It may be Homecoming Weekend for the Penn State football program this Saturday, but if you want to see Centre County’s high school football teams in action on Friday you better put on your traveling shoes.
Of the six area teams, only Penns Valley has a home game Friday night as the Rams (1-3) take on Huntingdon (1-3) at 7 p.m.
The rest are on the road.
State College (2-2), the only Centre County team to win last Friday, travels to winless Chambersburg (0-4). Bellefonte (1-3) plays at unbeaten Tyrone (4-0). Bald Eagle Area (1-3) is at Central (3-1), while Philipsburg-Osceola (0-4) faces Chestnut Ridge (3-1). St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy (1-3) is at Upper Dauphin (2-2).
All of those games are at 7 p.m.
Penns Valley’s game is its Homecoming clash and the Rams are back home after trips to Wingate and Roaring Spring.
Martin Tobias’ squad has faced a difficult schedule in the opening weeks with losses to Juniata (4-0), Clearfield (3-1) and Central (3-1). Huntingdon knows how that feels. The Bearcats have fallen to Mount Union (4-0), Tyrone (4-0) and Clearfield.
Penns Valley got off to an excellent start last week at Central, driving 90 yards on its opening drive to take a 6-0 lead. The Dragons bounced back scoring on their next six possessions on the way to a 41-12 triumph.
Even though his team recorded a lopsided win, Central coach Dave Baker was impressed by the Rams, especially quarterback Ben Alexander and running back Wyatt Sharp.
“They came out and played real good,” Baker said. “They blocked well and ran hard. It wasn’t easy to stop them. That quarterback was fast. The whole first half they moved the ball.”
Huntingdon led Clearfield 14-13 in the second quarter, but couldn’t shut down the Bison running attack in a 30-14 loss. Seth Caldwell ran for 227 yards and Erik Sellers added 103 as Clearfield amassed 391 yards on the ground.
State College is looking to start the Mid Penn 2-0 and move above .500 for the season with a triumph over Chambersburg. The Little Lions plastered Carlisle 37-8 last week.
Jordan Misher is averaging rushing 141 yards per game to lead the Little Lion offense. He’s also scored six times. John Weakland has passed for 497 yards and four scores and has rushed for 153 and three TDs.
Linebacker Stan Martin (36) and safety Jon Seighman (32) lead the defense in tackles.
Chambersburg has been miserable so far. The Trojans have been outscored 144-20 so far this season, including 45-0 last week at Central Dauphin.
Bellefonte’s road show makes another stop Friday in Tyrone. The game is the Red Raiders’ fourth away from home.
Bellefonte, behind the rushing of Austin Jackson, led John Marshall of Glendale, W. Va., 13-6 after a quarter last week, but the Red Raider rushing defense wilted from there in a 49-20 loss. John Marshall racked up 475 yards on the ground.
The Red Raiders face a balanced Tyrone squad. The Golden Eagles rushed for 171 and passed for 226 in smacking P-O 42-3 last week.
Since beating P-O in Week 2, Bald Eagle Area has struggled. The Eagles couldn’t crack the end zone last week against Chestnut Ridge in a 26-0 loss.
BEA’s defense will face a supreme test against Central. The Dragons have two outstanding quarterbacks in Mike Mock and Noah Benton. Mock is the better runner, while Benton is the better passer. Justin Helsel is a dangerous receiver.
The Dragons also shuffle several different combinations on the defensive line which has both frustrated and worn down foes.
Philipsburg-Osceola’s losing streak grew to 11 games with the 42-3 loss to Tyrone. The Mounties have been outscored 120-20 over the past three weeks.
They’ll face a Chestnut Ridge team that’s looking to improve to 2-0 against Centre County teams. The Lions’ defense was stout last week, forcing six turnovers (three fumbles, three interceptions) against BEA in a 26-0 triumph.
The Mounties had just 18 yards on 30 carries last week.
St. Joseph’s dropped its third straight, a 33-27 thriller against Purchase Line. The Wolves had the ball fourth-and-goal from the 3 with 10 seconds remaining, but couldn’t score the game-winner.
Upper Dauphin is coming off a 20-3 loss to Williams Valley last week. Williams Valley rushed for 231 yards in the contest.