High School Sports

5 takeaways from Week 7 of Centre County high school football

Centre County went 3-2 in Week 7 of PIAA high school football action. The Bald Eagle Area Bald Eagles, the Penns Valley Rams and the State College Little Lions came away with victories, while the Bellefonte Red Raiders and the Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties lost Friday night.

Let’s look at what we learned from Week 7’s action.

1. State College showed what it’s capable of Friday night

The Little Lions began a difficult two-game stretch Friday night with a convincing win over the Harrisburg Cougars. They took down the Cougars, 21-6, at the South Track Field in front of Penn State head coach James Franklin and Penn State offensive line coach Matt Limegrover.

State College was led by junior Dresyn Green on both sides of the ball. Green carried the ball 26 times for his team finishing the game with 78 yards and a touchdown on the ground to lead the game in rushing. On defense, the junior had two interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. His two scores proved to be all State College needed in its biggest win of the season.

The Little Lions will have another big matchup next Friday when they take on Central Dauphin at the South Track Field at 7 p.m.

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

2. Penns Valley shows its defense can win games, too

The Rams have one of the best offenses in the Mountain League, but Friday night it was their defense that won the game. They went on the road and took down Bellefonte, 14-6, in a matchup of two of the best teams in the Mountain League. The Rams held the Red Raiders’ vaunted rushing attack to 135 yards on 44 carries in the game.

With their run game struggling, the Red Raiders tried to pass the ball effectively, but struggled there as well, only completing 7-of-20 passes for 81 yards in the game. With star quarterback Aaron Tobias not at his best, the Penns Valley defense picked up the slack and carried the Rams to a win.

The Rams will travel to Ebensburg next week to take on Bishop Carroll at 7 p.m. Friday.

Penns Valley’s Austin Fisher tries to pull down Bellefonte’s Chris Paloskey after he made an interception during the game on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

3. Bald Eagle Area continues to dominate in all facets

The Bald Eagles showed why they’re considered one of the top 10 Class 3A teams in the state on Friday night. They faced Huntingdon at home and won 34-0 in dominating fashion.

Star quarterback Jaden Jones is clearly back to full strength after missing one full game and half of two others with a shoulder injury, completing 13-of-18 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns in the game. One of his favorite targets is clearly back at his best as well. Senior Matthew Reese caught three passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in his second game back since he suffered an injury in Week 1.

The Bald Eagles’ defense is matching the output of the offense. They’ve allowed 13 points in their last four games and have shut out their last two opponents. They’ll be put to the test next week when they head on the road to face Clearfield at 7 p.m. Friday.

4. Bellefonte has some work to do on offense

The Red Raiders’ defense did a tremendous job of slowing down the Penns Valley offense Friday night, but its offense couldn’t provide enough support to earn a win. They lost to the Rams at home, on homecoming night, 14-6.

The Bellefonte rushing attack couldn’t find many openings against the Rams, carrying the ball 44 times for 135 times in the game. The biggest issue for Bellefonte was its inability to get its best player going on offense. Senior running back C.J. Funk, the school’s all-time leading rusher, was held to 72 rushing yards on 19 carries in the game. He’s only been held under 125 yards on the ground twice this season. In this game, and in Bellefonte’s 55-35 loss to Jersey Shore in Week 1.

The Red Raiders will try to get back on track when they travel to Martinsburg on Friday to take on Central at 7 p.m.

Bellefonte’s Ethan Rossman makes a pass during the game against Penns Valley on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

5. Philipsburg-Osceola can’t get anything going on offense or defense

The Mounties were once again blown out Friday night, this time by North Penn-Mansfield. They lost to North Penn-Mansfield, 31-7, at home in a game that tested the Mounties’ depth. Philipsburg-Osceola has been decimated with injuries this season, and that’s made life difficult for the team.

The offense has struggled to put points on the board, scoring 44 points since its Week 1 41-point outburst in the team’s lone win of the season over the West Branch Warriors. In fact, the team has failed to score more than a touchdown in five of the six games since the win.

They’ll have another chance to improve next week when they take on the Huntingdon Bearcats on the road at 7 p.m. Friday.

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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.