Little Lions explode in second half for blowout
CARLISLE — State College needed a dominating second half to fight off a spirited effort by Carlisle on its way to a 53-12 victory at Ken Millen Stadium on Friday night.
The Little Lions reeled off 40 unanswered points to turn the tight contest into a runaway. The win keeps State College the lone unbeaten team left in the Mid Penn Conference’s Commonwealth Division.
Play of the game: Down 13-12 in the second quarter, Carlisle drove the length of the field. Faced with a third-and-1 from the three-yard line and an opportunity take the lead, the State College front four stuffed running back Braydon Keller twice to turn the ball over on downs. It was the momentum shift, the Little Lions needed.
Player of the game: State College quarterback Brady Dorner went 7-of-12 for 138 yards with one passing touchdown while rushing for 80 yards and three scores from the ground to pace the Little Lions offensive attack.
Unsung hero: Dorner found wideout Nathan Lusk on two pivotal plays in the third quarter to sustain drives that resulted in touchdowns for the Little Lions that effectively put the game away.
Most vital statistic: The Thundering Herd rushed 29 times in the first half for 116 yards controlling the time of possession. After the break, the running back tandem of Keller and Tristyn Sulich were held to just 19 yards on five touches as Carlisle was forced to play catch-up.
State College head coach Matt Lintal: “A lot of credit to our defensive coaching staff for coming out and making some adjustments. Our kids played a lot crisper football. I think we had a little more depth than they did and that started to show up. They got tired, and we took advantage of that.”
Carlisle running back Tristyn Sulich: “During this past week, the coaching staff was preaching to us that we had to come out strong the first half. We had a good scheme going. They wore us down, and we just didn’t have enough energy to finish it out.”
State College quarterback Brady Dorner: “We were a bit sloppy in the first half. In the second half, we overcame that adversity. We drained their defense out, and we got some big plays because of it.”
Notable: State College racked up 372 yards on the ground as 11 rushes went for double-digits including William Howell’s jet sweep for an 87-yard score … Down 20-12 at halftime, Carlisle attempted an unsuccessful onside kick to begin the second half … State College committed 11 penalties for 120 yards.
Records: State College (4-0), Carlisle (1-3)
Next week: State College visits Chambersburg, Carlisle also hits the road at Central Dauphin.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
State College 13 7 13 20 — 53
Carlisle 6 6 0 0 — 12
SC–Isaiah Edwards 34 pass from Brady Dorner (Aiden Spitler kick), 8:34.
C–Braydon Keller 3 run (kick failed), 4:05.
SC–Dorner 45 run (kick failed), 3:33.
C–Keller 2 run (2-point conversion failed), 10:55.
SC–William Howell 87 run (Spitler kick), 2:43.
SC–Dorner 15 run (Spitler kick), 7:18.
SC–Dorner 2 run (kick failed), 3:29.
SC–Dresyn Green 5 run (Spitler kick), 10:46.
SC–Nehemiah Howell 17 run (kick failed), 7:16.
SC–Calvin Roan 1 run (Spitler kick), 3:56.
TEAM STATISTICS SC C
First downs 18 16
Total Net Yards 510 277
Rushes-yards 38-372 43-168
Passing 138 109
Comp-Att-Int 7-10-0 10-20-0
Punts 2-28.5 5-25.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 11-120 4-37
RUSHING — State College, Green 15-63, Dorner 8-80, N. Howell 5-32, Edwards 3-72, Roan 3-8, W. Howell 2-90, Conrad Moore 2-27; Carlisle, Keller 14-43, Tristyn Sulich 13-68, Owen Hacker 6-29, Darren Curry 6-18, Sean Smith 3-9, Peyton Miller 1-1.
PASSING — State College, Dorner 7-10-0, 138 yards; Carlisle, Hacker 10-18-0, 109 yards, Jacob Morano 0-2-0, 0 yards.
RECEIVING — State College, Edwards 3-74, W. Howell 2-35, Nathan Lusk 2-29; Carlisle, Ezeekai Thomas 5-51, Eric Hoover 2-24, Sulich 1-15, Jacob Kistler 1-12, Robert Lissner 1-7.