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Tigers pull out victory

Photo for the Mirror by Tim O’Brien Hollidaysburg’s Xander Bainey scores the game-winning touchdown in overtime on Friday.

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Happy homecoming.

The Golden Tigers were held scoreless for three quarters but their defense kept them in the game and their offense made the most of their late opportunities to defeat visiting Central Dauphin East, 13-7, in overtime Friday night.

Play of the game: Junior running back Xander Bainey scored on a 7-yard touchdown run in overtime, sealing the outcome after the Panthers’ first OT possession resulted in a missed field goal.

Player of the game: Junior lineman Ben Estep broke through to dump CD East’s Thaddeus Krebs for a 3-yard loss on the second play of overtime, forcing a third-down pass attempt that was incomplete. Estep also recovered two fumbles and, along with Vincent Franco, threw the block that sprung Bainey’s touchdown run.

Estep on his fumble recoveries, including one that stopped a CD drive with 5:35 left and the score tied at 7: “Our coaches always say, ‘everyone’s got to go to the ball.”’

Most telling statistic: Hollidaysburg threw 15 times in the first half and four in the second and OT.

Chess match: The teams combined to use five timeouts in the last minute of regulation after the Tigers advanced to the CD East 20 in the last minute. Rather than attempt a pass, with the score tied 7-7, Tiger coach Homer DeLattre was positioning for a 38-yard field goal attempt by sophomore Ben Sosnowski that fell just short with 33 seconds left.

DeLattre on the strategy: “We were trying to keep the ball on the right hash. He’s most comfortable on the right hash. He’s generally good from that range, and he can make those. He has a great future ahead of him.”

CD East coach Aaron Blanding: “I didn’t think they’d put the ball in the air at that point. We just didn’t want to give another offside penalty and extend the possession.”

Unsung hero: It’s not often the quarterback. But despite two interceptions, Bryce Martellacci willed the Tigers on their fourth-quarter TD drive, going 3-for-3 by connecting with Rocco Grassi, Bainey and Justin Wolfe and going the final 3 yards himself on a right sweep to tie the game. On the night, he rushed 25 times for 95 yards and completed 11 of 19.

Strong finish: Bainey carried three times for 4 yards in the first half, then ripped off runs of 22, 5 and 9 on his first three touches in the third quarter. He finished with 45 yards on 12 carries. DeLattre: “We were not holding our blocks long enough in the first half. The guys worked together with the linemen and it showed. In the end, we just had a harder runner than the defense was playing.”

Flag day: At least it was for the visitors, who drew the first six called penalties of the game en route to nine for 87 yards compared to the Tigers’ three for 25. Included among the CD East’s gaffes were a block in the back on its first possession that wiped out a 31-yard gain to the Tigers’ 8 and jumping offside on fourth-and-1 to sustain Hollidaysburg’s fourth-quarter TD drive.

Blanding: “We just play the game. The way it’s called, whether for or against, we just have to take care of what we do. The offsides allowed them to continue the possession, and that came back to bite us. We told the guys to keep their heads up and we’ll get over the hump. They’re playing hard.”

DeLattre: “That was kind of the game we expected. They were 0-2 but they were in a great situation to beat Exeter and Cumberland Valley. They play great defense and don’t make a lot of mistakes offensively. Other than the one play we gave up (43-yard pass to Jayden Sims), we played excellent defense.”

Records: Hollidaysburg (3-2), Central Dauphin (0-3)

Next week: The Tigers are idle unless they find an opponent; Central Dauphin visits Carlisle.

Notable: Hollidaysburg native Clarke McCready, an assistant coach for CD East, was introduced prior to the game … Drum major Ellie Sheehan was crowned homecoming queen at halftime.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

CD East 0 0 7 0 0 — 7

Hollidaysburg 0 0 0 7 6 — 13

Third quarter

CD–Sims 4 run (Bloss kick), 7:11

Fourth Quarter

H–Martellacci 3 run (Sosnowski kick), 8:01

Overtime

H–Bainey 7 run

TEAM STATISTICS CD H

First downs 12 13

Total yards 238 277

Rushes-yards 34-148 49-184

Yards passing 90 93

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 7-15-0 11-19-2

Punts-avg. 5-34.0 3-42.0

Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-0

Penalties-yards 9-87 3-25

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Hollidaysburg, Martellacci 25-95, Bainey 12-45, Fox 11-23, Team 1-(-6). Central Dauphin East, Sims 9-61, T. Krebs 16-83, Fleck 7-(-1), Foust 1-4, L. Krebs 1-1.

PASSING–Hollidaysburg, Martellacci 11-19-93. Central Dauphin East, Fleck 7-15-90

RECEIVING–Hollidaysburg, Bainey 3-18, Wolfe 3-17, Grassi 2-45, Fox 2-3, Faber 1-7. Central Dauphin East, T. Krebs 2-9, J. Sims 1-43, Mims 1-14, Fallings-Beverly 1-5, Jackson-Copney 1-12, Cooper-Watts 1-7.

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