HERSHEY, PA -
The Jeannette Jayhawks, champions of District 7, outscored the Homer-Center Wildcats 20-0 in the second quarter, ultimately giving the Jayhawks a 42-12 victory in the PIAA 1A Classification football championship game on Thursday afternoon.
Homer-Center, who finishes the season 13-2, played the first quarter the way they wanted - a low scoring, grind it out affair. After a Jeannette field goal, the Wildcats got a 7-yard touchdown run from running back Jesse Lee, giving Homer-Center a 6-3 lead after one quarter of play.
But Jayhawks quarterback Robert Kennedy jump-started Jeannette's offense with a 56-yard touchdown run just over a minute into the second quarter, which gave his team the lead for good.
Then on the next possession, Kennedy used his arm to put points on the board on a laser pass down the middle of the field to Zack Berginc for a 25-yard touchdown. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Jayhawks led 15-6.
Kennedy then connected with Seth Howard on a 44-yard pass, putting the Jayhawks inside the 5-yard line. Kennedy ran it in himself from there then hit Tre Cunningham on the 2-point conversion, making it 23-6 at the half.
More of the same happened for Jeannette in the third quarter, as Kennedy hit Cunningham for a 29-yard touchdown pass which was followed by a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Howard. After one more Jeannette touchdown by Imani Sanders, Homer-Center got a late 6-yard rushing touchdown from Lee to cap the scoring.
This game ends a great season for Homer-Center, who not only ended Bishop Guilfoyle's 59-game winning streak in the quarterfinals, but were also the first school from Indiana County to make it to the state championship game.
For Jeannette, this was the school's second state championship, with the other occurring 10 years ago in 2007 at the AA classification.