Pennsylvania schoolboy football playoffs are down to finals and semifinals in most districts, including District 9 where No. 2 seed Clearfield (7-3) will seek revenge for an opening-night 56-35 loss to No. 1 Bradford (7-2) in the Class AAA championship game Friday at Clarion University and No. 3 seed Curwensville (9-2) will be playing for a berth in next week\’s Class A championship game in a semifinal test against No. 2 seed Redbank Valley (7-3) Saturday at Clarion University.
The other 9-A semifinal send No. 4 seed Johnsonburg (8-2) to No. 1 seed and defending champion Coudersport (11-0) Friday. When the Allegheny Mountain League rivals met in Week Seven, Coudy turned an 8-0 halftime lead into a 24-0 victory with Chris Cavallari carrying 28 times for 260 yards and all three touchdowns. The Falcons\’ defense came up with five turnovers and a safety in the second of four shutouts in a row.
Last week, Coudersport ousted stubborn No. 8 seed Clarion (5-6) 32-14 for its 23rd win in a row against D-9 foes, while Johnsonburg repeated its Week Nine 13-7 victory over No. 5 seed Cameron County (6-4) 17-6. Coudy needed a pair of TDs in the final 7:08 to pull away from Clarion. Cavallari, held to five yards for six carries and sitting out one quarter because of an injury, exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring on runs of 61 and 48 yards to finish with 11 carries for 124 yards and three TDs. Quarterback Calvin Grumley starred in Johnsonburg\’s first playoff win in 10 years, running 19 times for 111 yards and both touchdowns, passing for a two-point conversion and kicking a 29-yard field goal. He completed two of eight passes for 35 yards, had an interception that set up the clinching field goal, returned two kickoffs for 51 yards, returned two punts for 40 yards and averaged 41 yards on three punts. The Rams\’ defense has held opponents to seven points or less in eight games.
The District 9 Class AA Playoffs get under way with the semifinals sending No. 4 seed and defending champion Brockway (6-4) to No. 1 seed Brookville (9-1) Friday and No.3 seed Moniteau (6-4) to No. 2 seed Karns City (9-1) Saturday. Brookville has won eight games in a row since losing 39-35 to Clearfield in Week Two. Brockway overcame a 2-4 start to extend coach Ray Reckner\’s 22nd and final season at the helm. The other semi is a rematch of a Week Seven Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference showdown when both teams were undefeated. Karns City wiped out a 12-0 deficit to prevail 20-18, one of four its four wins in games decided by five points or less. The Gremlins\’ lone defeat was 44-21 to District 6 Class AA semifinals Forest Hills in Week 10.
That Forest Hills (9-2) team plays in one of this weekend\’s District 6 headliners. The fourth-seeded Rangers will travel to Tyrone Friday to challenge the state\’s No.-4 ranked Class AA juggernaut. The top-seeded Golden Eagles (11-0) and the Rangers have won 13 of the last 15 6-AA titles. Upstart Philipsburg-Osceola (8-3) journeys to Johnstown Saturday to tangle with No. 2 seed Bishop McCort (9-1) after knocking off No. 3 seed Penn Cambria (9-2) in convincing fashion 35-8 in the quarterfinals. The Mounties amassed 301 yards on the ground to advance as Brad Smith racked up 124 yards on nine carries and Dimitri Sidorick added 70 on 16 tries; they scored two touchdowns apiece.
Bishop McCort bounced No. 7 seed Bedford (6-5) 27-7 to avenge its lone setback, a double-overtime, one-pointer on opening night. Brad Barbin led the Crushers with 96 yards and a pair of score for 17 carries. Forest Hills ousted No. 5 Marion Center (9-2) 20-14 in the featured quarterfinal as Jared Kostan ran 21 times for 93 yards and the tie-breaking touchdown. And Tyrone cruised past No. 8 Chestnut Ridge (7-4) 35-0 with Johnny Franco reeling off 170 yards and three TDs in just 18 carries. Bedford and Chestnut Ridge are District 5 schools.
The District 6 Class A semis find No. 5 Juniata Valley (8-2) at No. 1 Purchase Line (9-1) Friday and No. 3 Bellwood-Antis (8-2) at No. 2 Southern Huntingdon (9-1) Saturday. Juniata Valley upended No. 4 Portage (7-3) 13-0 behind freshman Shawn McCrum\’s 21 carries for 92 yards and a TD while the defense held the Mustangs to 72 yards in total offense. Purchase Line got scores from five different players in a 34-6 romp over No. 8 Northern Cambria (7-4). Bellwood-Antis ended Glendale\’s best season in years at 8-3 with a 32-0 shutout behind Josh Kleinfelter, who rambled for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. And Southern Huntingdon rolled past No. 7 Laurel Valley (7-4) 43-0 for its fifth consecutive shutout as quarterback Tyler Mansberger ran 12 times for 125 yards and two TDs and completed six of seven passes for 81 yards and one score.
Last week\’s shocker in District 6 was Indian Valley\’s 28-21 conquest of No. 1 seed Huntingdon (9-2) in Class AAA. The fourth-seeded Indians scored twice in the final 9:20 to halt a 10-game losing streak against the Mountain Athletic Conference Seven Mountains Division rival Bearcats. Nam Shartzer carried 30 times for 157 yards and one TD, while Thad Rosenberry added 86 yards and two TDs on just seven carries and William Goss hit five of six passes for 113 yards, including a game-winning 68-yarder to Matthew Daubert with 4:59 to play. Indian Valley (6-5) will play Hollidaysburg (7-4) in Friday\’s championship game at Altoona\’s Mansion Park. The third-seeded Golden Tigers nipped No. 2 Johnstown (7-4) 13-12 as quarterback Patrick Smith ran for one touchdown and passed for the other.
In District 10, a Class AA quarterfinal matching coaches with area ties found Wilmington (11-0) playing like a No. 1 seed in a 35-8 victory over Corry (6-5) at Slippery Rock University. The Greyhounds, ranked No. 4 in the state by the Pennsylvania Football News and No. 5 by the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, are coached by 1965 Curwensville Joint High School graduate Terry Verrelli, while the Beavers, who posted the school\’s first winning record in a decade, are coached by 1992 Moshannon Valley High School grad Homer DeLattre.
Corry managed 228 yards against the outstanding Hounds\’ Hammer defense and had two drives end in the red zone, one a 15-yard march in the first quarter. The Beavers, who averted a shutout with a late score, were complimented by Verrelli, according to a story written by Travis Pickens for the Pennsylvania Football News.
Verrelli said, \”Even on film you could tell (Corry was) a gutsy team. They\’re a good football team.\”
Wilmington moves on for a semifinal game against Region 3 Class AA rival Sharon (8-2), which shut out Harbor Creek (8-3) 14-0 for its first playoff win in four years. The Greyhounds defeated the Tigers 42-7 in Week Eight. The other 10-AA semi pits Region 4 Class AA kingpin Fairview (9-1) against Grove City (7-3). Fairview pounded Greenville 41-7 and Grove City toppled Seneca 24-13 in the other quarterfinals.
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Coudersport, rated No. 7 in Class A by the Pennsylvania Football News, continues to top the list of District 9 teams in the state rankings.
Curwensville, Johnsonburg and Redbank Valley in Class A and Brookville and Karns City in Class AA are among \”Other Teams To Watch.\”
The Patriot News has Curwensville, Coudersport, Brookville and Karns City on its honorable mention list.
District 6 has a pair of Top 10 teams, Tyrone No. 3 in Class AA and State College (9-2) No. 8 in Class AAAA. They were fourth and 10th, respectively, a week ago. The PFN has Hollidaysburg in Class AAA, Philipsburg-Osceola and Bishop McCort in AA and Purchase Line, Bellwood-Antis, Southern Huntingdon and Juniata Valley in AA on its \”Other Teams To Watch\” list. The Patriot News rates State College, Hollidaysburg, Bishop McCort, Forest Hills (AA), Purchase Line and Southern Huntingdon as honorable mention.