Cumberland Valley is best known for its Wing-T offense and running the ball.
However on Friday night, the Eagles used timely passing and then put the Wing-T to work to close out State College 13-0 in a Mid Penn Conference showdown.
Conner Long played a big role in Cumberland Valley’s offense and also on special teams. Long made timely catches to extend drives and also had a 17-yard score in the second quarter to give the Eagles (7-2) some breathing room. He finished the night with three receptions for 39 yards to lead the way.
Long also punts for Cumberland Valley and his leg pinned the Little Lions deep in their territory a couple of times.
State College (3-6), which played without leading rusher Jordan Misher, had an opportunity to claim control of the game late in the first quarter.
After both teams traded possessions for most of the quarter, neither team’s defense would budge until State College’s defense halted Cumberland Valley on a fourth-and-one at its own 45.
The Little Lions took the ball and drove to the Eagles’ 17. John Weakland opened the drive with a 28-yard screen pass to Kellin Valentine. Weakland tried connecting with Valentine on a touchdown but Valentine had the pass slip through his fingers.
Cumberland Valley’s defense stiffened and forced a field goal attempt from State College by Kevin Cramer. Cramer pushed the kick to the right and the score would stay scoreless through the first quarter.
The Little Lions had a hard time extending drives as dropped passes plagued receivers all night long. Weakland finished the night 10 of 24 with 124 yards passing. Almost half of Weakland’s incompletions were dropped passes.
Even though State College only had two turnovers, they played a role in the loss. The Little Lions first one came in the second quarter, which would prove costly.
The Eagles capped off a drive that started at the end of the first quarter with their first score of night on a 5-yard run by Tim Spinelli. Spinelli scored his 15th rushing touchdown on the season and led the Eagles with 81 yards rushing on 21 carries.
On State College’s first play of the following possession, Cumberland Valley picked off a Weakland pass at the Little Lions’ 20. Two plays later, Long picked up his score.
State College was driving mid way through the second to respond to Long’s score. It opened the drive with impressive plays from Weakland on broken plays. Weakland would use a couple of quarterback sneaks to keep the drive going.
Weakland connected with Chris McDonough at the Eagles’ 35. McDonough got popped by a Cumberland Valley defender causing a fumble that the Eagles recovered to end the Little Lions’ drive.
After a back-and-forth third quarter that saw no team score or threaten to score, State College had a chance to get a score on the board.
The Little Lions saw their drive end again on Cumberland Valley’s 35 because of a holding penalty with 6:30 left in the game. State College punted the ball away and wouldn’t see the ball again until there was about two minutes left.
Then the Eagles put their Wing-T formation to use. Spinelli and Nick Rhodes helped Cumberland Valley run time off the clock and gained four and five yards at a clip. Rhodes finished the night with 49 yards on 15 carries to finish behind Spinelli.
The Little Lions, who host Mifflin County next week to close out the regular season, finished the night with only 202 total yards. Stan Martin, who filled in for Misher, led State College with 42 yards rushing on 14 carries.