Cougars are heading back to the state title game.



Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022


Huge day for Williams

For the fourth time in 5 years, District 3 will be represented in the PIAA Class 6A Championship game. Of those four, the Harrisburg Cougars will now be the only one playing in that game twice. Harrisburg avenged a mid season 20-6 loss to State College with a dominating second half at Mansion Park in Altoona with a 27-7 win on a wind driven day. “That was exciting eh?” said Cougars head coach Cal Everett. Harrisburg had to come from behind, being down 7-0 at the half, and they came storming back in the second half to get the win.

That difference turned out to be turning athlete Kyle Williams loose. Williams, normally a receiver, had to start at running back due to an injury to Mekhai Hopkins. Step up he did. Williams turned loose in the second half, rushing for over 200 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Cougars to the win. All told, Williams ended up with 24 yards on 29 carries with the four scores. “I been saying for a long time, Kyle Williams is the real deal. With Mekhai Hopkins out, knowing he had to carry the load, he stepped up and showed what he really can do” said Everett.

It didn’t look like it was going to be a good day from the start for the Cougars, nor State College with both teams trading possession several times. On the third Cougar possession, John Scott sacked Cougar quarterback Shawn Lee for a big loss on fourth down. The Little Lions marched right to the endzone with D’Antae Sheffey finishing off the last seven yards putting State High up 7-0. Maybe it was a sign, maybe not, but on their next two drives the State College offense only managed 17 yards. That’s how the first half ended. One drive, one score.

That little talk at the half seemed to have lit a fire. The Cougar defense shut down the Little Lions first drive, and the offense went right to work. Four plays later Williams busted loose for his first td, a 35 yard run. The two pointer made it 8-7 Cougars early in the third quarter.

Cougars take 8-7 lead on this 35 yard Td by @4KyleWilliams 9:26 third

— Pennsylvania Football News (@PaFootballNews) December 3, 2022

Like a lightswitch, the momentum swung totally in favor of the Cougars. Another three and out, another score for Williams, this time a one yard run after a 55 yard, 9 play drive. Terrell Reynolds, who leads the state in sacks, with 22.5 sacks, made his presence felt all day.

On State’s next drive, the big #2 got up in the face of SCA quarterback Finn Furmanek, batting a pass away. State punted and the Cougars took over at their 32. Two short passes by Lee and a 49 yard run by Williams gave Harrisburg a commanding lead of 20-7 late in the third.

Wow. @HBGCougar_FBall figured something out. @4KyleWilliams 49 yards. 20-7 cougars. 1:10 third

— Pennsylvania Football News (@PaFootballNews) December 3, 2022

The Little Lions finally found a gear on offense with Owen Yerka coming in at quarterback, and the drove to the Cougar 18 but Amir Jones played the tip drill perfectly, intercepting a pass in the endzone essentially ending any hope State had of mounting a comeback. “Our defense has been great all season, but our staff made the right adjustments at halftime. We just kept doing what we had to do” said Reynolds of the defense for the Cougars.

Harrisburg drove 80 yards and delivered the knock out blow with a 1 yard Williams plunge for the final score.

“We been on a mission all year. We have to keep things rolling. Credit my line today. In the second half we just had to focus and that’s what we did” said Williams.

Harrisburg will face St. Joseph’s Prep next Saturday, 7pm at Cumberland Valley for the 6A championship.

Follow PA Football News on Twitter @PaFootballNews

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