Tigers getting healthy
A couple of teams that have been hit as hard as anybody in the area by injuries this season will meet Friday in Hollidaysburg when the Golden Tigers host Tyrone.
Fortunately for Hollidaysburg, it finally got most of its injured players back last week in a lopsided victory over Central Mountain.
“I know how hard those guys worked to get back,” Hollidaysburg coach Homer DeLattre said. “It was nice to see so many of them back in the game after sitting and watching so much of the season. Mason (Replogle) and Hunter (Barr) saw their first action of the season and were key contributors to our win.”
The injury outlook isn’t as bright with the Golden Eagles, who at one point this season were playing with no one who started the season as a linebacker. Tommy Hicks, who was supposed to be the team’s feature running back and occasional Wildcat quarterback, is also lost for the season.
“The last couple years, they’ve been struggling with injuries by the time we played them,” DeLattre said. “The last two years have been down years for their program, but they’ve still given us fits at times. Watching them on video, they might be down, but they are still playing hard.”
Tyrone is coming off a 28-14 loss to Clearfield in which it battled back to make it a game with a strong second-half effort. Golden Eagles wide receiver Damon Gripp leads the Mirror’s core coverage area with 35 catches for 528 yards.
“Their quarterback (Brandon Lucas) is good,” DeLattre said. “A lot of time, he’s running outside the pocket. He and Damon Gripp have good timing. Lucas can throw a nice ball, and Gripp has ball skills when the ball is in the air.”
Friday night lights
Cambria Heights will play its first home game on a Friday night this season when it hosts Central Cambria and debuts the school’s new field on the campus of the school.
The Highlanders played their final game at Patton Stadium against Forest Hills on Sept. 28.
“We’re super excited,” Cambria Heights coach Jarrod Lewis said. “We have a pretty rare opportunity to close out one stadium and open a new stadium in the same year. That doesn’t happen often. We’re excited about it, playing Friday night in our new home.”
The lights at the new stadium have been installed and already used during soccer games.
Friday’s game will feature a pair of the top runners in the area in the Highlanders’ Tyler Trybus and Central Cambria’s Dylan Long.
“They lost a close one to Forest Hills last week, so they’ll be motivated,” Lewis said. “Long is probably as good as anyone we’ve seen. We know it will be a challenge for us.”
As Altoona prepared for its homecoming game against Cumberland Valley, the Mountain Lions got a visit from a special former Mountain Lion.
Julian Howsare played in the NFL for the New York Jets and is currently a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL. This week, he met with the Altoona football team.
“It was great for our kids to see and hear from a former Mountain Lion who has earned everything he has achieved,” Altoona coach Vince Nedimyer Jr. said. “Julian provided our kids with a great message of overcoming adversity, buying into the coaches’ message, and believing in each other to achieve greatness.”
The Eagles are 2-4 and, like Altoona, winless in Mid-Penn play. However, they have been very competitive in their losses.
Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic will host Forest Hills, which won its first game of the season last week, Saturday at Mansion Park hoping to rebound from one of the most lopsided losses the Marauders have suffered since winning three straight PIAA titles.
BG lost to Richland, 36-0, due in part to injuries catching up with the team.
“Because of injuries these past few weeks, we have been putting kids in positions they aren’t suited for,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Justin Wheeler said. “We have done a decent job at times and done good things, but we need more consistency.”
Wheeler is also looking for more out of his offense, which saw very limited playing time from star running back Keegan Myrick against Richland.
“We have some young guys on the offensive side of the ball,” Wheeler said. “Turnovers and penalties have hurt us each week. We’re trying not to play Keegan until he’s 100 percent, because we’ll need him in the playoffs.”