For the second week in a row, only three Centre County high school football teams played in PIAA action. Those three teams — State College, Bellefonte and Bald Eagle Area — went 2-1. Meanwhile, Penns Valley accepted Philipsburg-Osceola’s forfeit to end its historic season 9-1.
The Bellefonte Red Raiders took down the Bald Eagle Area Eagles Friday night in this year’s edition of the Curtin Bowl rivalry, while the State College Little Lions defeated the Cumberland Valley Eagles Saturday afternoon in the inaugural Beaver Stadium Classic.
Let’s look at three takeaways from the teams who took part in this weekend’s action.
The Red Raiders went into Friday night’s game not expecting to see Bald Eagle’s starters take the field, and that’s exactly what happened. With the No. 1 seed Class 4A seed in district 6 on the line for the Red Raiders, they went out and dominated the Eagles’ backups in the game, winning 38-0. Senior running back, and the school’s all-time leading rusher, C.J. Funk, was dominant in the game, running all over the Bald Eagle defense.
Funk found the end zone three times and converted on a 2-point attempt to enact the mercy rule and a running clock early in the third quarter on what would be his final play of the game. Funk finished the game with 10 carries for 118 yards to go with his scoring plays. He and the Red Raiders, who end their regular season 8-2, are expected to receive a bye in the first round of the District 6 Class 4A playoffs.
2. Bald Eagle Area continues to prioritize health
The Eagles made the decision to rest their starters in Friday’s Curtin Bowl matchup with Bellefonte to ensure the team stayed healthy for the playoffs and took a 38-0 loss because of it, falling to 7-3. The players were given the opportunity to make their own decision about how to manage the final game after the coaching staff presented them with several options. Ultimately, the team chose to preserve its starters for the postseason.
While it’s easy to criticize the team for not playing its best players in a rivalry game, the team made the decision that is best in line with its goal of winning the District 6 Class 3A title. With that decision in the past, the Eagles should be near full-health for their first round matchup with the Central Dragons in the District 6 Class 3A playoffs.
The Little Lions went into Saturday afternoon’s Senior Day game with high expectations, and the Beaver Stadium Classic delivered. They took down Cumberland Valley 33-21 in the inaugural Beaver Stadium Classic. After a slow start, and a 14-0 deficit, State College outscored Cumberland Valley 33-7 the rest of the way to secure the victory.
With the win, the Little Lions finished the year at 9-1. They had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the District 6 Class 6A title game, but may not have to play in the game. As of Saturday night, the Mifflin County Huskies are expected to forego the postseason, giving the Little Lions the District 6 Class 6A Championship.