When he wins the toss, Altoona coach Vince Nedimyer usually likes to pick up the ball and build early momentum, but the strategy didn’t work Friday night against State College.
The Little Lions quickly turned an undefeated battle into a one-sided rout in the blink of an eye for a 55-14 win at Mansion Park. The mercy rule went into effect with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
“A lot of times we start the game with the football, and normally we were able to, if not score, get a few first tries,” Nedimyer said. “We weren’t able to get into any kind of groove, and the reason we couldn’t was because of them. Congratulations to them. They have a good team. »
The teams could possibly meet again in the District 6 playoffs.
“You really want to win your (games with) the opponents from District 6”, said state coach Matt Lintal. “You never know if we’ll see them again, so try to make sure we leave the pitch knowing we were the best team here tonight.”
Game of the game: As the final seconds of the first half ticked away, State College quarterback Finn Furmanek rolled left and threw himself into a crowded end zone for the receiver of Little Lion Michael Gaul invents it – despite the pass interference called on the play. The 35-yard touchdown gave the Little Lions a 35-7 lead.
Player of the Game: State freshman running back D’Antae Sheffy carried 13 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Best run: After Altoona cut State College’s lead to 21-7, Sheffey ran 60 yards for a touchdown with 6:57 left in the second quarter.
Lintal on Sheffy: “D’Antae is special. We are really proud of him. Obviously, he’s very talented, but most importantly, he’s very humble, has a great work ethic and his football IQ is really high for a youngster. He can make games on the fly.
Best catch(es): Besides Gaul’s touchdown, State’s Donte Nastasi made a 30-yard juggle that set up Sheffy’s 60-yard juking TD, and the second student of Altoona’s Mark Harrington hit a fingertip snag on a 34-yard Brennen Freiwald yard in the third quarter.
Welcome back to basics: Furmanek and Nastasi have deep roots in Blair County. Furmanek’s grandfather is Bishop Guilfoyle’s former coach, Tom Irwin, and Nastasi’s grandfather, Joe, was a coach at Northern Bedford and later as an assistant at Altoona.
Furmanek, who completed 6 of 8 for 83 yards, rushed for another 37 and had three touchdowns: “I’m glad I came and I’m glad there are so many of my family here – my grandparents, uncles, aunts. I always remember coming to Mansion Park for the Bishop Guilfoyle games, and I always wanted to be here and play.
Nastasi, who caught six passes for 70 yards: “My teammates really got me excited, and I love that.”
Unsung Hero(es): The State’s Offensive and Defensive Lines.
Statistically speaking: State College racked up 16 first downs in the first half.
Near-perfect: State College kicked once and committed a penalty – both occurring late in the game.
Nedimyer on the slow start: “We didn’t tackle well and we didn’t adjust well. They played with more effort than us. They came here a little more excited than us, and that was the biggest disappointment. And it’s my fault for not preparing the children. We’ll go back to the drawing board.
Lintal on the game as you practice: “Our coaches did a great job preparing us for the triple option. I couldn’t be prouder of our coaches and their kids for their preparation. We had a great week of training and it showed.
Lintal point plug: “Vince is doing a great job and they will only get better. Lots of respect for Altoona.
Take the initiative early: “They can eat a lot of clock with the offense they run, so being able to get the first two touchdowns on the board was huge,” Linthal said. “Then they feel like they’re catching up, and that takes them out of their game a bit.”
Records: Altoona (3-1), State College (4-0)
Next week: Altoona visits Central Dauphin East; State College hosts Central Dauphin. Both games are Friday.
Nedimyer’s rebound mindset: “We have CD (East) next week, so it doesn’t get easier week by week. Much like our first three wins, we can’t be so excited about these. We can’t dwell on that. Obviously it was very unbalanced, but I’m confident in our kids and our coaches that we’ll be back on Monday and ready to go.
Notes: Freiwald hit Jimiere Hardison for 57 yards to set up Altoona’s first touchdown, a 5-yard run by Alex Yost…Colin Hite scored the Lions’ other TD on a 15-yard sweep…Branson Adams intercepted a passes for the Lions in the second quarter … Nastasi wears No. 21 – the same number his father, Joe, wore at Penn State; Joe is an assistant coach on the SC staff…Altoona freshman Julian Hazelwood returned a second-quarter kickoff 30 years…Altoona’s honorary captain was the former teacher of Altoona, Dawn Morden, who passed away in June. Morden founded the Brian Morden Foundation which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for cancer research.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
State College 14 21 13 7 — 55
Altoona 0 7 7 0 — 14
SC – Furmanek 1 run (Kaszubowski kick), 7:48
Race SC – Sheffy 17 (Kaszubowski kick), 3:43
SC – Furmanek 1 run (Kaszubowski kick), 8:59
A–Yost 5 run (Palilla kick) 7:45
Race SC – Sheffy 60 (Kaszubowski kick), 6:57
SC – Gaul 35 Furmanek pass (Kaszubowski kick), 0:00
Race SC – Yerka 2 (Kaszubowski kick), 5:22
A–Hite 15 run (Palilla kick), 1:30
Race SC – Wall 43 (missed kick), 0:11
SC – Wilson 15 run (Zipf kick), 4:25
SC A TEAM STATS
First attempts 23 11
Total yards 388,172
Rush-yards 34-266 37-112
Passing yards 122 60
Assists (comp-attack-int) 10-14-122 3-5-94
Punts-avg. 1-35.0 6-21.0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 1-15 5-18
RUSHING–State College, Sheffy 13-125, Wall 6-53, Furmanek 6-37, Yerka 5-38, Scourtis 1-4, Nastasi 1-2, Stone 2-(-3). Altoona, Freiwald 10-30, Seward 3-22, Patterson 4-18, Hite 2-15, Yost 6-9, Emeigh-Ballos 1-7, Reid 2-5, Hardison 1-5, Dunkle 1-4, Mosley 2-3, Jackson-Shepard 3-1, LaRocco 2-(-7).
PASSAGE–State College, Furmanek 6-8-83, Yerka 4-6-39. Altoona, Freiwald 3-5-94.
RECEPTION–State College, Nastasi 6-70, Gaul 2-23, Scourtis 2-29, Altoona, Hardison 1-57, Harrington 1-34, Reid 1-3.