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State College big plays tops Kish in JVFL Midget Super Bowl

 

LEWISTOWN – In the final game of the Juniata Valley Football League’s season, the Kish Indians were making its fourth straight appearance and went up against a familiar foe in State College in the Midget Super Bowl.

Despite both teams brought a tough defense often in the game, the Little Lions had power and strength personified in running back Sam Knipe. Knipe used his speed and on the larger sized Mitchell Field blaze his way down the field numerous times finishing with a 186-yard effort.

Two of Knight touchdowns came in 70-plus yard runs around the end, en route to the State College 27-0 victory Sunday night at the legendary field.

“Both teams should both be commended on a great season and a great game. They played us hard in the first part of the season and they played us hard tonight. But at the end of the day, the kids put together some good scoring drives, good running balance, solid defense and good heart,” State College coach Jay Kislak said. “I can’t say enough about Kish. They are well coached. They get those kids so motivated so we are very fortunate to be here tonight. We have a great group of kids and great set of parents as well as a great organization.”

Kish was led on the ground by hardnosed style of Brycen Hassinger who finished with 74 yards on the ground. Most of which were running through defenders and going straight up the middle with the help of his lineman.

Both teams were primed and ready to go defensively and showed that by holding each offenses to 4-and out to start the game.

On the Little Lions second possession of the game, State College started with the ball on its own 25-yard line.

One play later, the Little Lions got the ball to Knipe and he took the sweep around the end and soared past the Kish defense for a touchdown with :51 left in the opening quarter.

After a 7-play Kish drive that dried out, the Little Lions gave it to Knipe once again. He took the hand off and 73-yards later, State College up its lead to 14-0.

The Kish defense held the undefeated Little Lions the rest of the first half and went into the intermission, trailing only 14-0.

“We played hard all year. We were the smallest and youngest teams in the league. We had all 10 and 11-year old kids. There is nothing we should be ashamed of. We played hard,” Kish head coach Mike Bickhart said. “They’re just so much bigger and have a bigger area to select from. This team will come back next year and work hard.”

In the second half, State College opened up with the ball.

Defensively, the Indians stood up for the first four plays but on the fifth play of the drive, the Little Lions went back to their outstanding running back. Knipe got loose one last time and got free around the end one last time and scored the Little Lions third touchdown of the game. With another successful PAT, the Lions upped their lead to 21-0 with 5:23 left in the third.

Both defenses took over for the rest of the third quarter and most of the final stanza.

But the Little Lions added an insurance goal late in the fourth, to end the scoring at 27-0.

In the fighting style of the Indians, with just minutes to go the offense muscled its way down the field but just ran out of time to score. Kish ended the game at the State College 19.

With the win, the Little Lions ended the season at a perfect 9-0.

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