State College controls possession and secures last-second field goal to defeat Harrisburg in Quarterfinal 6A

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Harrisburg did not believe that State College, its neighbor in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth, would simply turn around in the PIAA 6A quarterfinal. On the contrary, the Little Lions did most of the heavy lifting on Saturday at Severance Field.

And when kicker Kajetan Kaszubowski’s 34-yard field goal got stuck between the amounts with 3 meager seconds left to play, the only celebration belonged to the District 6 champions.

Kaszubowski’s third field of the afternoon wrapped a 16-13 State College victory over Harrisburg, who bowed out after failing to defend a 13-3 lead with a 14:27 final.

Brady Bendik led the visiting Lions’ punishing rushing attack (8-5), turning 34 carries into 132 yards and a touchdown.

That goal streak sparked a dominant fourth quarterback for SC, which saw Kaszubowski’s 37-yard yard line the game with 4:55 to go.

Another excellent streak of defense from Matt Lintal offered one last chance, and runs from Bendik and QB Owen Yerka led the Lions 10 games to set up the winning kick. In the fourth quarter, State College had 142 yards on 23 plays. In that same stretch, Harrisburg (12-2) ran 6 games for under-1 yards.

State College will meet WPIAL champion Mount Lebanon in the semifinals next week.

STARS

State College had several beyond Bendik’s tireless work. Toby Brennen (LT), Logan Molito (C), John Brighton (RT) and guards Michael and Thomas Dincher helped SC score 22 first downs and win time in the battle for possession (28: 27-19 : 33).

The Lions gave up three interceptions – Justin Cook of Harrisburg, Mahkai Hopkins and Kyle Williams each – but edged the Cougars 218-9.

Speaking on Harrisburg’s 24 rush attempts, DT Justin Castro-Dixon, LB Jack Roeshot and DE Stephen Scourtis were key to SC’s defensive success.

Williams and the Cougars hit first, the versatile WR posting a 43-yard TD to cap Harrisburg’s first practice. Hopkins then added a 30-yard TD and a rush with Harrisburg facing a third and 15 at the end of the third quarter.

Harrisburg’s 13-3 advantage wouldn’t hold. Cook’s interception, which occurred seconds after Hopkins made it a two-point game, was his 11th of the season and tied the program record in a single season.

Complete the installments of the 2021 PIAA football tournament

WINNING MOMENT

The Little Lions had control of the line of scrimmage by the time Kaszubowski pulled State College even with a game of 4:55. On Harrisburg’s possession that followed, Roeshot’s pressure on quarterback Shawn Lee forced the Cougars to kick.

Bendik was called out 7 times on the last SC drive, and Yerka posted the first down runs of 14 and 10 yards. Lintal chose to drain all but 9 seconds on the clock before sending Kaszubowski into the field.

THEY SAID IT

“The defense played hard. About this team, we create our own energy. We are pumped up and we want to play. We have a lot of momentum. “- RB Brady Bendik State College

“They were doing a lot of things in terms of moving their defensive line, a lot of stunts and twists. It was one of the great things there. Our strength for the most part this season is directing the ball and controlling things up front. We couldn’t do it. “- Harrisburg coach Calvin Everett

“We are really proud of these [offensive linemen]. They continued to develop. We’ve spent most of the year with kind of a mix of guys up there. We’ve had a few injuries and a few other guys for various reasons throughout the season. These guys squeak in practice. These guys are just doing it. – Lions coach Matt Lintal

“We had planned to meet at Hershey but, when you look into the big picture and look how far we’ve come, I’m not going to let that one game define our season. I think our season has definitely been a success. – Everett

State College 0-0-3-13 – 16

Harrisbourg 7-0-6-0 – 13

First shift

HBG-Kyle Williams 43 pass from Shawn Lee (Mahkai Hopkins kick), 9:48

Third quarter

SC-FG Kajetan Kaszubowski 33, 6:13

HBG Hopkins 30 pass from Lee (missed kick), 2:27

Fourth trimester

SC-Brady Bendik 4 run (Nick Kowalski kick), 8:58

SC-FG Kaszubowski 37, 4:55

SC-FG Kaszubowski 34,: 03

SC HBG team statistics

First stockings 22 7

Rush-yards 52-218 24-9

Overtaking 71 113

Comp-Att-Int 6-16-3 6-10-0

Fumbles lost 0-0 1-1

Punts-Moy. 1-45 6-37.8

Penalties-yards 7-70 9-85

Individual statistics

QUICKLY : State College, Brady Bendik 34-132, Owen Yerka 12-70, Jashaun Green 6-16; Harrisburg, Mahkai Hopkins 10-10, Kyle Williams 3-3, Nayquan Prather 1-2, Justin Cook 2-0, Shawn Lee 8- (minus-6).

WHO PASSED: State College, Owen Yerka 5-13-2–68, Finn Furmanek 1-3-1–3; Harrisburg, Shawn Lee 6-10-0–113.

RECEPTION: State College, Kyle Kurzinger 2-28, Brady Bendik 2-24, Stephen Scourtis 1-16, TJ Yoder 1-3; Harrisburg, Kyle Williams 4-79, Mahkai Hopkins 1-30, Justin Cook 1-4.

Follow Eric Epler on Twitter – @threejacker



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