High School Sports

How State College football shut down Harrisburg’s offense to remain perfect on the season

State College’s defense entered Friday’s game against Harrisburg allowing 11 points per game, but that number dropped after the Little Lions beat the Cougars 21-6 at the South Track field to remain undefeated. This was State College’s first win over Harrisburg since 2016.

State High’s 7-0 halftime lead ballooned to 21-0 in the fourth quarter before Harrisburg reached the end zone on a 93-yard kickoff return. State College junior Dresyn Green intercepted two passes, returned one for a touchdown and ran for another.

“These kids have never beat ‘em. Our coaches have, but we haven’t beat ‘em in three years, I think,” State College coach Matt Lintal said. “This was a big win. They had this one circled for a while.”

Harrisburg senior quarterback Nicari Williams’ first pass of the night went for 57 yards, but State College (7-0) limited the Cougars’ (4-3) offense after that. His second pass was intercepted by Green in the red zone.

State College senior quarterback Brady Dorner was more efficient, going 11-14 for 94 yards. His 3-yard touchdown run with 1:43 left in the first quarter was the only score of the first half.

Williams started the second half for the Cougars, but was replaced by junior John McNeil after Green intercepted his pass and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown with 9:45 left in the third quarter.

A Harrisburg defender tries to pull down State College’s Dresyn Green during the game on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

“Momentum-wise, we were really slow ... so I feel like that one play just set us off and we just took off from there,” Green said. “It always feels great to get in the end zone.”

Green’s second score was a 5-yard touchdown run with 11:41 left in the fourth quarter. Harrisburg senior Trevion Carey returned the ensuing kickoff.

“Dre’ came up with us as a freshman and played varsity and JV football for us, and he has just continued to improve each and every game that he’s played,” Lintal said. “I don’t know if anybody works harder. He’s a awesome kid — not just a football player.”

State College’s Dresyn Green cuts down the field with the ball from Harrisburg defenders during the game on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Harrisburg was 0-10 on third down. The Cougars ran similar plays that State College watched on film and prepared for during practice, Lintal said.

“Our kids knew what was coming,” Lintal said. “They were able to take away their bread-and-butter plays, so I’m super proud of our guys.”

State College senior Isaiah Edwards said he and his fellow seniors want to be the winningest class in school history. A victory over the visiting Central Dauphin Rams at 7 p.m. Friday would help achieve that goal.

“I’m gonna enjoy this one tonight and then we’ll get to work tomorrow,” Lintal said. “Super excited.”

State College’s senior quarterback Brady Dorner makes a pass during the game against Harrisburg on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

State College 21, Harrisburg 6

(Friday at State College)

State College 7 0 7 7 - 21

Harrisburg 0 0 0 6 - 6

First quarter

SC - Dorner 3 run (Aiden Spitler kick), 1:43

Third quarter

SC - Green 14 interception return (Spitler kick), 9:45

Fourth quarter

SC - Green 5 run (Spitler kick), 11:41

H - Trevion Carey 93 kickoff return, 11:28

Top rusher: State College: Green 26-78-1. Harrisburg: Jahmir Plant 12-30

Top passer: State College: Dorner 11-14-94. Harrisburg: Nicari Williams 4-9-2 89

Top receiver: State College: Edwards 3-30.

Next game: Central Dauphin (5-2) at State College (7-0), 7 p.m. Friday

Related stories from Centre Daily Times

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.