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State College advances with win over Harrisburg

Written by: on Sunday, November 28th, 2021

 

State Colleges Brady Bendik runs the ball in Saturday’s 16-13 win over Harrisburg. Photo by: Mark Helbley

With three seconds to go in the game State College needed just a field goal to get a step closer to every high school football player’s dream, Hershey. Fortunately for the State College Little Lions, they have kicker Kajetan Kaszubowski. With three seconds left Kaszubowski nailed the game-winning 34-yard field goal to advance to the state semis. This was just one of three made field goals on the day for Kaszubowski.

The scoring began early Saturday afternoon in Harrisburg. On the Cougar’s first possession, Freshman quarterback Shawn Lee hit Kyle Williams and after a few moves, Williams rumbled 43 yards into the endzone. Mahkai Hopkins made the pat giving the Cougars an early 7-0 lead. State College struggled offensively in the first half Saturday. On the next possession, Hopkins would get an interception for the Cougars. This would be just one of three interceptions and forced turnover on downs. Williams was able to also grab an interception, however, the very next play Owen Barr blew through and sacked Lee also, forcing a fumble recovered by the Little Lions. 

To start the second half the Little Lions came out strong and utilized the run game. Kaszubowski would make his first field goal from 33 yards out with a little over six minutes in the third quarter to make the score 7-3 Cougars. The Cougars would respond with a touchdown of their own. From 30 yards out after a few State College penalties, Lee hit Hopkins on a screen and Hopkins grooved his way into the endzone. The pat was no good making the score 13-3 Cougars.

On the very next offensive play for the Little Lions drew disaster. Justin Cook intercepted a pass but the Cougars failed to convert on offense. With this, the Little Lions drove down the field relying heavily on running back Brady Bendik. Bendik finished the game with 132 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown. With a little under nine minutes to go Bendik would get his touchdown on a four-yard carry. After a made pat the score sat 13-10 Cougars. The Little Lions would get the ball back and Kaszubowski would nail a 37-yard field goal with 4:55 to go in the game to tie the score at 13.  

The Cougar’s offense failed to convert, giving the ball back to the Little Lions. Bendik and quarterback Owen Yerka drove the Little Lions down to the 17-yard line. Kaszubowski stepped back and nailed the game-winning field goal from 34 yards out with just three seconds to go giving the Little Lions the 16-13 victory.

When asking coach Lintal about Kaszubowski and their game next week he said, “You know he’s our backup right? He has our strong leg for longer field goals. For Mount Lebanon, we haven’t really watched them yet but I know they’re a great football team.”  

“Well we just have to practice all the time, thank you to Brady Bendik, he calms me down all the time and we just have to be focused and precisely put it over the bar, it’s not that complicated.” said Kaszubowski. And that it is not as Kaszubowski finished the game 3-3 on kicks and helped his team advance to the State-Semifinal as they will take on Mount Lebanon for a trip to Hershey.  

 

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