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September 19, 2009For the second straight week State College found themselves in a nail-biting contest that came down to the game's final play.
This time around the script was flipped. The Little Lions' valiant comeback attempt fell short as the Central Dauphin Rams upset State College 24-22.
State College (2-1, 1-1), ranked No. 27 in the RivalsHigh 100, trailed the Mid-Penn Commonwealth's surprise team of the year, Central Dauphin Rams (3-0, 2-0), 21-10 at halftime.
After being torched for 210 yards in the first half by the high-octane Central Dauphin offense, the State College defense buckled down in the second half, yielding just three more points to the Rams.
Playing without starting quarterback Dom Mills, Little Lions offensive star Alex Kenney helped cut the Central Dauphin lead to 24-22 with 7:13 remaining in the 4th quarter. On the subsequent two-point conversion attempt, Kenney was stuffed short of the goal line by Rams' linebacker Jarrett Brooks.
The State College defense responded with an equally clutch performance, giving its offense the ball back with 3:10 remaining.
On the game's climactic play, Kenney was stuffed on a fourth-and-3 at the Little Lions' 48-yard line as the Central Dauphin defense buckled down when it mattered most.
State College would get the ball back one last time with 16.8 seconds left, but sophomore quarterback Chris Weakland was picked off at the Rams' 30-yard line as time expired.
For State College, such a narrow defeat is a tough pill to swallow, but one coach Al Wolski feels his team can learn from.
"Our kids are not quitters," Wolski told the Centre Daily Times. "We wondered how they were going to react in a tough, tight ballgame and they did an outstanding job. We hung in there tough."