HYDE — The season is drawing to a close for the Clearfield Bison, a season that has seen young players step into veteran roles, while the senior leadership continued to carry the team to victory. With the second season looming, Clearfield still knew the final bit of the season was when they needed to play their best games, and put forth the best effort.
Friday night, with a chill in the air and rain drops in the sky, the squad took to their home turf at the Bison Sports Complex. Across the field, a team in transition. The Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties have struggled all year. A new coaching staff, a new scheme, and a fresh start after two years of winless campaigns, meant that the Mounties wanted to show they were advancing in their program, and that the future was bright for the blue and white squad.
P-O played the entire 48 minutes with the intensity and grit that is expected in a big game, especially against a rival foe. However, Clearfield showcased exactly what they were all about.
With the weather not in their favor, the Bison elected to keep the ball in the hands of their big playmaker, Seth Caldwell. His feet led the charge, and the home squad rode it to victory in a 49-0 rout.
“The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. Seth had a good night. We played a good, clean game. We want to hit a stride this time of year,” Bison head coach Tim Janocko said afterwards.
Clearfield’s senior tailback led the way on the night, inching closer to the all-time record in rushing for the school. Caldwell finished the night with 171 yards, all coming in just one half of play. Clearfield finished the night with 335 yards on the ground, while the Bison defense controlled the line when P-O had possession, holding the Mounties to 129 total yards.
Caldwell’s big night started on the opening drive. Of the 10 plays that were ran, Caldwell touched the ball on eight of them, culminating in the first touchdown of the night from five yards away. Josh Serena would boot the extra point to make it 7-0.
Philipsburg was stopped after just three plays on their opening possession, despite quarterback Daniel “Bubba” Slogosky completing his first two passes. Following the punt, it did not take long for Clearfield to strike a second time.
On 1st and 10 from the P-O 36, Rumery took the read option pass and looked downfield for his senior wideout, Ryan Lezzer. The true hands of his receiver hauled in the pass, and Rumery had his first passing score of the night. Another extra point, and it was 14-0 with still six minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Another three-and-out by P-O, and another punt, meant a case of deja vu.
Clearfield once again marched down the field, this time with Caldwell starting the drive, but then Ty Bender completed it with two key runs. His 18-yard rumble set the Bison up with 1st-and-Goal, and the next play saw him punch the ball into the end zone for the third score of the quarter. Serena was true once again, and heading into the second quarter it was already 21-0.
For most of the second quarter, neither team would give in, exchanging turnovers on downs, or being forced to punt. Janocko knew that despite the Mounties not having a win on their record, they were a disciplined team, and spoke of the effort after the final whistle.
“Those kids played hard over there all game. They played a hard, clean game, and did some things well. They never gave up the whole game,” Janocko said.
It wasn’t until 3:35 remained in the half when Clearfield got the ball back, and would go down the field again for the score. Caldwell once again got the nod to cap the drive, this time on a 14-yard rumble up the middle of the field. Another boot by Serena, and the scoreboard showed 28-0 with just 1:13 remaining in the half.
P-O looked to get back on track on the ensuing possession, but the drive only lasted three plays.
On third down, Brandon Anderson took the handoff from Slogosky, only to see the ball bounce off his chest. Matt Collins was in the right position, and fell on the loose ball. The first turnover of the game left Clearfield with a short field, and a chance to put the game away for good.
It took one play to ensure that the game was over.
Rumery, despite having some success through the air in the first quarter, didn’t throw as much in the second quarter due to the rain that was falling. But, that didn’t mean Janocko wasn’t impressed with his quarterback, and he dialed up a play that one week ago set the tone for the victory over Bald Eagle.
The sophomore quarterback took the snap, looked over the field, and threw a strike to Micah Heichel. The 20-yard pass hit the spot, and it was another touchdown on the stat book for the sophomore. The pass culminated his 98-yard passing performance on the night, and coupled with Serena’s extra point, the 35-0 gap at halftime meant the clock would run, and continue to run except for penalties, scores and turnovers for the second half.
“It was a little tough to throw in the second quarter, but he (Rumery) continues to improve,” Janocko said of his quarterback.
With a running clock in the second half, the first-team offense got a well-deserved rest after having done their duty. The second-team offense would spend most of the time on the field for the final 24 minutes, showing the future of the team in the next few years, and the bright future that is upcoming.
There was no need to pass the ball, so Janocko and his staff focused on the rushing game once again.
The future stars of the Bison quickly got to work as following yet another P-O turnover, this one at their own 10-yard line, it took only two plays for Clearfield to find the end zone again. This score came from fullback Ryan Lazauskas, who took the quick handoff just three yards from the goal line and pushed the pile into the end zone. Another extra point, and the 42-0 score was showing on the big board.
Clearfield’s final score came on the next possession, but it was not a short run to the score.
Instead, backup quarterback Eli Glass took the option play down the right sideline, and his offensive line helped open the edge down the side of the field. The sophomore found the end zone, and the celebration was on as the score was 49-0.
No scoring came after that touchdown, but players like Bender and Glass were just the tip of what was coming from the Bison. Brett Zattoni, one of three freshmen on the team, got a lot of playing time in the fourth quarter, finishing with 49 yards on 15 carries, averaging just over three yards per carry. Caullin Reed also saw some time taking handoffs, and Glass also helped carry the load.
Meanwhile, the coaching staff worked in a lot of young players on the offensive line, and they were able to push back the Mounties to gain a lot more yards.
“All those kids, they are waiting their turn. They are quality players. You have Bender and Zattoni both ready,” Janocko said of his young players.
Clearfield has already locked up the Mountain League championship outright for the season, and now sit at 8-1. There is one game remaining on the schedule, another non-conference matchup. For Senior Night, the Bison welcome in a powerhouse, a team that could be on their way to a state championship. Next Friday, Karns City will be making their way to Clearfield.
Janocko knows it is a tough opponent, probably tougher than he expects heading into the contest, but he also believes that it is something that will do his team good.
“It leads right into the playoffs. We’re going to treat it like that (as a playoff game). It’s a big challenge,” Janocko said. “We needed a test before the playoffs. I felt last year, we may have gotten a little lackadaisical. They are a super team, so it will be a great test for us.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with Senior Night recognition happening before the game.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Philipsburg-Osceola 0 0 0 0 – 0
Clearfield 21 14 14 0 – 49
BISON: 5-yard run by Caldwell (Serena kick), 8:39
BISON: 36-yard pass from Rumery to Lezzer (Serena kick), 6:12
BISON: 4-yard run by Bender (Serena kick), 1:29
BISON: 13-yard run by Caldwell (Serena kick), 1:13
BISON: 20-yard pass from Rumery to Lezzer (Serena kick), 0:39
BISON: 3-yard run by Lazauskas (Serena kick), 10:45
BISON: 26-yard run by Glass (Serena kick), 4:43
First Downs: 5/15
Rushing Yards: 48/335
Passing Yards: 81/98
Total Yards: 129/433
Time Of Possession: 20:32/27:28
P-O: Anderson-8 carries, 34 yards; Johnson-6 carries, 10 yards; Jeffries-2 carries, 7 yards; Hughes-1 carry, 4 yards; Slogosky-1 carry, 0 yards; McDonald-1 carry, (-6) yards; Team-2 carries, (-1) yards.
Clearfield: Caldwell-21 carries, 171 yards, 2 TD; Zattoni-15 carries, 49 yards; Bender-5 carries, 23 yards; Rumery-4 carries, 17 yards; Reed-3 carries, 17 yards; bender-2 carries, 22 yards, TD; Glass-1 carry, 26 yards, TD; McGonigal-1 carry, 7 yards; Lazauskas-1 carry, 3 yards, TD.
P-O: Slogosky-5 for 8, 43 yards; Anderson-2 for 6, 38 yards, INT.
Clearfield: Rumery-5 for 9, 98 yards, 2 TD.
P-O: Johnson-3 catches, 38 yards; Hughes-2 catches, 30 yards; Keith-1 catch, 9 yards; Anderson-1 catch, 4 yards.
Clearfield: Lezzer-4 catches, 65 yards, 2 TD; Heichel-1 catch, 33 yards.
|08/26||@ DuBois||20 – 30||0 – 1|
|09/02||@ Penns Valley||21 – 7||1 – 1|
|09/09||CENTRAL||30 – 28||2 – 1|
|09/16||@ Huntingdon||35 – 21||3 – 1|
|09/23||CENTRAL MOUNTAIN||28 – 7||4 – 1|
|09/30||BELLEFONTE||28 – 0||5 – 1|
|10/07||@ Tyrone||22 – 3||6 – 1|
|10/14||@ Bald Eagle Area||37 – 0||7 – 1|
|10/21||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||49 – 0||8 – 1|