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Late touchdown and two point conversion propels State College to win over Downingtown East

DOWNINGTOWN >> In a game that had a little bit of everything, visiting State College scored with 18 seconds left in the fourth period and then completed the two-point conversion to stun host Downingtown East, 32-31, at Kottmeyer Stadium in a thriller.

State College quarterback Owen Yerka hit Eli Salazer with a pretty 23-yard touchdown pass that put the Little Lions behind the Cougars (1-1) 31-30. State College head coach Mark Lintel called time out and decided to go for the two point conversion and the win instead of kicking and going to overtime.

“All the way down the field we went back and forth whether to kick or go for two points if we scored,” Little said. “And then when we scored we were still undecided and we called timeout and we went over it again and just said lets go for it and try to get the win right here.”

Downingtown East was playing without starting quarterback Jay Jenkins who was out with a broken wrist but the Cougars played valiantly against one of the better 6A teams in the state. Senior running back Bo Horvath rushed for 248 yards on 42 carries and scored three touchdowns, one on an 86-yard kickoff return in the first half. Horvath also ran out of the Wildcat formation many times during the game.

With the game tied 17-17 at halftime, the Little Lions took a 24-17 lead after three periods after Yerka completed a 10-play, 73-yard drive with a one yard run and it was State College who had a 24-17 lead after three periods.

But the Cougars fought and fought and two long touchdown runs by Horvath gave East a 31-24 lead with 7:03 left to play in the fourth period. One of those touchdown runs was a 98-yard jaunt after the Little Lions punter pinned the Cougars down at the two yard line. 

On the first play after the punt, Horvath burst through a big hole in the middle of the Little Lions line to go all the way for a score and it was a 31-24 Downingtown East lead with a little over seven minutes to play in the fourth period.

But State college showed why they are considered one of the top 6A teams in Pennsylvania. After a Downingtown East punt pinned the Little Lions back on their own eight yard line with seven minutes to play, the Lions marched down the field.

State College got three clutch third down plays to continue the drive with Yerka — who threw for 146 yards on the night — completing three medium range passes until he hit a slant pattern to Salazer to stun the Downingtown East crowd.

After the touchdown, State College called timeout and decided to go for two points instead of the overtime period. Yerka took the snap, rolled to his right and hit Finn Furmanek just inside the goal line, and the Little Lions capped off a fourth period comeback in a game that will remember for a long time.

“I am just super proud of the effort of my kids,” Lintel said. “And to come in here and beat a great program like Downingtown East is quite an accomplishment. Coach Matta (Mike), does a super job year after year and to win in here is a great feeling.”

After the shocking loss Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta was not talking about playing the game without his regular starting quarterback.

“We were not shorthanded tonight,” Matta said. “They are a real good team and they made a couple more plays than we did tonight. Give them all the credit. They moved the ball when they had to and we made a couple mistakes that cost us tonight.”

State College 32, Downingtown East 31

State College                       10 7 7 8 — 32
Downingtown East             14 3 0 14 — 31
D — Luongo 19 fumble recovery (Blake kick)
SC — Kaszubowski 42 FG
SC — Nastasi 83 pass from Furmanek (Kaszubowski kick)
D — Horvath 86 kickoff return (Blake kick)
                  Second Period
SC — Sheffey 38 run (Kaszubowski kick)
D — Blake 28 FG
                 Third Period
SC — Yerka 1 run (Kaszubowski kick)
                 Fourth Period
D — Horvath 30 run (Blake kick)
D — Horvath 98 run (Blake kick)
SC — Salazer 23 pass from Yerka (Furmanek pass from Yerka)
                        Team Totals
                      SC                   DE
First downs    18                    16
Yards rushing 173                294
Yards passing 271                 38
Total yards     444                 332
Passing       18-37-0             5-8-1
Fumbles-lost  1–1                   0-0
Punts-avg      5-38.5              6-27.5
Penalties-yds   8-55                 6-45

                      Individual Statistics
Rushing: SC: Scott 4-16; Sheffey 16-94, TD; Furmanek 3-13; Yerka 7-50, TD. DOWN: Horvath 41-248, 2TD’s; Waite 8-49; Ippolito 1 (-3).
Passing: SC: Yerka 12-24-146, TD; Furmanek 6-13-125, TD. DOWN: Ippolito 5-8-38.
Receiving: SC: Furmanek 7-87; Scourtis 1-11; Salazer 3-43, TD; Nastasi 6-116, TD; Gaul 1-14. DOWN: Noble 2-13; the lander 2-18; Horvath 1-7.
Sacks: SC: None. DOWN: DOWN: Lammy, Waite.
Interceptions: SC: Espinoza. DOWN: None.

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