Defensive battle carries into overtime

LEWISTOWN – Defense took center stage in the Juniata Valley Football League midget Super Bowl.

After four quarters of play both the State College Little Lions and the Kish Indians refused to give up any points, forcing an overtime period to decide a champion.

The game was a throwback to the football game of old – it was a game of hard hits, battles in the trenches and hard, straight-ahead running in this JVFL instant classic.

In overtime, the Little Lions got the ball first and made the most of it, scoring while the Indians could not match them, giving the Lions the 7-0 victory.

“(Kish) ran a real tough defense and a tough offense off the ball. They are explosive, fast they hit hard and they are quick,” State College coach Jay Kissiak said. “Our kids dug deep tonight and I love it. This is the way youth football should be played. This was a great game. It was a good night.”

State College was led in the rushing department by Cole Pammer, who finished with a hard-earned 49 yards on the ground while Kish was led by the running of Brycen Hassinger, who led his team with 51.

Kish teammate Zach Bickhart complemented Hassinger’s effort with 25 yards. Teammate John Retherford also picked up some crucial yardage despite the loss.

In the first quarter, the teams exchanged possessions three times, none of which produced any long and drawn out drives.

The second quarter proved to be much of the same as Kish got as close as any team did to that point, driving the ball into State College territory before the drive stalled at the Little Lions’ 30, ending the first half.

After the intermission, both defenses dug deeper and fought harder than in the first as the clock began to tick short and the desperation to score rose. Both defenses were relentless, forcing numerous changes of possession.

The final stanza flew by faster than the first three – in what seemed to be a blink of an eye the two teams went into the overtime period.

“I m so proud of these kids. At the beginning of the year we weren’t as good as we thought and we challenged them and they got better. It’s a great group of kids. We lost on one play in overtime so what can you say,” Kish coach Mike Bickhart said. “We play as hard as we can. I have great coaches, great kids and we have great parents so we will be back next year. We will work hard and we will be back.”