STATE COLLEGE ENDS RIVALRY WITH WIN
Written by: Billy Splain on Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Since 1972 the two largest schools in central PA have had quite a rivalry. Located just 35 minutes apart these two schools have had many a battle end with just a few points between winning and losing. Tonight wasn’t one of those storied battles as the Little Lions handed Altoona a 36-7 defeat on a windy, cool and very rainy Friday night. That rivalry will now be closed for a while as Altoona joins the WPIAL next year. “It’s sad that we won’t be playing them anymore but I’m glad we were able to end the rivalry with the win” said State College tailback and defensive back Alex Kenney. You could probably lay a lot of the blame on Altoonas’ loss with Kenney. The senior had three interceptions and rushed for 2 tds on the night, two of them ending long Wildcat drives and the other returned 51 yards for a td. Alex accounted for 3 of the 6 tds State College had on the night.
State College started the night with a long drive beginning at their 31. A nice mix of runs from qb Matt Mazzara, Colby Way and Jamal Albro took the Little Lions to the 6 where Mazzara ran in for the score. A muffed snap on the pat by Mazzara was quickly turned into two points as he ran for the corner of the endzone giving State an 8-0 lead with 6 minutes remaining in the quarter.
Altoona was held on the next series to 3 plays. The punt was shanked giving State the ball at the 45. Four plays later Kenney went 19 yards out of the “wildcat” offense to give the Little Lions a 15-0 lead. Following the kickoff, Altoona drove from their 20 to the 40 on the running of Sr. tight end Julian Howsare but on 2nd and 8 from the 38 Altoona qb Nate Beck threw a backwards pass that was dropped. State College DB Colby Way alertly picked up the ball at the 48 and ran 52 yards for a score. Kevin Disanto kick made the score 22-0.
Altoona then drove 51 yards to the State High 24 but would turn the ball over on downs. State College then returned the favor driving from their 23 to the Altoona 18 but Chris Carper stepped in front of a mazzara pass at the 5 and returned it to the 37. 3 plays later Altoona found themselves on the State high 30 with 17 seconds to go in the half, only to have Kenney intercept a pass at the 17. The score at the break remained 22-0.
Altoona got the ball to start the second half and on 3rd down Kenney continued to ruin the Mountain Lions night. Stepping in front of another Beck pass he lept high in the air for the catch, then hit the ground running going 51 yards to the endzone. “He played an amazing game tonight for us on defense.” said State High coach Al Wolski. With 10 minutes remaining in the 3rd the Little Lions had a commanding 29-0 lead. Once again Altoona would battle downfield, going to the State 11 and yes once again Kenney would end that drive intercepting a pass at the 3. State College then took a huge chunk off the clock running the ball with a tandem of backs going 97 yards. The drive was highlighted by a few nice runs of 11, 18 and 9 yards from Jr. running back Shane Dorner. Kenney then finished the drive on a 5 yard scamper, the point after giving the Little Lions a 36-0 lead.
Altoona would get its lone score with 1 minute remaining on a 5 yard pass from Ethan Wilt to Nate Clancy.
“Our defense really played well tonight, coming up with big turnovers at opportune times” said Wolski. “Now we can start preparing for McDevitt” referring to next weeks big clash with the top ranked Crusaders at Memorial Field.
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