WJAC’s Friday Night Rivals presented by your Local Honda Dealers moves to Week 9 with the State College Little Lions hosting the Altoona Mountain Lions on Friday Night.
The Little Lions bounced back after falling to Harrisburg with a 35-28 victory over Central Dauphin on Friday night. Tommy Friberg threw for two touchdowns and added one on the ground in the State College win. After losing to Cumberland Valley 24-21, the Mountain Lions have dropped two straight to fall to 3-5 this season.
Matt Lintal’s offense has thrived in State College this season, averaging over 35 points per game this season. Friberg has been efficient, completing 66 percent of his throws for 1,459 yards and 15 touchdown passes. Friberg has added 236 yards and an additional four scores on the ground. Dresyn Green had a massive game Friday night and has now accumulated 287 yards and four scores on the ground. Isaiah Edwards remains the leading rusher despite missing the last two games. Highly touted collegiate prospect Keaton Ellis has pulled in 31 catches for 493 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cohen Russell averages an insane 26.1 yards per catch and has pulled in five scores.
The Altoona offense averages just over 26 points per game this season, led by quarterback Connor McCarthy. McCarthy has thrown for 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He has been turnover prone with ten interceptions. Leading runner Mitchell Lawhead has 717 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. McCarthy has added 268 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns as well. Connor Adams has been a favorite target of McCarthy’s with 39 receptions for 538 yards and six touchdowns. Lawhead has added 247 receiving yards and four touchdowns to his 1,000 plus yards on the ground.
Tyson Brennan leads the Little Lions defense with 48 tackles on the season. Sammy Knipe averages over six tackles per game for State College as well. Nathan Lusk has terrorized quarterbacks with four sacks. The Little Lions have forced 15 turnovers, six of them by Ellis. Lusk has added two interceptions to go with his four sacks.
The Altoona defense has struggled, allowing nearly 29 points per game. Isaiah Barnes and Lawhead have both scored defensive touchdowns for the Mountain Lions this year.
State College sits in second place in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth at 4-1, behind Harrisburg at 5-0. Harrisburg is the lone team to defeat State College this season. Altoona sits in seventh out of eight at 1-4 in conference play. In a loaded field, State College is one of 12 7-1 teams in Class AAAAAA football.
After back-to-back 2-8 seasons, Nick Felus has already improved Altoona’s record in his first season. State College is in search of their third straight ten win season and have the talent and aspirations for more in 2018. State College has won five of their last six against Altoona, with the last meeting coming back in 2009, a 36-7 win.
TIME: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
WATCH: WJAC 6.2 Me TV (6.2 over-the-air, Comcast 110-187-202-248, Armstrong 410, Atlantic Broadband 110, Windstream 16, Laurel Highland 15) Johnstown/Altoona/State College
ANNOUNCERS: Rick Hull (play-by-play), Varun Raghupathi (analyst), Ryan Stanko (sidelines).
2018 JOHNSTOWN FRIDAY NIGHT RIVALS SCHEDULE
***ALL GAMES AT 7 P.M. ON WJAC Me TV
Friday Oct 19 Altoona Area at State College Area
Friday Oct 26 Bishop Guilfoyle at Bishop McCort