Last-second heroics deliver victory for State College peewees
LEWISTOWN – It was a peewee championship game for the ages.
State College placed its name on the Juniata Football League trophy in dramatic fashion, dropping a tough and feisty Kish Indian team with two ticks remaining on the clock for a 13-7 victory at Mitchell field Sunday afternoon.
“I honestly have never seen two teams fight as hard as in this. And I have been here a long time now,” State College coach Rob Johnson said. “Kish played their hearts out and I am so proud of our kids for having that one more play for them in the end.”
Going into the fourth quarter, the Indians were holding onto a 7-6 lead. As time ticked down to the five minute mark, Kish was forced to kick the ball on a fourth down.
The punt was caught by Drew Moerschbacher at the Indians’ 44 and he ran it to the 36.
However, like it did for most of the contest, the Kish defense refused to give up the lead and managed to hold the Little Lions on fourth down on the 24. The defensive stand was led by a sack by Reagan Ettinger. Kish recorded a total of four sacks on the day.
Kish started its last offensive possession at its own 9-yard line with 1:48 left in the game. But with three time outs in its possession, the State College defense held and forced Kish to give up the ball, punting it to Moerschbacher again with 1:28 left. Moerschbacher, who finished with 67 yards rushing, took the punt at the 30 and ran it all the back to the Indians’ 10.
Digging in once more, it looked like Kish would shut the Lions down, forcing them backward\ to the 11.
But on fourth-and-goal from the 11, State College had time for a last-gasp effort. The Little Lions went to the air where quarterback Brady Bendik found an open Nick Kowalski for the go-ahead touchdown. After a successful extra point, the Little Lions took home the trophy.
“It was tremendous game. I couldn’t any more prouder of my kids,” Kish coach Jerry Schnell said. “We had a missed assignment here and a missed tackle there and gave up those last points. We had a tremendous seaon and a great group of kids. They really worked hard.”
Kish got on the scoreboard first when Brennan Pennington scored from nine yards out to cap a seven-play drive. Running back Brody Schnell picked up the extra point, giving Kish a 7-0 lead with 4:33 left until the intermission.
State College came out of the intermission, going on its first offensive drive of the game rambling down the field on a six-play drive that saw Leo Vandevort cash things in from a yard out, making it a 7-6 ball game.