Red Raiders open season at newly renovated Rogers Stadium
Centre County’s five local teams will look to continue their winning ways Friday after a 4-1 start to the 2019 regular season.
One Centre County team will have to lose this weekend with Philipsburg-Osceola (1-0) hosting Bald Eagle Area (1-0) in the lone game featuring two local teams.
State College (1-0) has an intriguing matchup against New Jersey powerhouse St. Augustine Prep, which features some highly touted national recruits. The contest will also be the first at State College’s South Track field at an early start time (6 p.m.).
Bellefonte (0-1) is the lone Centre County team looking to break into the win column in the second week of action. The Red Raiders open Mountain League play against Huntingdon as they try to get their first win at the newly renovated Rogers Stadium.
Penns Valley (1-0) also has a critical matchup against the defending District 6/9 Class 4A champions Clearfield, which could eventually have Mountain League title ramifications.
St. Augustine Prep (0-0, 0-0) at State College (1-0, 0-0)
Time: 6 p.m.
Coaches: Pete Lancetta (SA), Matt Lintal (SC)
Last meeting: State College 19-7 in 2018
Players to watch: DL/RB Isaiah Raikes (SA), Little Lions offensive line
The Skinny: The Little Lions will play their first “home” game of the season this weekend. With Memorial Field under construction this year, State College will play their home games at the South Track field, which is located behind State College Area High School. The Little Lions come in off a dominant 42-6 victory over Mifflin County. Senior RB Isaiah Edwards and junior RB Dresyn Green needed just 12 combined carries to post 189 yards and three TDs.
State College, ranked eighth in Class 6A by PennLive, will face a much stiffer test this week going against NJ.com’s 11th-ranked team in New Jersey. The Hermits will make the four-hour trek from Atlantic County to Centre County after the Little Lions won 19-7 in Richland, New Jersey, last year. Edwards and Green are unlikely to average 15.8 yards per carry again this week going against four-star recruit DL Isaiah Raikes, who will continue his career at Texas A&M next year. St. Augustine Prep head coach Pete Lancetta told NJ.com that Raikes is the best player he’s worked with in nearly 30 years as a head coach. WR/DB Carnell Davis is also a three-star recruit with 17 scholarship offers from schools like Auburn, West Virginia, and Rutgers.
Bald Eagle Area (1-0, 0-0) at Philipsburg-Osceola (1-0, 0-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: Jesse Nagle (BEA), Brian McGonigal (P-O)
Last meeting: Bald Eagle Area 46-14 in 2018
Players to watch: QB Jaden Jones (BEA), WR Hunter Weitoish (P-O)
The Skinny: This is the only matchup of two Centre County teams this week and it features two teams coming off of season-opening victories. The clash was initially scheduled to be played at Bald Eagle Area, but it had to be moved because of construction to the BEA track.
The Mountaineers have already matched last year’s win total with their 41-16 victory over West Branch, and they’re looking to keep it closer than their 46-14 loss to BEA last season. Junior RB Kaleb Stamm produced a workmanlike 128 yards and two TDs on 26 carries while junior QB Ryan Whitehead threw for 185 yards and two TDs, including a 79-yard touchdown strike to junior WR Hunter Weitoish.
Bald Eagle Area, ranked third in Class 3A by Penn Live, survived a small scare from Troy in its season opener. Senior QB Jaden Jones accounted for 204 yards and two TDs through the air and another 110 yards and two TDs on the ground. Senior RB Tommy Snyder provided the game-winning score in the fourth quarter on his way 99 rushing and two TDs.
Huntingdon (1-0, 0-0) at Bellefonte (0-1, 0-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: Shane Thomas (H), Shanon Manning (B)
Last meeting: Bellefonte 10-0 in 2018
Players to watch: QB Nick Troha (H), WR Jalen Emel (B)
The Skinny: The Red Raiders are looking to join the rest of their Centre County counterparts in the win column this week after a humbling 55-35 loss to Jersey Shore in their season opener. Bellefonte spent the week patching up its defense that allowed 480 total yards to the Bulldogs and its punt-team unit that had four miscues that led to four easy TDs. Junior WR Jalen Emel threw and ran for TDs last week, and the Red Raiders will look to get senior RB C.J. Funk going on the ground after a relatively quiet 2019 debut (10/73/1 rushing).
While Bellefonte and Jersey Shore combined for 90 points last week, Huntingdon is coming off an 8-0 shutout victory over county rival Mount Union last week. Bearcats’ first-year head coach Shane Thomas won his coaching debut at 29 years old thanks to his team’s impressive defensive effort. Huntingdon allowed just 20 passing yards and 87 rushing yards in their shutout victory. Speaking of shutouts, the Red Raiders held the Bearcats off the scoreboard in a 10-0 victory last season.
Penns Valley (1-0, 0-0) at Clearfield (1-0, 0-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: Martin Tobias (PV), Tim Janocko (C)
Last meeting: Clearfield 56-42 in 2018
Players to watch: QB Aaron Tobias (PV), WR Jake Lezzer (C)
The Skinny: Penns Valley is coming off a flawless 77-0 victory over Fairfield in their its season opener. Senior QB Aaron Tobias threw for an impressive 272 yards and 7 TDs while completing 82.6% of his passes (19 of 23). Senior Logan Snyder, junior Stephen Ripka and senior Austin Fisher each caught a pair of TDs in the victory over the Knights. If you’re looking for a game with some offensive fireworks, this week’s matchup between Penns Valley and Clearfield could light up the scoreboard. These teams combined for 14 touchdowns a year ago in Spring Mills.
Clearfield pulled away from DuBois in the fourth quarter last week for a 31-20 victory in the Lezzer Lumber King of the Mountain trophy game. First-year quarterback Oliver Billotte threw for 208 yards and three TDs on just 12 passes (17.3 yards per attempt) against DuBois, with 169 yards and two TDs going to junior WR Jake Lezzer on six receptions (28.2 yards per reception).