LEWISTOWN — The Clearfield Bisons are on a roll, and they don\’t want it to stop this week when they make the trek to Lewistown to take on
the winless Panthers.
The Bisons are coming off another thrilling come-from-behind victory over Bellefonte. The Bisons rallied for a 21-17 win over the Red Raiders.
If you\’re keeping score at home, that\’s three consecutive come-from-behind victories. So with the winless Panthers on the slate, is there any chance the Bisons overlook Lewistown this week? Not a chance, according to Clearfield head coach Tim Janocko.
\”No, we\’re not overlooking them at all. We realize that we\’re always a work in progress,\” Janocko said. \”We have to continue to take them one
by one. We\’re on the road. Lewistown will be up for a win and they have talent. They played Tyrone tough.\”
The Panthers have lost to Juniata, Bald Eagle Area, Tyrone and Huntingdon to start the season. They are going through some growing pains and have a plethora of sophomores and juniors on the roster. Their big gun, however, is senior fullback Nick Knable.
\”They like to give the football to No. 7 (Knable),\” Janocko said.
After being shellacked by Bradford, 56-35, in Week One, the Bisons have rebounded nicely. However, they did give up a slew of points to
Brookville (a 39-35 Bison win) and Indian Valley (a 38-35 Bison win). But last week, the defense responded, holding the Red Raiders to just 17 points.
\”We got better. I said the week before we had played better even though we gave up some points. I think we\’re definitely getting better
defensively,\” Janocko said.
Once again, the Bisons will try to come after Lewistown with a balanced attack. Quarterback Andrew Janocko is without a doubt the Bison leader. The senior is has completed 65-of-100 passes for 915 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. His 153.66 passer rating leads all District 9 quarterbacks.
According to coach Janocko, he\’s made the offense go. \”He\’s been pretty darn good. I don\’t think we could ask for much more from a high school quarterback than what he\’s done. He\’s making some plays that some college kids couldn\’t make. But he\’s only as good as the people around him,\” he said.
Tight end Adam Jury (32 receptions, 458 yards) and wideout Doug Kephart (19 receptions, 382 yards) have been Janocko\’s go-to guys.
Kephart has been on the receiving end of four TDs, while Jury has caught a pair.
\”He\’s had some receivers step up and make some big plays. The receivers are maturing,\” Janocko said.
The Bisons have also gotten the ground game up and running. Sophomore running back Isiah Morgan has tallied 382 yards on 78 carries for a 4.9 average and eight touchdowns. Against the Red Raiders, Morgan broke off a 69-yard touchdown run that put the Bisons ahead to stay. He finished the night with 102 yards on 15 carries.
\”He definitely keeps defenses at bay,\” Janocko said of Morgan. \”Bellefonte was putting seven or eight people in the secondary to stop
our passing game and he broke a big one there in the beginning of the fourth quarter. That was one of the reasons why.\”
The offensive line has started to jell, which has helped not only Morgan, but Janocko too.
\”The offensive line has done a pretty good job,\” Janocko said. \”When they have broken down, (Andrew) has been pretty mobile. He can throw
on the run,\” Janocko said.
With three consecutive wins under their belt, these Bisons are brimming with confidence. They have a big game at Huntingdon coming up
next week. However, before they can look ahead to that battle, they\’ve got to get past a Lewistown squad that will do just about anything for
a win right now.
\”We\’re focused on Lewistown,\” Janocko said. \”We\’re not good enough to be looking ahead.\”