The big game is set.
Homer-Center beat Ligonier Valley, 40-22, on Friday night, and Penns Manor handled Purchase Line, 28-15, to set up a showdown between unbeaten teams for the Heritage Conference championship.
“The big dogs are coming to town next week,” Homer-Center coach Greg Page said.
Penns Manor is the defending Heritage Conference champion and has won the title in two of the last three years. The Comets have strung together five remarkable seasons in which they are 47-7. While the Comets turned in a lackluster performance last night, it followed one of the most dramatic comebacks in area annals a week before when they drove 91 yards in the final 33 seconds to beat Ligonier Valley, 31-29.
“It feels great,” Penns Manor quarterback Lucas Kowalski said of the opportunity, “because at the beginning of the season we were picked fifth in the conference. We had a lot of people doubting us. We lost a lot of seniors and we just put together what we had and made the most of it. Everyone worked hard in the offseason to get back where we are.”
Homer-Center, winless two years ago, is seeking its first Heritage Conference title.
“Can’t wait. Can’t wait. Next week is going to be great,” senior two-way lineman Shawn Steffee said.
“It’s kind of hard not to think about it,” Homer-Center’s Mike Newhouse said. “It’s definitely going to wind us up, we’re excited and we’re going to work harder than we ever worked this week.”
With a large crowd expected, advance tickets for the game will be on sale at both schools on Monday through Thursday.
Tickets are $4 for general admission and $2 for students. They will be on sale in the high school offices at both schools from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
Fans also are encouraged to use the parking lots at Homer-Center High School and use the Lincoln Street/south end zone entrance.