High School Sports

Previewing Centre County high school football games for Week 7



Centre County high school football teams are heading into Week 7 on a roll. The Bald Eagle Area Bald Eagles, Bellefonte Red Raiders, and State College Little Lions are ranked in PennLive’s high school football rankings, while the Penns Valley Rams are listed as a “team to watch.”

State College remains undefeated at 6-0, but will face its toughest task yet this week when it takes on Harrisburg at home Friday night. Bald Eagle Area, Bellefonte, and Penns Vallley all enter the week 5-1 with two of the teams set to clash Friday. Penns Valley will travel to Bellefonte to take on the Red Raiders in a game featuring two record-breaking offensive players. Bald Eagle Area will host Huntingdon as the Bald Eagles try to win their fourth straight game.

The Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties come in as the lone county team with a losing record, at 1-5. They’ll play North Penn-Mansfield at home Friday night as they try to win their second game of the year.

Let’s take a look at all four matchups.

FRIDAY’S GAMES

Harrisburg (4-2) at State College (6-0)

Time: 7 p.m.

Coaches: Calvin Everett (H), Matt Lintal (SC)

Last meeting: Harrisburg 32-17 in 2018

Players to watch: WR Kamere Day (H), RB Dresyn Green (SC)

The Skinny: State College is set to begin its most difficult two-game stretch of the season with this week’s matchup against Harrisburg. The Little Lions will look to junior running back Dresyn Green to set the tone on offense with his big-play ability. The junior has 75 carries for 566 yards and nine touchdowns through the team’s first six games of the season, according to MaxPreps. Green has the skill to turn a game on its head if he can get into the open field, and he’ll need to do that against a Harrisburg defense that only allows 7.6 points per game against opponents from Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg wide receiver Kamere Day will try to repeat his performance from last week’s 15-14 loss to Central Dauphin. Day caught nine passes for 120 yards in the loss, according to PennLive. If Day can put on that kind of performance against State High, it could stretch the Little Lion defense vertically and open up the ground game for the Cougars. This should be a tightly contested matchup featuring PennLive’s No. 10-ranked Class 6A team traveling to take on the No. 5 team.

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

Huntingdon (2-4) at Bald Eagle Area (5-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Coaches: Shane Thomas (H), Jesse Nagle (BEA)

Last meeting: Bald Eagle Area 30-7 in 2018

Players to watch: QB Nick Troha (H), WR Matthew Reese (BEA)

The Skinny: Bald Eagle Area has been on a roll since losing to Penns Valley in Week 3. The Bald Eagles have won three straight games and have only given up 13 points in those three games. Offensively, the Eagles are back at full strength after wide receiver Matthew Reese made his return from injury last week. The senior receiver caught three passes in his return for 54 yards and two touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. He’s the team’s top receiving target, and senior quarterback Jaden Jones’ best weapon on the outside. Reese should be in for a big week against a Huntingdon defense that has given up 40+ points in three games this season.

If the Bearcats want to upset the No. 10 Class 3A team in the state, according to PennLive’s rankings, they’ll need quarterback Nick Troha to have a big game. The senior quarterback has completed 67-of-137 pass attempts this season for 857 yards and eight touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. Turnovers can be an issue for Troha, though, as he’s thrown five interceptions on the season and one in each of the last three games. He’ll have to take care of the ball for Huntingdon to get the win.

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Bald Eagle Area’s Jaden Jones makes a pass during the game against Penns Valley on Friday Sept. 6, 2019. Jones left the game after the first quarter. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Penns Valley (5-1) at Bellefonte (5-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Coaches: Martin Tobias (PV), Shanon Manning (B)

Last meeting: Penns Valley 42-27 in 2018

Players to watch: QB Aaron Tobias (PV), RB CJ Funk (B)

The Skinny: Bellefonte and Penns Valley are set to clash Friday night in a game featuring two of the top teams in the Mountain League. Bellefonte sits atop the conference with a 4-0 record, while Penns Valley is only one game back at 3-1. The game also features two of the best players in the county, Penns Valley’s Aaron Tobias and Bellefonte’s C.J. Funk.

Tobias set county records with 539 passing yards and eight touchdowns last week against Midd-West, according to high school football historian Harry Breon. Tobias has completed 133-of-189 pass attempts for 2,142 yards and 36 touchdowns this season through six games, according to MaxPreps. The senior quarterback, along with his head coach and father, Martin, have spearheaded the dominant offense for the Rams. They’ll face a tough task this week in Bellefonte when they try to crack the top 10 in Class 2A, where they’re a “team to watch,” according to PennLive.

For Bellefonte, Funk will be the centerpiece of the offense. The senior running back is the school’s all-time leading rusher with 2,984 rushing yards. He’ll likely break 3,000 rushing yards this week, making him the seventh rusher to do so in Centre County history, according to Breon’s record keeping. Funk has at least 100 yards in all five of the team’s wins and has 67 carries for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, according to MaxPreps. He and the Red Raiders will try to defend their spot in the PennLive Class 4A rankings, where they’re No. 10 this week.

North Penn-Mansfield (3-3) at Philipsburg-Osceola (1-5)

Time: 7 p.m.

Coaches: Tom Dickinson (NPM), Brian McGonigal (PO)

Last meeting: N.A

Players to watch: RB Bryan Bogaczyk (NPM), QB Jeremy Whitehead (PO)

The Skinny: Philipsburg-Osceola is in a difficult spot as it continues to chase its first multi-win season since 2011. The Mounties will get another shot at it this week when they take on North Penn-Mansfield. The Mounties turned to junior Jeremy Whitehead at quarterback last week with usual starter, and Jeremy’s brother, Ryan Whitehead, out with an injury. If Ryan is out once again, Jeremy will have to lead the team against North Penn-Mansfield. He completed 3-of-7 passes last week in Ryan’s place for 31 yards, while rushing for 61 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, according to MaxPreps.

North Penn-Mansfield will feature junior running back Bryan Bogaczyk on offense. The junior has 81 carries for 426 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, according to MaxPreps. He had a big week last week in the team’s 41-20 victory over Wyalusing Valley, carrying the ball 23 times for 123 yards and four touchdowns, according to the same site. He’ll have a chance for another big game against a banged up PO defense.

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Central defenders try to stop Philipsburg-Osceola’s Jeremy Whitehead during the game on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com
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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.
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