Rarely does a football team go into their final game knowing that they control their own destiny, but the Bisons had exactly that opportunity. With a win over St. Marys Friday night the Bisons would advance to the D9 playoffs for the 15th season in a row. With an exciting 32-27 victory over the Dutch, Clearfield did just that.
For the second time in three weeks the Bison special teams scored the first touchdown of the game. After a high snap by the Dutch\’s long snapper, Derek Morgan chased down and blocked the kick where Jack Mallgard recovered it in the endzone on the opening possession of the game. After Chad Zurat\’s successful PAT the Bisons found themselves up 7-0 without even running an offensive play.
The Dutch would put together a long drive after the Bison score relying heavily on fullback Kevin Hoy. The Bisons however would stand strong and force an incomplete pass on fourth down and take over deep in their own territory. On Clearfield\’s first play of the game Curtis Frye found a wide open Zurat for what appeared to be a 20 yard gain, but a hustling Dutch defense back stripped the ball from Zurat and forced a turnover.
Zurat would make up for his mistake three plays later by intercepting Greg Simchick\’s pass around midfield setting up the Bisons with a short field to score. It would take Clearfield only one play to capitalize on the turnover as Frye hit Trey Campman on a curl route allowing Campman to race untouched for a 46 yard score putting the Bisons up 14-0 just seconds into the 2nd quarter.
The Dutch would put together yet another clock eating drive before the end of the half with Hoy capping off the drive with a 20 yard scamper to pay dirt, cutting the lead in half with just over a minute remaining in the half. The drive would be punctuated by two controversial pass interference calls.
The Bisons showed the poise of a very well gelled team marching 70 yards with a no huddle offense capped off with a 10 yard screen pass from Frye to Morgan with 10 seconds remaining in the half to give the Bisons a 20-7 lead.
Clearfield would counter with yet another score after receiving the second half kickoff. Morgan would rip of his longest run of the night a, 50 yard burst up the middle for a score to put the Bisons up 26-7.
On the following possession things got a little hairy for the Bisons. Just five plays into St. Marys next drive Hoy would rip off another big run, scoring from 45 yards out to put the Dutch down 13 with the score set at 26-13.
The Bisons would be forced to punt on their following possesion leaving the Dutch with a long field and just minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Dutch would put together yet another masterful drive, this time with Hoy picking up his third touchdown of the night on a 3-yard plunge.
Clearfield would make their last successful drive an important one with Frye connecting with Campman again from 14 yards out on a quick slant, but the Bisons would elect to go for two where it appeared Frye and Campman hooked up once again, but the pass was ruled out of bounds.
St. Marys would make things interesting with just under two minutes remaining as Kyle Schneider scored from two yards out to make it a five point game, but the Dutch were unable to come up with the onside kick allowing the Bisons to run off the clock and secure yet another title birth.
Clearfield will now advance to take on the Punxsutawney Chucks for the D9AAA title next week with the time and place to be announced early in the week.
Rushing: St. Marys – Kevin Hoy 36-239-3 TD, Kyle Schneider 21-105-1 TD , Brian Samick 3-8 , Justin Quiggle 2-(-2). Clearfield – Derek Morgan 11-100-1 TD, Curtis Frye 8-21 , Trey Campman 2-2.
Passing: St. Marys – Greg Simchick 1-6-46-0 TD -1 INT, Curtis Frye 10-12-154-3 TD -0 INT
Receiving: St. Marys – Brian Samick 1-46. Clearfield – Trey Campman 5-104-2 TD , Derek Danver 4-36 , Morgan 1-10, TD
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