STATE COLLEGE - Worry about State College star and Penn State recruit Alex Kenney too much, and quarterback Dom Mills will burn you on the option.
Mills and the three other QBs the Little Lions used Friday night in the season opener left Hollidaysburg with second-degree burns.
Kenney got his 120 yards on six carries and had three touchdowns, including two 54-yard runs, but the State College QBs amassed 246 of the the Little Lions' 401 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns in a 57-6 rout of the Golden Tigers at Memorial Field.
"They ran tough. Both of them [Mills and second-stringer Matt Mazzara] did a nice job," State College coach Al Wolski said. "Even the younger kids, when they got in, did a nice job carrying the ball and making some things happen. It was an opportunity to get a lot of people a chance to play.
"We didn't expect it to be this lopsided. We were hoping we would be able to win convincingly. Our younger kids were hungry. You wish sometimes they wouldn't score. We didn't try to run up the score. They just played hard."
The Tigers were opportunistic early after the Lions fumbled on two of their first three plays. They got the ball at the State College 38 after the first fumble, and on third-and-2, QB James Muir scampered 28 yards to the 2. On the next play, Luke Rhodes scored.
Nick Shrift recovered a Bryan Schmidt fumble on the Little Lion 40 on State's next play, but the drive stalled when Muir was sacked on fourth down.
"We thought we could create some turnovers," Hollidaysburg coach John Barton said, "and we thought they would turn it over from what we saw in their scrimmages. We only had six points out of those, and with four turnovers in the first half, you have to come away with more than six."
It was all State College after that. Kenney scored on a 4-yard run with 2:56 left in the first quarter, and Zak Khayat, one of three kickers used by the Little Lions, kicked the extra point.
Mills, who ran for 109 yards in the first half, showed off his running ability on the next series, gaining 32 yards on a 48-yard drive that was helped by a Tiger personal foul. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder finished off by sneaking in from the 1.
He didn't have to run on the next possession as Kenney took the end around on the first play 54 yards to the end zone, getting a key block receiver Ben Sallade near the Tiger sideline.
"I thought our kids did a lot of good things in the first half, made a couple mistakes," Barton said. "In the second half, we got a little bit worn down, and their playmakers made some plays."
The Lions took a 21-6 lead into the locker room at halftime, but before all the State College band members could get seated from their tribute to the late Michael Jackson, it was 28-6 as Kenney took the end around again 54 yards to the end zone.
"He does a nice job," Wolski said. "The way he runs, it's tough for people to catch him."
After a Schmidt TD, Jeff Moyer picked off a Muir pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to put the mercy rule in effect.
After QB Josh Weakland scored on a 10-yard run, the Lions added a safety when the ball was snapped over Muir's head and he was tackled in the end zone. Maurice Allen, the Lions' fourth QB, finished off the scoring with a 9-yard run with 1:44 left.
"Overall, there were some positives," Barton said, "but there are some things that we need to correct."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg6 0 0 0 -6
State College7 14 21 15 -57
H-Rhodes 2 run (kick failed), 8:36.
SC-Kenney 4 run (Khayat kick), 2:56.
SC-Mills 1 run (Khayat kick), 10:00.
SC-Kenney 54 run (Khayat kick), 7:32.
SC-Kenney 54 run (Disanto kick), 10:07.
SC-Schmidt 10 run (Disanto kick), 5:33.
SC-Moyer 50 int. return (Disanto kick), 3:45.
SC-Weakland 10 run (Nicholson kick), 7:32.
SC-Muir tackled in end zone, 6:32.
SC-Allen 9 run (kick failed), 1:44.
RUSHING: Hollidaysburg-Muir 16-61, Rhodes 12-26, Stern 1-10, Gallagher 1-6, Barton 2-5, Team 1-(-14). State College-Kenney 6-120, Mills 11-109, Mazzara 5-69, Weakland 3-42, Allen 3-26, Schmidt 3-16, Dorner 1-13, Haffner 1-5, Breakall 1-1, Bown 1-0, Albro 1-0.
PASSING: Hollidaysburg-Muir 2-9-1-10; Barton 0-2-0. State College-Mills 2-4-1-44; Mazzara 2-2-0-18.
RECEIVING: Hollidaysburg-Fagans 1-8, Barton 1-2. State College-Sallade 1-41, Schmidt 3-21.
Interceptions: Hollidaysburg-Rentz. State College-Moyer.
Passing (comp.-att.-int)2-11-1 4-6-1