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, close games, Homecomings and standout performances punctuated the past. Take a look:
10 years ago (Oct. 12, 2007)
Defensive-minded Penns Valley surprised a lot of fans on this Friday.
Yes, the Rams shut out yet another team — no shock there — but their offense took several steps forward en route to a 34-0 win over Mount Union. Penns Valley had 261 rushing yards, while limiting the opposition to just 37 yards on the ground.
“I think more than anything, it was a little bit of a relief to put some on the board,” said Penns Valley coach Martin Tobias, whose team entered the contest averaging 10.7 points per game. “But, it was the way that we did it. We had some positive execution from our offense. I’m not pleased with the turnovers, but I am pleased that we were able to move the ball consistently.”
Taylor Wingard led the Rams (6-1) with 17 carries for 132 yards and three first-half touchdowns.
Said Mount Union coach Dave Hummel: They have a very good team. I look for them to do something down the road. They have got a lot of weapons. It’s tough to defend a team like that. Coach Tobias should be happy. He definitely has a good team that do something in the districts.”
In other games, State College cornerback Larry Ryland intercepted three passes — and returned two for touchdowns — in the Little Lions’ 35-7 win over Williamsport. Bellefonte came away with a 31-0 win over Lewistown behind a balanced attack, led by Greg Benscoter’s 18 carries for 108 yards. (The Red Raiders finished with 207 rushing yards and 136 passing yards.) And Bald Eagle Area won 29-14 over Central, after Gary Sowash rushed 18 times for 205 yards and a TD.
In maybe the most entertaining game Friday, Philipsburg-Osceola lost a heart-breaker to Tyrone 14-13 after a last-minute touchdown
The Centre Daily Times wrote that the Mounties were, “Shocked. Stunned. Stupefied.”
With about two-and-a-half minutes left, and with P-O leading 13-6, Tyrone caught P-O off-guard with a halfback pass for 27 yards. Later that drive, on third-and-6 from the 11, Tyrone once again surprised Philipsburg-Osceola with a halfback pass — from Shayne Tate to quarterback Levi Reihart.
That strike, with 16 seconds left, went for a touchdown. And Tyrone hit the game-winning extra point — after P-O had missed its own earlier in the game on a low snap.
“We just weren’t ready for it,” said P-O linebacker Dimitri Sidorick said about the trick play. “They hurried to the line and we weren’t ready for a play like that.”
20 years ago (Oct. 10, 1997)
It was a Homecoming to remember for Bellefonte.
Despite playing against a nine-man front, the Red Raiders’ Chris Shivery still carried the ball 26 times for 136 yards in his team’s tight 21-14 win against Lewistown. The win gave Bellefonte (4-3, 3-2 Big 8) a winning a record.
Run-first Bellefonte caught Lewistown off-guard with a 59-yard touchdown pass, and the defense came up clutch when the team needed. The Red Raiders had just a one-score lead in the game’s waning minutes, and with Lewistown facing a first-and-goal from the 4, Bellefonte’s Brian Robbins delivered a devastating blow to Barry Osborne to force a fumble that Ryan Miller recovered to preserve the win.
“Lewistown gave us a window of opportunity,” Raiders coach Steve Guthoff said, “and, when push came to shove, we managed to open the window and did some nice things.’’
Penns Valley was the only other local team to win Friday, after it destroyed Curwensville 42-13 despite nursing a 14-13 halftime lead. Jason Creeger paced the Rams with 132 of their 266 rushing yards — which fell in stark contrast to Curwensville’s 66 total rushing yards on 37 carries.
In the other games, Erie McDowell beat State College 17-6, Tyrone pounded Philipsburg-Osceola 48-6 — and, for the third straight game, Bald Eagle Area suffered a heart-breaking loss, this time in a 20-14 game to Central.
On first-and-goal from the 7, with 71 seconds left and trailing by just six, the Eagles ran ahead for two yards and then four. With time ticking away, with 15 seconds left and just one yard from the end zone, BEA’s Hunter Guenot tried to run a QB sneak — but he was stood up. BEA couldn’t get its final play off in time; the clock ran out. It was the third straight game the Eagles had lost by one possession.
“It’s really tough,” Bald Eagle Area coach Ron Hoover said. “I feel as bad as they do. They have been in every game, but we just haven’t been able to get the break we needed. It’s really frustrating for everyone.”
30 years ago (Oct. 16, 1987)
This is how the Centre Daily Times began its story on Philipsburg-Osceola: “Stunned, shocked and emotionally drained ...”
There was no other way to describe it. P-O’s bid for a perfect season came to an end after an unbelievable, unlikely 13-7 loss to Tyrone — on the final play, a Hail Mary. After Tyrone quarterback Bob Mertiff found Joe Steinbugl for a 42-yard pass play, to put the Golden Eagles just 33 yards away from the end zone, Mertiff heaved it with no time on the clock.
The pass was deflected by a P-O defender, but tight end Bill Kimberling maintained his concentration and fought the Mounties for possession. He made the catch. In the end zone. Touchdown.
“It’s hard emotionally to react to this game right now,” Mounties coach Jack Bailey said. “We’ve been asking a hell of a lot out of the kids, and they responded with all their hearts right now. Tonight, it wasn’t enough.”
Elsewhere in the county, Curwensville slipped past Penns Valley 18-10 after Rams coach Mike Flickinger believed his team underestimated the 1-5 opponent. Bald Eagle Area defeated Central 19-12 after Jesse Grieb scored one touchdown, passed for another and handed off for the third. And Bellefonte got back on track with a 21-6 victory over Mount Union, giving the Red Raiders their second win of the season.
In a Homecoming game — that honored the 1937 squad, which was the first to play at Memorial Field — State College put on a show with a 48-0 win over Shikellamy. The Little Lions rolled up 374 yards of offense, as speedy junior running back Ron Dickerson turned in a performance to remember.
Dickerson finished with a 65-punt return TD, a 39-yard rushing score and a 29-yard receiving touchdown. Shikellamy had just 25 yards on 23 carries.
“It’s a good win for our team,” Little Lions coach Ron Pavlechko said. “It was certainly a good night for our players.”