Big first half propels Tigers over rival Lions
HOLLIDAYSBURG — On a picturesque night for football, before a standing-room crowd that circled Tiger Stadium, Hollidaysburg opened its season in the best way possible — with a first-half domination and four-touchdown lead over rival Altoona that created too much separation for a game Mountain Lion comeback as the Tigers rolled to a 35-21 victory Friday.
It marked Hollidaysburg’s second straight win over the Mountain Lions since the neighboring opponents resumed their series last season after a seven-year hiatus and spoiled the debut of new Altoona coach Vince Nedimyer Jr.
Play of the game: Facing fourth-and-goal from the Altoona 3, Hollidaysburg nixed a field-goal opportunity and a potential 17-0 lead and sprung a quarterback draw with junior Bryce Martellacci busting up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown, extending the Tigers’ lead to 21-0 with 9:36 remaining in the first half and essentially putting the game away.
Player of the game: Hollidaysburg senior running back Trenton Paddock — all 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds of him — rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 48 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown.
Unsung hero: Golden Tiger junior defensive back Jameal Boykin hustled to save a touchdown after Altoona’s Edwin Franklin burst 58 yards on the game’s second play. An Altoona TD to open the scoring there may have shaped the game differently.
Most vital statistic(s): Altoona fumbled five times, losing three, and was flagged for nine penalties for 94 yards.
Homer DeLattre quote: “A lot of these guys were backups last year and haven’t played in this atmosphere. It was really loud. We had a really good team last year, and these guys waited for their chance. We’re pleased. The (Altoona) turnovers were critical. That was the biggest factor in the first half. Our defense played really well up front and forced some exchange problems.”
Vince Nedimyer Jr. quote: “Overall, we’re young, but no excuse. We’ve got to grow up quick. Hats off to them (Hollidaysburg). They were prepared, and we expected that. Our guys responded in the second half, and I was happy we got back into it.”
Hollidaysburg quarterback Bryce Martellacci quote: “This means a lot. It’s always special to beat a rival, and this gives us momentum. It all starts with our line.”
Touching moment: A pre-game moment of silence was held for Amelia Sharer, a 4-year-old Hollidaysburg resident who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Several other young cancer survivors joined the Golden Tiger captains at midfield.
Notable: The Tigers made 12 of their 13 first downs in the first half … Martellacci accounted for 173 yards of total offense, rushing for 105 and passing for 68, going 8-for-10, including 4-for-4 in the second half … Altoona quarterback Marcus Day gained 65 of his 78 yards in the second half and scored two TDs … Altoona attempted just four passes … Lion sophomore Ethan Stroup ignited Altoona’s first touchdown drive and finished with 102 yards, 86 in the first half on six carries … Mountain Lion senior defensive back Matt Streightiff, who suffered a serious injury last year in which he temporarily lost feeling in his legs, made his return but went down with what appeared to be a knee injury in the first half and was on crutches.
Records: Hollidaysburg (1-0), Altoona (0-1)
Next week: Hollidaysburg hosts Mifflin County (0-1), Altoona visits Williamsport (1-0).
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Altoona 0 7 7 7 — 21
Hollidaysburg 14 21 0 0 — 35
H — Martellacci 61 run (Pinter kick), 9:47
H — Paddock 30 pass from Martellacci, (Pinter kick) 3:04
H — Martellaci 3 run (Pinter kick), 9:36
A — Stroup 13 run (Eisel kick),6:47
H — Paddock 10 run (Pinter kick),3:07
H — Paddock 20 run (Pinter kick), 0:29
A — Day 5 run (Eisel kick), 2:33
A — Day 8 run (Eisel kick), 9:23
TEAM STATISTICS A H
First downs 13 13
Total yards 324 287
Rushes-yards 42-284 34-219
Yards passing 40 68
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 1-4-0 8-10-1
Punts-avg. 3-24.3 3-31.3
Fumbles-lost 5-3 1-1
Penalties-yards 9-74 4-45
RUSHING–Altoona: Stroup 10-102, Day 16-78, Franklin 2-57, Kelley 4-49, Pinkston 5-24, Robinson 1-8, McCaulley 1-0, Dokes 1-(-4), Murray 2-(-10). Hollidaysburg — Paddock 12-103, Martellacci 14-105, Shawley 3-9, Weyant 2-7, Fox 1-2, Chaney 1-(-3), Team 1-(-4).
PASSING–Altoona: Day 1-4-0-40. Hollidaysburg: Martellacci 8-10-1-68.
RECEIVING–Altoona: Petucci 1-23. Hollidaysburg: Paddock 3-48, Brozenich 3-7, Moss 1-7, Weyant 1-6.