State College Shocks Cumberland Valley in Battle of Unbeatens

Written by: on Saturday, October 8th, 2016. Follow Joe McCraken on Twitter.


State College Shocks Cumberland Valley in Battle of Unbeatens


State College won a thriller over Cumberland Valley on Friday night for their homecoming game. Both teams came into the game 5-0, but State College proved their ability and made a statement by beating a talented Eagles team 20-16.

The defense on both sides started strong, resulting in a scoreless first quarter. State College defensive back Mark Wess helped set the tone early with an athletic interception, but the Little Lions’ offense was unable to capitalize. The Eagles forced a turnover of their own when State College quarterback Tyler Snyder fumbled while being sacked, resulting in Cumberland Valley ball on the 42. The Eagles made a couple of nice plays, including a long pass to two-way star Charlie Katshir, to get the ball down the field and put themselves in position to score. They ended the quarter facing 3rd and 7 on the State College 9 yard line.The Little Lions managed to stop Cumberland Valley on third down, but Eagles kicker Jared Plessinger nailed the 26 yarder to give his team a 3-0 lead with 11:50 left in the second quarter.

Midway through the quarter, State College found their first score on a nine yard run from Pete Haffner to take the lead 7-3.

It did not take long for Cumberland Valley to respond, however. A deep ball to Charlie Katshir followed by a six yard touchdown pass to the same receiver made it 9-7 Eagles. The extra point attempt was blocked by State College’s Aziz Salamy.

With the Little Lions driving at the end of the half and looking to regain the lead, Cumberland Valley defensive back Alex Hetzel delivered a crushing 65 yard pick six with 38 seconds left in the second. The Eagles had a comfortable 16-7 lead at the half, with all momentum in their favor.

A nice second half opening drive by State College resulted in a 25 yard boot from Jack Sheehan to narrow the score to 16-10. The Little Lions stifled the Eagles’ run game, and improved on their containment of CV star Katshir, holding their opponent scoreless not only this quarter, but the entire half. A big screen play to Haffner moved the Little Lions to the 38 yard line with 1:30 left in the third. They ended the quarter in a 4th and 12 situation on the 20.

State College opened the quarter with a clutch 37 yard field goal from Sheehan to make it 16-13 in favor of Cumberland Valley. The Little Lions’ defense continued to dominate, allowing their offense multiple chances to regain the lead. With 5:30 left in the game, State College made a huge conversion on 3rd and 24 with a pass from Snyder to Woods. They used the momentum to continue their march down the field. With 3:56 left, the Little Lions put the ball in the hands of their captain Haffner, who bowled over opposing stud Katshir and into the endzone for a 15 yard touchdown to give his team a 20-16 lead.

“It was awesome to get the lead. The fans were going nuts. I knew after we got the lead we were going to win,” said Haffner. The State College defense held strong one last time for a huge stop, allowing their offense to run out the clock and get a statement win over a tough inner conference opponent. “It’s great to beat a team like Cumberland Valley. It’s a game we’ve been waiting for all season to play. It was good to take it to them and pull out the win,” said Haffner.

State College remains undefeated at 6-0, while Cumberland Valley drops to 5-1.

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