21-42: A Score that Does Not Define a Season

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Cora Bainbridge

Friday, Sept. 3, the State High Little Lions faced off against the Downingtown East Cougars.

Cora Bainbridge, Sports Manager

After two years, and one renovation later, State High Football is back at Memorial Field. On Friday, Sept. 3rd, the State High Little Lions played their second non-conference game against Downingtown East, losing with a final score of 21-42. 

Going into the first quarter, junior Donte Nastasi received the ball, running from the 25-yard line all the way to the 45-yard line. This was able to lead the momentum of State High’s first drive, until Downingtown East gained possession of the ball, scored a touchdown, and made the score 0-7. This began to take some of the momentum away from the Little Lions, but trailing did not stop the team from rallying together going into the second quarter.

“We just had to make sure that everyone stepped up and make sure that everyone was still in this game,” senior TJ Yoder said. 

The team began the second quarter with a powerful touchdown thrown by Finn Furmanek, starting quarterback of the game, to wide receiver Jashaun Green. These two worked together during their first game against Mifflin County and continued during this game, showing that old tricks can get the job done.

Following this touchdown, Downingtown answered with a touchdown of their own, bringing the score 7-14 halfway through the second quarter. While that did not shift the momentum of the team, it did increase the volume of the State High Student Section. 

“We had more energy than ever […] our student section was on fire though, they were great,” senior Jack Roeshot said.

The energy brought by the student section impacted the atmosphere of everyone playing in the game, but when the Little Lions were trailing now 7-21, after another Downingtown touchdown, the roars from the student section allowed Furmanek to shorten the gap before the end of the first half.

“I definitely had the crowd helping me a lot, giving me the energy, and the push, that I needed,” Furmanek said, when speaking about the atmosphere during the game.

Right before the end of the first half, Furmanek was able to run the football in for a touchdown making the score 14-21, but with 2 minutes left in the second quarter, Downingtown responded with a touchdown of their own, making the final score at the half 14-28 Downingtown East.

Going into the second half, Downingtown received the ball, but was stopped almost immediately by State High defenders. State High’s defense showed their strength against the wall of Downingtown’s offensive line, with major stops in the beginning of the 3rd quarter by defensive end Stephen Scourtis and middle linebacker John Scott. Along with the help of strongholds in the defensive line, State High was able to hold Downingtown to one touchdown during the quarter. 

While the defense was making their mark on Memorial Field, the Little Lion offense was not backing down. With a quick switch of quarterback, and movement of quarterback to wide receiver, the Little Lions were on the move. Jack Morris, quarterback starting the second half, and Brady Bendik, playing in the running back position, were able to move up the field with ease. When Morris was not passing the ball to Bendik, the receivers were able to work their way up the field as well. Furmanek, now playing as a wide receiver, was able to rack up some yards, alongside the rest of State High receiving core, Green and Nastasi. The Downingtown East defensive line didn’t back down, and was able to hold the Lions to having a no-score quarter. 

Entering the fourth quarter, the Lions had some ground to make up: the score was 14-35 and the Lions were trailing by three touchdowns. This added pressure did not seem to phase the Lions, who kept pushing down the field as fast and as accurately as possible. 

“We had a turning point at the half,” Roeshot said, “and I really believe we are the tougher team.”

The turning point took place when Morris ran in for a touchdown, with nine minutes left in the game, making the score 21-35 Downingtown. The offense would have the ball a few more times, but Morris’ touchdown would be the last score for the Lions. The defense was able to hold strong the rest of the quarter, but Downingtown was able to score one last touchdown, ending the game with a final score of 21-42.

“I think everybody knows what they gotta work on,” Yoder said, “we know what we need to improve on, and I think we can really do that.”

This Friday, Sept. 10th, the Little Lions travel to Hollidaysburg to play in their last non-conference game of the season. Going into this game, the Little Lions are ready to show that losing one game will not stop them from dominating the remaining games of the season.

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