HERSHEY, Pa. - Behind four touchdowns from Daequan Hardy, the Penn Hills Indians claimed their second-ever 5A PIAA football championship Friday night at Hersheypark Stadium with a 36-31 victory.
The Indians trailed Manheim Central 7-0 before their high-powered offense took over.
Hollis Mathis found junior Thomas Corey for a 6-yard touchdown to pull to within 7-6.
In the second quarter, Hardy notched the first in what would be a night of big plays for the senior. Mathis found him wide open on a 74-yard strike to give Penn Hills its first lead of the game, 12-7.
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Manheim Central threatened to score just before halftime, but Hardy intercepted the ball at the goal line and took it back 100 yards to give Penn Hills an 18-7 lead at halftime.
The Indians continued their dominance in the second half. Mathis found Hardy for a 27-yard touchdown to give Penn Hills a 24-7 lead, and Tank Smith got in on the scoring in the third quarter with a 35-yard touchdown run where he wasn’t even touched.
After Manheim Central closed the gap to 30-14, Hardy returned the next kickoff 82 yards for Penn Hills’ final score of the game, and the Indians held off a rally to claim the title.
The game was delayed with three seconds left with what looked to be a severe injury to Manheim’s Clyde Bedy, who needed to be carted off.
The championship is the first for Penn Hills since 1995.
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