State College Looks Good in Blasting McCaskey
Written by Phil Myers
The Red Tornado of J.P. McCaskey blew into town and the State College Little Lions sent them reeling back to Lancaster with a 45-12 defeat in the inaugural game of the season for both teams. The Little Lions’ ferocious defense limited McCaskey to a total of 23 yards and one first down in the first half. Meanwhile, the Lions’ offense scratched, clawed, and pounced into the end zone on five of its first six opening half possessions.
“You win 45-12 and you feel pretty good, but still there’s a lot of things we got to clean up,” stated the happy head coach from State High, Matt Lintal. “We’re really proud of our kids. Great effort,” he added. When asked about the defensive and offensive line play Coach Lintal responded by saying, “They were the difference here tonight.”
This was a true team effort as six different Lions scored a touchdown and the defense swarmed to the ball. Quarterback Tommy Friberg threw 2 TD passes for State and strong safety Paul Olivett had 2 interceptions, one being a pick six.
State College began the game with a 65 yard drive that ate up 5:12 on the clock. Tristen Lyons scored from a yard out and Cam Renfrew tacked on the PAT for the 7-0 lead. Lyons led the Lions in rushing with 66 yards on ten carries. McCaskey, then went three and out, and the punt from their ten gave the Lions the ball at the Red Tornado 42. After a 21 yard pass from Friberg to Brandon Clark and a 12 yard holding penalty on the home team, McCaskey’s Isiah Speller stepped in front of a Friberg pass and turned it into a pick six cutting State’s lead to 7-6 with 4:09 left in the first quarter.
From that moment until the fourth quarter, State College simply dominated on both sides of the ball. Russell scored from five yards out at the 2:35 mark to cap a 58 yard, five play drive. Shortly thereafter Paul Olivett had his first interception, which he returned 29 yards to the Tornado ten. Brandon Clark immediately caught a 10 yard TD pass from Friberg and suddenly late in quarter one it was 21-6.
The onslaught continued in the second stanza as Brady Dorner, Olivett, and Anthony Mobley scored touchdowns and Renfrew tacked on a 25 yard field goal.
A nice punt return by Russell set his team up in good field position at the Red Tornado 42. Six plays later, Dorner the back-up QB, squeezed in from a yard away at 9:11. Less than two minutes after that Olivett had his second pick and went 26 yards for the score. And less than two minutes after Olivett’s score, Mobley hauled in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Friberg. Finally, with a minute before the half, Renfrew made his FG putting the score at 45-6.
The second half went quickly by due to the running ‘mercy rule’ clock. McCaskey finally found some offense against State’s second teamers and tallied to make it 45-12 when Jamel Henry connected with Eric Greenawalt for 21 yards in the fourth quarter.
Notes and quotes: Coach Lintal said this about Paul Olivett, “I don’t know if there is a smarter, tougher player out there. He studies the game and is a heck of a football player.” Lintal also talked about Lyons, “He had a great night. We are excited to watch him play.” Friberg finished the game 5 of 6 passing and 2 TDs. The Little Lion Marching Band did a nice job performing songs from upcoming halftime shows and the march they played in the Boalsburg parade. St. College hosts Hollidaysburg next Friday at Memorial Field.
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