HYDE — The old cliche in football is the team that makes the least mistakes will win the game. But what happens when each team makes multiple mistakes in different areas?
At the Bison Sports Complex, head coach Tim Janocko brought his team back home to face the Central Mountain Wildcats in a showdown of MAC competitors. What the fans in attendance got was a game that was marred with miscue after miscue. However, where Clearfield benefited was where the mistakes of their opponents came.
Central Mountain would commit six turnovers, most coming in the first half, and Clearfield took full advantage as they would score touchdown after touchdown en route to a 42-14 victory.
Coach Janocko was praising his players after the game for how well they played in those turnover situations.
“You know, I thought we played a very good physical game, and obviously the turnovers were huge early in the game,” Janocko said.
At the same time, Janocko knew going into the game that Central Mountain, despite their .500 record, was going to be tough competition. He was certainly right as they were able to hold the Bisons to only 298 yards of total offense, their lowest of the season thus far.
“Central Mountain is tough, and they are physical. They will make you work, and they certainly did that,” Janocko said.
But, that physicality was not enough to overcome the mistakes of the Wildcat offense. Central Mountain fumbled the ball four times, and also had two interceptions. That would lead to 35 points off turnovers for the Bisons.
Surprisingly, none of those scores came via the air attack, although quarterback Curtis Frye had a lot to do with them. Frye would score four touchdowns on the ground himself, all from one yard out, while running backs Derek Morgan and Beau Swales accounted for the other two.
Frye ended the night only 5 of 9 passing for 108 yards and one interception, all coming in the first half.
Clearfield wasn’t without their mistakes though, as they would commit six penalties, four of which were personal fouls, totaling 70 yards. Janocko couldn’t say whether the calls were good or bad, but did say that his team is physical and sometimes they can cross that line.
For the Wildcats, most of their offense came from their run game as Zach Corl led the team with just 40 yards on six carries. The quarterback duties were split between Cole Renninger and Nicholas Guerriero. Renninger only lasted through part of the second quarter as he would only complete two passes, while throwing two interceptions. Guerriero had better luck in yardage, but would end the night only 3 of 12 passing.
Clearfield deferred the opening kickoff, but didn’t wait long to get their first offensive possession. Return man Von Walker took the ball at the 9 yard-line, but when he was swarmed by the Bison coverage team at the 20, the ball came loose and Clearfield had it’s first possession of the game.
Not wanting to waste much time, Frye put the ball in the hands of himself, Morgan and Swales to grind away the Wildcat defense. Frye would score his first touchdown from one-yard out. Zach Fannin’s extra point gave the Bisons an early 7-0 lead, one that they never gave up.
Central Mountain managed to hold onto the ball on their next kickoff, and started possession at their own 10. But, two plays later, Corl had the ball stripped from his right hand, and once again, the Bison defense would recover.
Once again, the ground game was the backbone of the drive and Frye capped it off a second time with his second touchdown in nearly six minutes of game play.
The Wildcats couldn’t catch a break on their next possession as despite a kickoff return to their own 38, Renninger’s first pass of the game would be intercepted by Morgan, thanks to the ball being tipped by a teammate. Frye was able to get his passing game started early, and he would stay perfect as his first play from scrimmage on the third Bison drive would be a 17-yard strike to Brandon Hogue. Two plays later, he put the ball in the hands of Morgan, who scampered in from five yards out to extend the Bison lead to three touchdowns.
Central Mountain would get their first score of the game early in the second quarter when Renninger connected with Tyler Buckwalter on a 25-yard floating pass to the right sideline. Just six seconds into the second quarter, the score was 21-7.
On the ensuing possession, Clearfield would commit their first mistake of the game when Frye was picked off by Cameron Blazina, and was returned to the Bison 7. It looked as though the Wildcats would soon make the momentum swing their way.
But, as quickly as the momentum went their way, it disappeared. Walker would get the ball on the first play, but never got the handle, which led to another fumble and a recovery for Clearfield.
The ensuing drive saw Frye connect on a 32-yard pass to Andrew Redden on third down, and then connected with Swales following a holding penalty. All the while, the ground game would make the Wildcat defense wear down and the drive again was capped off by another one-yard plunge by Frye. The extra point made the score 28-7 with just under six minutes remaining in the half.
The next possession saw Renninger throw his second interception of the game, this time being picked off by Frye. That would be the final pass Renninger would throw that night as he would then be replaced by Guerriero. However, Frye continued his dominating night as he would get his fourth touchdown with just under two minutes remaining in the half.
At that point, it was apparent that the Bisons knew they had the game well in hand, as the entire second half, Clearfield didn’t attempt one pass. It was simply ground and pound, fundamental football for the final 24 minutes.
Clearfield’s final score came on their first possession of the second half as Swales scampered in from 15 yards out to make the score 42-7. At that point, the Mercy Rule took effect and Clearfield would put in their second-string offense for the remainder of the game.
The Wildcats would get their final score of the night midway through the fourth quarter when Keylye Moiser found the end zone from five yards out, making the final score 42-14.
Janocko is proud of his team staying undefeated through the first half of the season, but did admit they are not resting on that record.
“Each week is a new challenge for us, and I’m proud of what we’ve done so far this year. But, we have to go into each week knowing it’s a new game, and a new team,” Janocko said.
Clearfield (5-0) has a break next week from league play, but it is also an important game for them as it is Homecoming for the Bisons. Their opposition will be coach Jeff Vroman and an old rival, the Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties.
See more photos of the game at: http://www.clearfieldfootball.org/100110game.html
SCORE BY QUARTER
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN 0 7 0 7 14
CLEARFIELD 21 14 7 0 42
BISONS: 1-yard run by Frye (Fannin Kick), 9:34
BISONS: 1-yard run by Frye (Fannin Kick), 6:07
BISONS: 5-yard run by Morgan (Fannin Kick), 4:41
WILDCATS: 25-yard pass from Renninger to Buckwalter (Garbrick Kick), 11:54
BISONS: 1-yard run by Frye (Fannin Kick), 5:45
BISONS: 1-yard run by Frye (Fannin Kick), 1:55
BISONS: 15-yard run by Swales (Fannin Kick), 8:24
WILDCATS: 5-yard run by Moiser (Garbrick Kick), 4:28
FIRST DOWNS: CM-10 CF-13
RUSH YARDS: CM-96 CF-190
PASS YARDS: CM-77 CF-108
PENALTIES: CM-2 CF-6
PENALTY YARDS: CM-17 CF-70
TURNOVERS: CM-6 CF-2
FUMBLES: CM-6 CF-2
FUMBLES LOST: CM-4 CF-1
TIME OF POSSESSION: CM-23:54 CF-24:06
Central Mountain: Corl-8 carries, 40 yards; Vuocolo-5 carries, 16 yards; Walker-4 carries, 16 yards; Moiser-1 carry, 5 yards, TD
Clearfield: Morgan-14 carries, 69 yards, TD; Frye-11 carries, 33 yards, 4 TD; Swales-8 carries, 62 yards; Lezzer-4 carries, 21 yards
Central Mountain: Guerriero-3 completions, 12 attempts, 51 yards; Renninger-2 completions, 5 attempts, TD, 2 INT
Clearfield: Frye-5 completions, 9 attempts, 108 yards, INT
Central Mountain: Buckwalter-2 catches, 51 yards, TD; Allen-2 catches, 25 yards; Vuocolo-1 catch, 1 yard
Clearfield: Swales-2 catches, 48 yards; Redden-1 catch, 32 yards; Hogue-1 catch, 17 yards; Morgan-1 catch, 11 yards