HYDE — One sign of a good football team is that it wins when it
doesn\’t play its best game.
That\’s exactly what happened to the Clearfield Bisons on Friday night.
The Bisons didn\’t play their best game — far from it — but they were
good when they had to be as they sneaked out of the Bison Sports
Complex with a 21-20 overtime win over an surprisingly feisty St.
Marys squad on a dreary homecoming night in Clearfield.
The Bisons moved to 6-2 thanks to a Will Bacharach 9-yard touchdown
run in overtime that knotted the score at 20-20. Senior Kyle Kline
split the uprights and was mobbed by his teammates as the Bisons
pulled off their version of the great escape.
St. Marys, which entered the game at 1-6 — not 2-5 as one media outlet
had the Dutch — hung around all night before taking its first lead of
the game in overtime on a perfect 10-yard TD pass from quarterback
Bryan Dempsey to wideout Jeremy Williams.
But kicker Andy Eck\’s extra point attempt was wide right and the Dutch
lead was 20-14. That missed PAT would prove to be extremely costly.
It was a crazy game no matter how you slice it.
First of all, the game was played on a rain-soaked field that had the
consistency of Jell-O pudding. That caused problems with traction as
players slid and slipped all night long.
There were turnovers, big plays and plenty of penalties. And, oh yeah,
there was overtime.
Make no mistake about it, this was a big win for the Bisons. With the
victory, they clinched a winning season. With two games left in the
regular season, they will now fine-tune things for the postseason run.
For the second consecutive week, running back Isiah Morgan slugged
through a rough first half (nine carries, 30 yards) before hitting his
stride in the second half. He finished the night with 130 yards on 27
Clearfield quarterback Andrew Janocko atoned for a costly illegal
grounding penalty in overtime by waiting until the last second to
pitch the ball to Bacharach on the TD that tied the game.
Janocko — the top-ranked passer in District 9 — had another solid
evening. He completed 13-of-23 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown.
The Bisons came out like gangbusters. On their first drive of the
night, they marched right down the field and scored on a 12-yard
scamper by Bacharach.
That score came with 7:28 to play in the first quarter. Kline\’s PAT
hit the crossbar, but somehow found its way through the uprights to
make it 7-0. That extra point would prove to be big, but not as big as
Kline\’s final PAT of the evening.
St. Marys (1-7 overall) knotted the game with 8:14 left in the
first half. Dempsey hit wideout Brett Quiggle with a short completion
that Quiggle turned into a 45-yard catch and run. Eck made that PAT
and the game was tied at 7-7.
It stayed that way until the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, the Bisons took a 14-7 lead when Janocko hit Doug
Kephart with a 15-yard TD strike. That score came with 10:08 left in
But St. Marys wasn\’t done just yet. The Dutch marched down the field
on the Bisons and scored when Todd Schatz hauled in a 9-yard touchdown
pass from Dempsey.
Both teams had chances during regulation, but they were unable to convert.
Adam Jury (six receptions, 79 yards) and Kephart (six receptions, 57
yards) had big nights for the Bisons.
The Dutch were led by running back Brian Tamburlin. He carried the
ball 26 times, but was only able to rack up 68 yards on the ground
thanks to a stingy Bison defense.
Dempsey had a nice night throwing the football, completing 7-of-14
passes for 112 yards. He threw three touchdowns and one interception.
EXTRA POINTS: Clearfield fumbled the ball four times, losing three.
St. Marys fumbled twice and lost both. … Clearfield had 15 first
downs, St. Marys had seven. … In addition to Jury and Kephart,
Jarrin Campman caught one pass. … The Bisons will now turn their
attention to Punxsutawney. The Chucks visit the Bison Sports Complex
next Friday. It will be Senior Night.
St. Marys 0 7 0 7 6 — 20
Clearfield 7 0 0 7 7 — 21
C—Will Bacharach 12 run (Kyle Kline kick), 7:28.
SM—Brett Quiggle 45 pass from Bryan Dempsey (Andy Eck kick), 8:14.
C—Doug Kephart 15 pass from Andrew Janocko (Kline kick), 10:08.
SM—Todd Schatz 9 pass from Dempsey (Eck kick), 7:05.
SM—Jeremy Williams 10 pass from Dempsey (kick failed).
C—Bacharach 9 run (Kline kick).