The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Game Night Online

December 19, 2009

Selinsgrove Seals win state championship

HERSHEY -- The Selinsgrove Area High School football team made history Friday night by beating Manheim Central to win its first state championship, and end its season as Pennsylvania’s only undefeated squad.

Yet it was all in question for 46 minutes and 13 seconds of the 48-minute game.

The Seals trailed for all but the final 107 seconds, but spurred on by a huge crowd at HersheyPark Stadium, rallied for a 10-7 victory in the thrilling Class AAA title game.

Spencer Hotaling kicked a 22-yard field goal to cut the Seals’ deficit to 7-3 in the third quarter, and Seth Lauver scored on a 6-yard touchdown run with 1:47 left, as the Seals became only the eighth team in Pennsylvania high school football history to finish 16-0. Manheim Central ends 15-1.

Lauver’s game-winning touchdown run was set up by Ryan Keiser’s interception of a Justin Gorman pass at with just over five minutes left in the game. Keiser went on to catch two passes for first downs to keep the ensuing 12-play, 72-yard drive alive.

The large number of Selinsgrove fans who bused to Hershey to see the game ran through the gamut of emotions as the clock wound down in the second half, said football Booster Club president John Kline.

“No doubt, we were nervous,” he said. “This was our toughest opponent of the year, but we had confidence in the kids. And they knew we were behind them and believed in them. They played their hearts out and kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end of the game.”

Robert Walk, of Selinsgrove, a rabid fan, added: “We were behind 7-3. We were having trouble stopping their quarterback. Everyone around me was nervous.

“On that last drive, people were yelling, screaming, chanting,” Walk said. “When we scored with under two minutes left, the crowd went wild. I think because it was so close a game, not a blowout, it was the best game I’ve ever seen.”

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