CHAMBERSBURG — Chambersburg found itself right with the No. 3 team in the state Friday night, trailing only 13-10 with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter.
But two costly turnovers led to State College touchdowns and the Little Lions prevailed 27-17 in a Mid Penn Commonwealth slugfest at Trojan Stadium on Homecoming.
Isaiah Edwards made an interception for State College (5-0, 2-0 MPC) to change momentum, then caught a wide-open touchdown pass moments later to put his team up by 10 points over the Trojans (3-2, 1-1 MPC).
“It was a helluva game until the fourth quarter,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. “I told our kids that I was proud of the way they played — they battled against a really good football team. We can’t hang our heads about this one.”
It was a defensive tug-of-war in the first half, with the teams going to the break tied 3-3.
“I thought it might be a good defensive game after watching them on film,” Trojan defensive end Garner Funk said. “There were some pretty good match-ups.”
State College opened the third quarter with a long drive and a touchdown on a 4-yard run by quarterback Brady Dorner to lead 10-3.
But Chambersburg came right back with one of its better drives of the season, taking 14 plays to grind 65 yards. QB Brady Stumbaugh picked up one first down on a run on fourth down and hit Sam Vessah, who made a nice catch on the sideline, for another first down.
Keyshawn Jones scored the tying touchdown on a 6-yard run that included plenty of second effort.
“I thought the offensive line settled in,” Luther said. “Their ends were giving us problems early, and when we tried stuff to the outside it didn’t work. And they were packing the box with the safeties moving up, too.”
A second field goal by the Little Lions’ Aiden Spitler gave his team a 13-10 lead with 10:42 left in the game.
But three plays later, State College pounced, and turned everything around.
Stumbaugh threw a pass to the outside toward receiver Malaki Blair. Blair and Edwards both had their hands on the ball, but Edwards wrestled it away for a pick.
“I had just dropped a touchdown pass, so I had to do something special,” Edwards said. “It was just instinct — I saw the pass coming and broke on it. The ball was in the middle of us and I just slipped it away.”
The crusher came three plays later. Dorner faked a run to his left, then pulled up and flipped a 28-yard scoring pass to Edwards, who was nearly 15 yards behind the nearest defender.
“We had noticed the cornerback coming up when Brady ran that way, so we thought that play would work,” Little Lions coach Matt Lintal said. “We were saving it for the right time.”
That put the Trojans down by 10, but there was still time left. However, on the next series, Stumbaugh was picked off again, this time by Dresyn Green.
“There were a number of plays that didn’t go our way,” Luther said, “but you have to find a way to make those plays. Then we started pressing and didn’t execute.”
Edwards finished off another scoring drive for State College to put his team up 27-10 with 2:14 left. Stumbaugh found Terell Williams for a 54-yard catch-and-run to put up the final points of the night.
Funk said, “I think they just out-played us, and had some pretty good play calls at the end. It was two good football teams and it went down to the fourth quarter.”
Chambersburg’s defense held the Little Lions to 134 yards in the first half, forcing three punts, and a net total of 134 yards on 46 carries for the game. But it couldn’t keep them out of the end zone at the end.
Luther said, “I think we got tired at the end. We were out on the field a lot because our offense did not sustain enough drives. We were not able to convert on many third downs, and we let them convert on too many third-and-longs.”
NOTES: Jones had 23 carries for 95 hard-earned yards … Vessah made four catches for 50 yards … Tucker Perry recovered a fumble … The Trojans are now 0-16 against State College … H-back Nathan Lusk had four catches for 109 yards for the Little Lions … Chambersburg travels to Cumberland Valley next Friday, 7 p.m.
State College 27, Chambersburg 17
State College 3 0 7 17 — 27
Chambersburg 0 3 7 7 — 17
SC — Aiden Spitler 38 field goal, 3:50
Ch — Tyler Luther 28 field goal, 9:53
SC — Brady Dorner 4 run (Spitler kick), 8:56
Ch — Keyshawn Jones 6 run (Ty.Luther kick), 3:34
SC — Spitler 27 field goal, 10:42
SC — Isaiah Edwards 28 pass from Dorner (Spitler kick), 8:49
SC — Edwards 1 run (Spitler kick), 2:14
Ch — Terell Williams 54 pass from Brady Stumbaugh (Ty.Luther kick), 1:04
First downs 18 10
Rushes-yards 46-134 31-102
Passing 12-22-0 10-21-3
Passing yards 209 138
Total offense 343 240
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Punts-average 3-30.0 4-37.3
Penalties-yards 5-36 6-55
Rushing — SC, Dresyn Green 15-83, Dorner 25-39, Lokey Howell 2-6, Edwards 4-6. Chbg, K.Jones 23-95, Stumbaugh 8-7.
Passing — SC, Dorner 12-22-0-209. Chbg, Stumbaugh 10-21-3-138.
Receiving — SC, Nathan Lusk 4-109, Howell 3-50, Edwards 3-41, Green 1-5, Calvin Roan 1-4. Chbg, Williams 2-68, Sam Vessah 4-50, Ty.Luther 3-11, K.Jones 1-9.
Interceptions — SC, Carson Franks, Edwards, Green.
Sacks — Chbg, Williams.