HYDE — When one player finds the groove in order to have a successful night, it is hard to keep that player and his team from victory. Friday night, with the bright LED lights at the Bison Sports Complex shining down, one player had a very successful night. What no one anticipated, including the coaches, was it all happened in one half.
Clearfield Bison quarterback Isaac Rumery was looking to build off what he accomplished a week ago in the season-opening win against DuBois. His staff knew he needed to clean up part of his play, but also knew that when he was on, he was not being denied.
The visiting Penns Valley Rams knew they had to take care of what they needed to defensively to ensure Rumery was at their mercy.
It only took two plays for the visiting team in white to realize whatever plan they had in place was not going to work. Rumery ended the night with an exceptional performance of yardage, completions, and scoring, as the Bison improved their record once again with a 42-12 triumph over the Rams.
Head coach Tim Janocko heaped praise on his young quarterback and his skills, saying “He is dangerous. That’s a double-edged sword for teams because if you flush him (out of pocket), he can hurt you. You leave him back there, he can hurt you.”
Rumery did hurt the Rams on defense, putting up 231 yards passing, another 77 yards rushing, and an impressive five touchdowns. His over 300 yards of offense accounted for over 60 percent of the Bison yardage for the night.
However it was Penns Valley that made the first statement on the game.
The very first play from scrimmage for the Rams came from their own 32-yard line. Quarterback Justin Sands launched his first pass of the night into the waiting hands of Tristen Klinefelter, and it was a sprint at that point. It only took 19 seconds for points to be on the scoreboard, and it was the first points the Bison allowed all season after the shut out one week ago. The point after was blocked, leaving the score 6-0.
Clearfield then decided anything the Rams can do, they can do better.
Taking the ball at their own 18 on the ensuing possession, Rumery gave the hand off to Ty Bender, who managed to find a seam from the line into the linebackers. After avoiding tackles and breaking into the secondary, it was a matter at that point of which team had the stamina to either tackle or hit the goal line. For the Bison, the latter was success and Bender brought the home crowd right back into the game with his 82-yard run. Jake Sorbera booted the extra point right through the uprights, and the Bison then took the lead of 7-6. Not even a full minute into the game and 13 points were on the board.
Bender himself had a solid night, accounting for over 100 yards on the ground.
Penns Valley saw itself forced to punt on the next possession. Janocko then decided to make his offense show what it could do.
The exceptional night that was to come for Rumery started off with one play, and one prayer. At his own 33, the junior launched the ball over the defense and found Micah Heichel in a foot race to the black turf of the endzone. He was not being denied, as Heichel sprinted the 67-yards to give Clearfield a bigger edge.
Sorbera added in another point after, and a 14-6 advantage was established.
Janocko knew the opening play from the Rams could mean his team was playing on its heels, maybe a bit too hyped up and experienced a let down. But, he was extremely impressed with how the team focused after the opening Rams score.
“We responded. Ty Bender had the big run, and you saw his speed. I thought overall our offensive line did great in the passing game; there’s just some things we need to work on in the running game,” he said.
The first sustained drive for Clearfield came late in the first quarter, but had a familiar result. Rumery drove the offense inside the Rams 10. On 3rd and Goal, he looked to his left and found Spencer Graham over the middle, and Graham came down in the end zone for his first score of the night, and now the second from Rumery. Sorbera’s kick made it 21-6, with only a handful of ticks before the second quarter began.
Clearfield made good use of the second quarter, as they found the end zone on three occasions, all coming from Rumery’s arm.
The first came with 7:21 left in the half when Rumery connected with Heichel once more, a fast 10-yard strike that made it 28-6 thanks again to Sorbera’s right foot.
Clearfield’s defense did its job forcing another punt on the following drive, and when the Bison got the ball back, they made quick work of their time as Rumery connected with Taye Lynch on the third play for a 41-yard touchdown pass. It was Rumery’s fourth of the night, and Lynch’s first. One more score and Clearfield knew the game was going to end in rapid fashion.
It came beginning with 2:33 left in the half, as Janocko decided to test out the two-minute offense. Sure enough thanks to the legs of Bender and the arm of Rumery, the conclusion was the same. Rumery’s fifth score of the night landed right in the hands of Lynch in the right corner of the end zone.
Sorbera’s extra point guaranteed that the second half of action would be done with a running clock.
No points were earned in the third quarter by either team, but when Clearfield got the ball to start the fourth, the focus went from winning to simply maintaining. Due to the running clock, the Bison held the ball for nearly 10 minutes. and Janocko played “keep away” as there were more running plays than passing.
Although points did not come of the drive, giving the Rams the ball back with only 2:33 remaining in the game simply took the life out of the Penns Valley sideline.
The final score of the night came courtesy of Ryan Ripka. His 17-yard run for the touchdown was the longest run by the Rams all night. By this point, Brandon Tobias took over signal calling to the offense, but he did not have the soft touch to secure the two-point conversion, leaving the score 42-12, which is how it ended.
At 2-0, Janocko is happy to see his team improve from the previous game, but also knows not only is the schedule going to be a big challenge beginning next week, but his team will need to keep their momentum while also being on the road.
“We did some things better, but still have a long way to go. We’re coming into the meat of our schedule. Going to Central is not going to be easy, then come home against Huntingdon. We have a murderers row coming up here, schedule-wise,” Janocko said. “I’m happy we won, but we still need to get better. There’s still things to fix.
“It’s a good night for us. We just need to get better.”
The game against Central will be next week, and over the last several years has become a big indication of who will win the Mountain League title. Kickoff is in Roaring Spring at 7 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Penns Valley 6 0 0 6 – 12
Clearfield 21 21 0 0 – 42
RAMS: 68-yard pass from Sands to Klinefelter (Covalt kick blocked), 11:41
BISON: 82-yard run by Bender (Sorbera kick), 11:15
BISON: 67-yard pass from Rumery to Heichel (Sorbera kick), 8:50
BISON: 8-yard pass from Rumery to Graham (Sorbera kick), 0:10
BISON: 10-yard pass from Rumery to Heichel (Sorbera kick), 7:21
BISON: 41-yard pass from Rumery to Lynch (Sorbera kick), 4:54
BISON: 5-yard pass from Rumery to Lynch (Sorbera kick), 0:24
RAMS: 17-yard run by Ripka (Covalt pass failed), 4:31
First Downs: 9/18
Rushing Yards: 76/263
Passing Yards: 173/231
Total Yards: 249/494
Time of Possession: 19:16/28:44
Penns Valley: Ripka-12 carries, 33 yards, TD; Sands-10 carries, 27 yards; Caldana-3 carries, 21 yards; Tobias-1 carry, 0 yards; Klinefelter-1 carry, (-5) yards.
Clearfield: Zattoni-19 carries, 108 yards; Bender-11 carries, 119 yards, TD; McGonigal-3 carries, 37 yards; Lezzer-1 carry, 2 yards; Thomas-1 carry, (-1) yards; Kline-1 carry, (-4) yards.
Penns Valley: Sand-8 for 15, 161 yards; Tobias-1 for 2, 12 yards.
Clearfield: Rumery-13 for 18, 231 yards, 5 TD.
Penns Valley: Kubalak-3 catches, 46 yards; Breon-2 catches, 43 yards; Ripka-2 catches, 15 yards; Klinefelter-1 catch, 68 yards, TD; Snyder-1 catch, 1 yard.
Clearfield: Heichel-3 catches, 87 yards, 2 TD; Graham-3 catches, 74 yards, TD; Lezzer-3 catches, 42 yards; Lynch-2 catches, 46 yards, 2 TD; Pallo-1 catch, 4 yards.
|08/25||DUBOIS||21 – 0||1 – 0|
|09/01||PENNS VALLEY||42 – 12||2 – 0|
|09/22||@ Central Mountain|
|10/13||BALD EAGLE AREA|
|10/27||@ Karns City|