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 and playoffs highlighted the past. Take a look:
10 years ago (Nov. 9-10, 2007)
Philipsburg-Osceola and the postseason were synonymous with each other a decade ago.
On a Saturday, nearly 10 years ago to the day, the Mounties cruised past Richland 31-21 in the District 6 Class 2A quarterfinal after a convincing performance by running back Dimitri Sidorick and Co.
P-O led 21-7 at halftime and made a statement to start the second half. It received the ball and proceeded to eat up nearly the entire third quarter. The Mounties ran 18 plays for 75 yards over a span of 8:55, before Zach Czap nailed a 33-yard field goal.
“That was huge,” P-O coach Jeff Vroman said. “We used up almost nine minutes, and we must have gone about 110 yards with all of the penalties we had. We were able to keep their offense off the field, and we got three points out of it. That’s what we wanted to do. We talked about it at halftime. We wanted to come out and pound it at them.”
Sidorick finished with 122 rushing yards, while J.D. Mason paced the offense with five catches for 97 yards.
Memories elsewhere in the county weren’t as satisfying.
Bellefonte couldn’t stop the counter-option in Lewistown’s 28-16 win in the District 6 Class 3A semifinal. Governor Mifflin dispatched State College 31-7 in the first round of the District 3-6 Class 4A playoffs. The Little Lions turned the ball over four times. “We did everything to defeat ourselves,” State College coach Al Wolski said.
And, in the closest contest, Central Cambria slipped past Penns Valley 7-6 in a District 5-6 Class 2A quarterfinal.
Three of the Rams’ final four drives ended in interceptions, and the kicker’s PAT in the second quarter sailed left. Central Cambria had scored in the first quarter.
“It hurts,” said Rams wide receiver/defensive back Jacob Homan, a four-year varsity player. “I can’t believe it’s my last game putting on a Penns Valley jersey.”
20 years ago (Nov. 7-8, 1997)
State College coach Dave Lintal didn’t expect it to be this easy.
In the District 6-9 Class 4A semifinal on Saturday, running back Larry Johnson rushed 16 times for 180 yards en route to a 49-7 victory over Clearfield.
“You never plan on it being this easy,” Lintal said. “But Larry did it again. He just played an outstanding game.”
There was actually some controversy leading up to this game. The community wanted the game to be moved to Friday night due to the big Penn State-Michigan game on Saturday, but the PIAA refused to reschedule. State College was OK with the ultimate result.
Elsewhere, on Friday, Huntingdon defeated Bald Eagle Area 21-14 in the District 6-9 Class 3A semifinal on maybe one of the most heartbreaking turn of events in Centre County history.
With less than two minutes left and the score tied at 14-14, BEA bobbled a snap on a punt and Huntingdon took over at the 15. On third-and-17 from the 22, BEA deflected the ball into a pack of players, but it fell into the hands of a Huntingdon receiver who was already lying on the ground. Facing fourth-and-1 at the 6, Huntingdon settled for a field goal — and the snap came in low.
However, holder/quarterback Paul Kozak scooped it up, rolled right and threw up a prayer. Touchdown.
“I told the kids after the game, ‘It usually doesn’t come down to something lucky but it’s just one of those things. A fluke,’” Eagles coach Ron Hoover said. “That’s a tough way to lose a ballgame.”
30 years ago (Nov. 13-14, 1987)
More than 4,000 fans packed inside Bellefonte Athletic Field to see the annual Bald Eagle Area-Bellefonte rivalry.
But, in the end, it was the Eagles fans who would walk away happy.
BEA (6-5) shut out the Red Raiders (4-7), 23-0, in a game that seemed controlled by 135-pound backup running back Tom Laird — who took over for the injured Mike Thompson. Laird finished with 11 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns. He also intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and had a nice 10-yard catch that set up BEA’s final score.
“He certainly runs hard for his size,” Eagles coach Gawen Stoker said. “We also taught him how to catch this week. That was a nice catch, wasn’t it?”
Elsewhere on Friday night, Kishacoquillas — which merged after the season — slipped past Penns Valley, 7-6, despite the Rams outgaining their opponent 233-140. Two Penns Valley rushers, Scott Rossman (107 yards) and Fred Ironside (100 yards), even reached 100 yards. But the Rams couldn’t capitalize.
Four times they reached the 10-yard line, and they came away with just six points. In the final minute of the game, quarterback Mark Hosterman was sacked for a seven-yard loss, and Rossman missed a last-second 43-yard field goal.
Philipsburg-Osceola recorded its fifth shutout of the season and improved to 8-2 after a 28-0 victory over Lock Haven. Lock Haven loaded the box with nine defenders, so P-O went to the air and made it pay.
Paul Lamb had five catches for 109 yards and two TDs, and he also intercepted two passes. Tut Bailey was the Mounties’ signal-caller.
“He’s a game-breaker,” P-O coach Jack Bailey said of Lamb.
On Saturday, State College fell to Williamsport 36-7. The Little Lions (5-5) didn’t have a single first down in the first half against Williamsport (10-1).