State College Dominates CD East 39-15
Written by: Nate Grella on Sunday, September 30th, 2018
With Chris Fowler and James Franklin in attendance, and the Penn State game looming, State High came into the game friday against Central Dauphin East going undefeated in the first half of the season, but going into the toughest three game stretch of the season with games home against CD East and Harrisburg and Central Dauphin on the road.
The State High offense struggled in the game early, quarterback Tommy Friberg threw two interceptions in the first quarter, his first time this season with multiple interceptions, however, Keaton Ellis would return the opening kick for a touchdown and the Panthers’ Punter would step out of his own endzone for a safety to make the score 9-0 early in the first quarter. Cohen Russell, fresh off a preferred walk-on offer from Penn State, would be the offensive spark for the Lions. A 54 yard jet sweep and a 73 yard screen pass TD, would give Cohen Russell a two touchdown night. For the Panthers, David Niang was able to convert Panthers drives here and again, especially when the Panthers were able to extend drives on first downs, but the passing game was nonexistent for CD East. The one overtly positive play for the Panthers was an 80 yard TD rush by Bryce Baker, which would be the only meaningful touch by the Panthers leading rusher on the night
As for the defensive side of the ball, beside the two interceptions, the Panthers defense struggled throughout. Even without the t
hreat of Keaton Ellis, who exited the game in the 1st quarter and did not return, Cohen Russell and Dresyn Green both averaged over 13 yards a carry in a 155 yard rushing performance for the Lions that saw seven different runners for State High.
The State High defense excelled for the second week in a row. Even without Ellis, defensive captain, Titus Thompson, and starter Cole Urbas, long Panthers drives were few and far between. Making his first ever start after moving from quarterback to defensive end, Kyle Kurzinger had two TFLs and Tyson Brennan was a force in the middle. Penalties plagued the defense however as a late targeting penalty would extend the Panthers second touchdown drive, and a roughing the kicker penalty would extend a drive when the Panthers would be punting out of their own endzone
Synopsis: This was really the first game of the year for State College where the Lions opened up the playbook, and although there were growing pains in the first quarter, the offense rebounded with stellar blocks in the run game. The Panthers loss of Kane Everson still has not been overcome as a sophomore starting quarterback and a lack of downfield passing options is a recipe for disaster against the athletic State High defense.
What’s Next?: State High will play the biggest game of their season and possibly the game to determine the winner of the MidPenn Commonwealth on Saturday morning against Harrisburg. Central Dauphin East will play against Chambersburg.
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