Golden Tigers witness State College’s firepower
STATE COLLEGE — When Matt Lintal looks down at his play sheet, he sees a row of numbers, all of which he feels quite comfortable calling at any given moment.
The State College coach can opt to hand the ball off to one of a handful of speedsters, flip it to one of them on the perimeter or go downfield on the arm of his heady quarterback. It all worked Friday as the Little Lions’ (2-0) high-powered offense pulled away from Hollidaysburg for a 55-27 win.
“Whether it’s Isaiah (Edwards) or whether it’s Tristan (Lyons) or whether it’s Tommy (Friberg) or Cohen (Russell) or Keaton (Ellis),” Lintal said. “we trust our players to make plays and we wanted to make sure we took advantage of getting our kids in the best situation possible.”
The situation arose immediately.
State College opened with a 10-play scoring drive and gained yards in big chunks all night. The Little Lions reached the end zone on five of their first six possessions to take a 34-13 halftime lead. Edwards led all players with 154 yards on eight total touchdowns and scored three touchdowns.
He blazed past Golden Tiger defenders on 61- and 72-yard runs and put the game out of reach on a 13-yard sweep into the end zone late in the second quarter.
Lyons added 118 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Friberg completed 5 of 13 passes for 66 yards with an interception. He hooked up with receivers Brandon Clark and Jeremy Bullock for touchdown passes.
“That’s a dream come true,” Edwards said. “I feel like we have a positive energy. Everybody’s focused. Once one person does something, everybody wants to one-up everybody. It’s like a competition but we’re having fun when we’re doing it.”
The Tigers (2-1) weren’t having much fun to start.
After surrendering the opening scoring drive, Hollidaysburg was caught off-guard when the Little Lions floated a shallow, arcing kick toward the sideline on the ensuing kickoff. State College recovered and took a 14-0 lead four plays later when Friberg hit Clark for a 13-yard score.
But Hollidaysburg would get going once its offense finally got on the field.
Tigers quarterback Brady Walters steered his squad across midfield where he hit Jack Sauserman on a screen pass. Sauserman cut back across the middle of the field and outraced State College defenders to cut their lead in half.
After forcing a State College punt, Hollidaysburg’s quarterback found his favorite target again, this time for a 13-yard score before the extra point was blocked.
But the State College defense tightened up. Linebacker Jackson Heasley turned in a sack and tackle for a loss to snuff out each of Hollidaysburg’s next two drives.
“The interior guys ate up blocks. They ate up the double teams. I only had one guy on me and our entire defense just did a great job tonight.”
Meanwhile, State College kept scoring and made it easier on themselves when they recovered another onside kick to open the second half. Lyons turned a quick burst into a 35-yard touchdown moments later.
“Two special teams mistakes gave them 14 points,” Hollidaysburg coach Homer DeLattre said. “We can’t allow those things to happen right in front of us.”
Mason McCready and Danny Molliver gave Hollidaysburg life midway through the third.
With State College’s punting unit backed up to its own goal line, McCready flew up the middle to block the punt. Molliver chased down the ball and fell on it before it could roll out of the end zone. The touchdown cut State College’s lead to 41-20.
“Every time there was kind of a set back the other way and we gave up a big play, we responded,” State college coach Matt Lintal said. “We came back positive every time.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg 7 6 7 7 — 27
State College 14 20 14 7 — 55
SC–Lyons 1 run (Renfrew kick), 10:45
SC–Clark 13 pass from Friberg (Renfrew kick), 9:24
H–Sauserman 23 pass from Walters (Hilling kick), 3:34
H–Sauserman 13 pass from Walters (kick blocked by Ellis), 8:39
SC–Bullock 17 pass from Friberg (kick failed), 6:35
SC–Edwards 61 run (Renfrew kick), 4:47
SC–Edwards 13 run (Renfrew kick), 1:33
SC–Lyons 35 run (Renfrew kick), 11:17
H–Molliver blocked punt recovery (Hilling kick), 7:41
SC–Edwards 72 run (Renfrew kick), 6:24
H–Molliver 31 pass from Walters (Hilling kick), 11:07
SC–Lyons 15 run (Renfew kick), 2:57
RUSHING: Hollidaysburg–Walters 18-58, Young 16-52, Molliver 6-34, Fisher 4-49. State College–Lyons 13-118, Friberg 10-125, Edwards 7-156, Ellis 4-64, Russell 3-19, Dorner 2-(-5), Team 1-(-12)
PASSING: Hollidaysburg–Walters 11-19-0-115. State College–Friberg 5-13-1-66, Dorner 1-1-0-(-2)
RECEIVING: Hollidaysburg–Sauserman 6-66, Dellinger 2-10, Miller 2-8, Molliver 1-31. State College–Bullock 2-29, Ellis 1-16, Clark 1-13, Lyons 1-8, Edwards 1-(-2) .
TEAM STATISTICS H SC
First downs 14 23
Rushes-yards 44-193 40-470
Passing 11-19-0 6-14-1
Yards passing 115 64
Total yards 308 534
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 3-23 4-60
Punts-avg. 6-38 3-41