The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 24, 2012

H.S. football: Selinsgrove picks off seven passes in state playoff win

By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item

ALTOONA — The Selinsgrove defense didn’t have much film to study this week on the University Prep football team.

So all the Seals had to go on the numbers produced by quarterback Akil Young and the Wildcats’ offense, and those numbers had Selinsgrove concerned.

Young had thrown for 815 yards and 11 touchdowns in University Prep’s last two games.

However, it took just one play Saturday afternoon at Mansion Park for senior Logan Benner to put his team’s mind at ease.

Benner picked off Young’s very first pass of the game — one of seven interceptions by the Selinsgrove defense — and the running game rolled up 320 yards rushing, including 137 yards and four scores by fullback Mike Walter, as the Seals rolled to a 41-14 victory in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs.

Benner’s pick allowed Selinsgrove to take control of the game early as they led 7-0 after an opening-drive touchdown at the time and capitalized on the turnover with another touchdown drive to take a two-score lead with 4:05 left in the first quarter.

“It really changed the momentum,” Benner said of his first of three interceptions in the game. “We knew that the quarterback was pretty good and (the secondary) had to step up.”

Selinsgrove improves to 10-3 on the season and wins its first state playoff game since its state championship season in 2009 and a huge turnaround from last year’s 1-9 campaign

“It means a lot to this senior class,” safety Tyler Krebs said. “We wanted to put this program back on the map. It’s a great feeling, right now.”

Selinsgrove advances to face Allentown Central Catholic (8-5), a 23-0 winner over Abington Heights Saturday. That game is tentatively 7 p.m. Friday night at Banko Stadium in Bethlehem.