High School Sports

5 takeaways from Week 4 of Centre County high school football

Centre County high school football teams went 4-1 this week and did so in impressive fashion. The four teams that won, Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley, and State College, all won by at least 20 points. Philipsburg-Osceola dropped a close 22-16 loss to Tyrone after leading most of the game. Let’s take a look at what we learned from this week’s action.

1. Penns Valley is the real deal

The Penns Valley Rams won another game in blowout fashion this weekend, taking down the Central Dragons, 41-21. Senior quarterback Aaron Tobias once again led the team in its victory, tossing six more touchdown passes in this one to extend his total to 24 on the season. The high school senior completed 22-of-34 passes for 315 yards and added 24 yards on three carries for the Rams. He and the Penns Valley football team are now 3-1 on the season with their only loss coming on a last-second touchdown by the Clearfield Bison in a 56-49 shootout. They’ve outscored opponents 209-84 this season and are well on their way to playoff berth. The Rams will be in action again Friday when they play Huntingdon on the road at 7 p.m.

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Penns Valley QB Aaron Tobias runs down the field against Central on Friday in Spring Mills. Nate Althouse Photo provided

2. Bald Eagle Area finds a way to win

The Bald Eagle Area Bald Eagles were without star senior quarterback Jaden Jones this week for their matchup with Bishop Carroll in Ebensburg, but it didn’t matter much. The Eagles found a way to win, 29-6, using backup quarterback Kaden Bittinger as a rushing threat. The senior, who usually plays as a wide receiver, completed 6-of-13 passes for only 60 yards, but was dominant on the ground. He ran the ball 15 times for 240 yards and four touchdowns in the game to lead the Bald Eagles, who ran for 336 yards in the game as a team. The win takes team to 3-1 on the year, with the only loss coming in a loss to Penns Valley after losing Jones and offensive playmaker Gage McClenahan in the first quarter of the game. They’ll be in action again this week when they take on Central at home Friday night at 7 p.m.

3. Bellefonte’s Funk leads the Red Raiders to victory

Senior running back C.J. Funk led the Bellefonte Red Raiders to a blowout 41-14 victory over Central Mountain Friday night, and set the school’s all-time rushing record along the way. The senior ran the ball 15 times for 181 yards and a touchdown in the game, passing Chris Shivery, who had 2,546 career rushing yards, as the school’s all-time leading rusher. Funk sits at 2,662 yards in his career and will have at least six more games to add to the record, giving him a strong chance to become the school’s first player to rush for 3,000 yards. He and the Red Raiders are now 3-1 on the season and will try to move to 4-1 when they travel to Tyrone to take on the Golden Eagles on Friday at 7 p.m.

Bellefonte’s C.J. Funk runs with the ball during the first quarter of the game against Central Mountain on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

4. State College starts slow but finishes strong

The State College Little Lions got off to a rocky start against the Carlisle Thundering Herd Friday night, holding only an 8-point lead after the first half of action. The Little Lions came out with a fury in the second half, however, and took complete control of the game from there — defeating Carlisle on the road, 53-12. They scored on a 51-yard drive to open the second half of action, finishing it off with a touchdown run by senior quarterback Brady Dorner. Dorner finished with three rushing touchdowns, including a 45-yard scamper in the first quarter of action. The Little Lions will be on the road once again for their next matchup. That will be a 7 p.m. tilt with Chambersburg on Friday night.

State College’s Dresyn Green runs down the field against Carlisle on Sept. 13. Mark Helbley Photo provided

5. Philipsburg-Osceola can’t close out Tyrone

The Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties came painstakingly close to its first multi-win season since 2011 on Friday night, but couldn’t finish the job against the Tyrone Golden Eagles. The Mounties lost to the Golden Eagles, 22-16, after holding a 16-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Mounties, Tyrone took the lead with 8:11 left in the game on a 13-yard run by Damon Gripp, and never looked back after completing a 2-point conversion. The Mounties were led in the game by junior quarterback Ryan Whitehead, who completed 15-of-22 passing attempts for 197 yards and a touchdown, and junior running back Kaleb Stamm, who ran for 120 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. The Mounties will take another shot at their second win of the season when they take on Bishop Carroll at home at 7 p.m. Friday night.

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Jon Sauber earned his B.A. in digital and print journalism from Penn State and his M.A. in sports journalism from IUPUI. His previous stops include jobs at The Indianapolis Star, the NCAA, and Rivals.