be perfect.”

Both defenses came up big in the matchup, as neither allowed the opposing offense to gain more than 200 yards. Penns Valley didn’t even permit a single first down in the second half and didn’t allow P-O to cross the 50-yard line.

“I think this is maybe a little bit of a statement of where our kids stack up,” Rams coach Martin Tobias said.

In other games, Bald Eagle Area lost a heartbreaker to Bellwood-Antis 15-12. The Eagles led 12-0 but committed four fumbles in the second half, including one that went into the end zone for a touchback. State College beat Carlisle 28-7 to improve to 3-3 on the season — but the Little Lions weren’t particularly happy about the game.

Larry Ryland and Terna Ityokymbul each rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown while Alex Kenney scored twice. And State College controlled the ball for 30 of 48 minutes. But it also turned the ball over three times in the red zone.

“It was tough losing three in a row and it’s nice to win,” Kenney said. “But I wish we could have played better football.”

20 years ago (Oct. 3, 1997)

With less than five minutes left to play Friday, Penns Valley found itself trailing by two touchdowns to Bellwood.

In the end, it found itself with an unlikely 29-28 comeback victory.

Quarterback David Royer, who finished with 224 passing yards, refused to surrender this Friday night. On the Rams’ first drive with five minutes left, he connected on four completions — including a 21-yarder on 3rd-and-10 — to put the Rams on the 9. On third-and-goal from the 11, Royer tossed a TD to Ryan McCaffrey.

After an onside kick recovery, Royer was back at it. Four completions and a short run later, it was third-and-goal at the 1 — and Royer scampered around the left end for the game-winning touchdown. Then it was time to go for two and go for the win.

“We went into the huddle and I said to the kids, “What’s going to work? You tell me what’s going to work and then I’ll make the call,’” Rams coach Martin Tobias said. “I called the play. They didn’t even come up with that one. I said, ‘Everybody’s going to be looking inside.’”

Royer faked a handoff straight up the gut, put the ball on his hip and sprinted to his right — untouched — for the game-winning two-point conversion. Penns Valley trailed 28-14 with five minutes left and ended up with the 29-28 victory.

“Probably the best thing they did was their quarterback took the ball,” Bellwood coach John Hayes said, referring to the two-point conversion. “They knew who their good runner is and we bit inside and we lost containment.’’

In other games, Clearfield dominated Philipsburg-Osceola 47-15 — despite the Mounties’ 81-yard touchdown connection between Brandon McCliment and Joe Neidrick. Huntingdon defeated Bald Eagle Area 21-14. And Bellefonte slipped past Indian Valley, 18-15, after rushing 52 times for 209 yards. (Chris Shivery ran 33 times for 186 yards and all three Bellefonte TDs.)

State College’s Larry Johnson also once again put on a clinic by rushing 14 times for 180 yards and four touchdowns in the Little Lions’ 56-7 win over Hollidaysburg.

“I’m not even sure we even got in front of him,” Hollidaysburg coach Tom Jones said. “He’s the best back we’ve seen this season.”

30 years ago (Oct. 9, 1987)

Philipsburg-Osceola was on a roll.

By dominating Clearfield by a 28-2 score, it cemented its perfect 6-0 start to the season. Tailback Bill Tressler scored twice from long range, fullback Scott Hoover scored once from up close, and defensive back Paul Lamb returned his sixth interception for a touchdown. The offensive success came as a bit of a surprise, considering Clearfield tended to load the box with at least eight defenders.

But, once again, it was the defense that was the star. The Mounties limited Clearfield to 12 yards.

“The defense played another outstanding game,” P-O coach Jack Bailey told the CDT. “It comes down to the kids. They’re outstanding. They’ve been playing hurt, doing the job.”

In other games, Chief Logan defeated Bellefonte 24-0, after Logan I-back Todd McCurdy rushed 25 times for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Penns Valley hung on for the 27-20 win over Southern Huntingdon, despite taking a 27-0 lead in the final quarter. “The ending certainly wasn’t by design,” Rams coach Mike Flickinger said. (Southern Huntingdon’s quarterback had five completions for 140 yards and three TDs in the fourth quarter.) And Huntingdon defeated Bald Eagle Area 26-6 after Bearcats sophomore Kurt Border had 32 carries for 224 yards.

The State College game was a bit more interesting. For the 10th time in the last 13 meetings, the Little Lions-Hollidaysburg contest came down to the kicking game.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Little Lions — who trailed 7-0 — mounted a 90-yard drive, capped by Craig Collison’s one-yard TD run up the middle. But the snap on the PAT came in low, the holder scooped it up and scrambled — and his pass was batted down.

State College ended up losing 7-6.

“It was just a low snap,” Little Lions coach Ron Pavlechko said. “We weren’t going for two points with eight minutes left. We figured we’d put the pressure on Hollidaysburg. We felt our defense was playing well enough.”