Second Half Surge Lifts Pine-Richland Into Class 6A PIAA Semifinals

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It wasn’t as early as they are use to, but it only took 28 seconds at the start of the second half for Pine-Richland to take control of the game in its 49-21 win against District 6 champion, State College, in the Class 6A PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at Hempfield High School.

With the win, the Rams will advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2014. They defeated State College in the quarterfinals that year as well.

After being tied 14-14 at the half, State College attempted an onside kick to begin the second half, but the Rams were able to recover and take advantage. Seniors Phil Jurkovec and Dawson Goltz hooked up for their first of two touchdowns in the game, a 39-yard score for a 21-14 lead.

After a Kenny White interception, Jurkovec found senior Ben Joechem for a 23-yard score and 28-14 lead. The interception was the second big play of the game for White, who also had a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the first half.

The Jurkovec and Goltz connection found the end zone for the second time in the quarter, this time from 12 yards for a 35-14 lead. State College cut into the deficit to 35-21 on Tommy Friberg’s third touchdown pass of the game.

With 21 seconds remaining in the quarter, Jurkovec scored the 34th point of the quarter for the Rams on a 7-yard run. It was his second touchdown run of the game. He opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 58-yard run.

Senior Jordan Crawford ended the scoring for Pine-Richland on a 2-yard run for the 49-21 win. Senior Vittorio Orsini was a perfect 7 for 7 on extra points.

Jurkovec finished the game 19 of 24 for 252 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 119 yards on 16 carries and two scores. Crawford added 112 rushing yards and a touchdown.

The Rams, who are ranked 24th in the country according to USA Today, improved to 14-0 and will advance to the state semifinals next weekend against the winner of Cumberland Valley/Manheim Township at a site and time to be determined.