Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

The Bellefonte Red Raiders have had a tough time holding a lead through the first two weeks of the scholastic football season, and last Friday it cost them the Luther Trophy, presented annually to the winner of the Bellefonte-Philipsburg-Osceola game.
As they had done the previous week against Penns Valley, the Raiders jumped out to 14-0 lead against the Mounties, only to surrender 17 points in the fourth quarter, with the last three coming on a 27-yard game-winning field goal by Lou LaFuria in the final seconds.
Bellefonte again showed an inability to stop the run, allowing 298 yards on 49 carries. In two games, the Raiders have given up 776 yards on the ground, while accumulating only 196 – not exactly a winning formula for securing a lead.
It’s also not something you would expect from a team that returned four starters on the offensive line from 2002.
The win for P-O gave the Mounties their third Luther Trophy in eight tries. While the two Centre County rivals have played each other for decades, the award was first instituted in 1996 in honor of former Bellefonte coach Bill Luther, who was a standout for the Mounties in the 1940s.
The loss snapped Bellefonte’s four-game winning streak in the Luther Bowl game.
Down to the Wire
Week 2 in the Big 8 Conference was a good one for the makers of stomach relief medicine.
With as many down-to-the-wire games as there were, plenty of coaches were leaving stadiums with an uneasy feeling in the pit of their stomachs.
Six conference teams went head-to-0head, with the lone exception being Indian Valley, who will not start league play for another two weeks, and the three games between Big 8 opponents were settled by a combined eight points.
Huntingdon snuck by Tyrone in overtime in the showpiece game at Gray Veterans Memorial Field when, after Geoff Kozak put the Bearcats ahead 23-20 on a 34-yard field goal, the Eagles fumbled on their first play from the 10-yard line.
Bellefonte lost to P-O on a last-second field goal and Bald Eagle Area defeated Lewistown after rallying for a score with 5:29 left in the fourth quarter for a 16-14 win.
The end result was a surprise around the conference – Bald Eagle Area, at 2-0, stood atop the Big 8 standings.
The White Stuff
P-O’s Adam White continued his push for the Big 8 rushing title with his 20-carry 205-yard performance in the win over Bellefonte. It was the second consecutive 200-yard game for White, who in two games has totaled 490 yards on 40 carries to go along with five touchdowns.
What made White’s performance against Bellefonte even more impressive was that the Raiders had the 5-10, 180-pound senior bottled up throughout the first half, limiting him to 14 yards on nine carries.
In the second half, he gained 191 yards, and scored two fourth quarter touchdowns.
White’s second touchdown against Bellefonte went for 80 yards, giving him three touchdowns in two games on runs of 50 yards or more.
Top Performers
White led the conference in rushing for the second straight week, thanks to his spectacular second-half numbers against Bellefonte.
One of his opponents, Bellefonte quarterback Josh Mundy, was the league’s top passer, completing 13 of 20 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown, while being picked off twice. Teammate Tony Torsell was the biggest recipient of Mundy’s passing prowess, and he led the Big 8 in receiving for Week 2 with 108 yards on seven catches.

By Rick