SPRING MILLS — Usually when a football team goes on the road, it is a true test of how good they are in the season. Good teams can overcome the obstacles of being the visiting team and add another victory to their record.
After two consecutive weeks in the Bison Sports Complex, head coach Tim Janocko and his Clearfield Bison team made the trip east to Spring Mills to take on the Penns Valley Rams. Having outscored their opponents 91-28 at home, the Bisons were looking to continue their momentum. The question was, could they do it on the other team’s home turf?
As would be expected, the visiting Bisons made some mistakes during the game. Clearfield had eight penalties compared to Penns Valley’s four, but it did not prove to be a big factor. A strong first half that saw two passing touchdowns and another on the ground set the course for a 35-7 victory for Clearfield.
“I think it was a good win for the team,” Janocko said on the field after the final whistle. “Penns Valley played tough. I don’t think it was our sharpest game. We had many mistakes, but we got the win.”
Clearfield may have made mistakes on the field, but the defense proved to be tough for Penns Valley to deal with all night long. The Bison defenders held the Rams to 50 total yards of offense, the lowest allowed by the Bisons thus far in the season.
On offense, quarterback Curtis Frye had a fairly decent night. The senior offensive leader finished the night completing 16 of 22 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target on this night was once again Derek Danver, who had 179 yards on six catches, including both receiving touchdowns.
On the ground, Derek Morgan once again led the charge as he would go for 121 yards on 15 carries and one score. Not to be outdone, Beau Swales added 63 yards on the ground on nine carries, including two scores.
For the Rams, it was a night of being shut down from the first snap. Senior running back Mike Owens was held to only 26 yards rushing, while quarter back Sam Snyder only had 23 yards passing on just two completions, both coming in the first half.
“Our defense really shut them [Penns Valley] down, and that’s what we want,” Janocko said.
Penns Valley opted to receive the opening kickoff and manged to get a first down after gaining little yardage on their first two plays. But, the Bisons held them up and forced a punt. On the first play from scrimmage on the Bisons’ first drive, Frye went play action and sailed a pass over the secondary right down the middle of the field. The ball landed safely in the arms of Danver who trotted right into the endzone for the game’s first score.
“We wanted to establish our throwing, and that first play certainly got their attention,” Janocko said.
Penns Valley went three and out on their next series, and the ensuing punt put Clearfield on their own 46 to start the drive. For a majority of the night, Clearfield began their drives near midfield, which proved to be easy picking for the Bisons.
After a completion to Danver put the Bisons just outside the redzone, they found themselves in a second-and-long situation after a penalty. But, after a quick pass to Andrew Redden and a keeper by Frye, the Bisons were at the 10 yard line looking for pay dirt. This time, it was Morgan moving the pile as he would punch it in for the second touchdown of the night. Zach Fannin’s extra point made the score 14-0 with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.
Another three and out by the Rams gave Clearfield the ball at the 41. On their third drive, it was a methodical use of both run and pass to drive the ball down the field.
Just two minutes into the second quarter, Frye connected with Danver once again to give him the second passing touchdown of the game. Fannin’s kick made it 21-0, which it remained at halftime.
Despite having the lead, Janocko was not exactly pleased with his team because of some penalties they obtained at some critical moments on their first two drives.
“There wasn’t a lot of talking in the locker room,” Janocko said.
Clearfield got the ball at the start of the third quarter, and at that point the Bisons decided since they had the lead, milk the clock and run the ball. The opening drive of the second half consisted of seven plays, six of which were runs, and was capped off by Swales punching the ball in from four yards out. Fannin’s extra point gave Clearfield a healthy 28-0 lead.
Unfortunately, that was not told to the kickoff coverage team. On the ensuing kick, the Rams played the reverse game as Vincent Rowles took the kickoff on the bounce, but after five yards he handed off to Kevin Montminy. A seam in the left side of the coverage was just open enough for him and 83 yards later, the Rams had their first score of the game. The extra point quickly made the score 28-7.
At that point, Janocko decided to play it safe and try to keep the ball on the ground. The Bisons’ next drive would also consist of mostly run plays, which again was capped off by Swales punching in from just one yard out.
The Rams again would be forced to punt on the next drive, and then the Bisons decided they had enough of the passing game on this night as they would put together a drive that started with 2:24 left in the third quarter and at their own 21.
Although that drive did not end with a score, it would last for 17 plays and take over 10 minutes off the clock. The Rams would take over on downs with just over four minutes left in the game. But, even against the second-team defense, the Rams could not get any momentum. They were forced to punt after another three and out, and Clearfield simply ran out the clock to victory.
Janocko noted that the move to the run game in the second half was by design.
“We made a couple adjustments before the second half, and decided with the lead we were going to run the ball and take some time off the clock,” Janocko said. “I was happy with how we came out and played after halftime.”
The Bisons (3-0) must take their undefeated record on the road next Friday night as they must travel to Lewistown to face the Indian Valley Warriors.
See more photos of the Bison win at: http://www.clearfieldfootball.org/091710game.html
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
CLEARFIELD 14 7 14 0 35
PENNS VALLEY 0 0 7 0 7
BISONS: 41-yard pass from Frye to Danver (Fannin kick), 8:21
BISONS: 10-yard run by Morgan (Fannin kick), 4:31
BISONS: 18-yard pass from Frye to Danver (Fannin kick), 10:00
BISONS: 4-yard run by Swales (Fannin kick), 9:08
RAMS: 83-yard kickoff return by Montminy (Deardorff kick), 8:54
BISONS: 1-yard run by Swales (Fannin kick), 5:17
FIRST DOWNS: CF-22 PV-2
RUSH YARDS: CF-238 PV-27
PASS YARDS: CF-179 PV-23
TOTAL YARDS: CF-417 PV-50
PENALTIES: CF-8 PV-4
PENALTY YARDS: CF-50 PV-25
TURNOVERS: CF-1 PV-0
FUMBLES: CF-2 PV-0
FUMBLES LOST: CF-1 PV-0
TIME OF POSSESSION: CF-31:56 PV-16:04
CLEARFIELD: Morgan-15 carries, 121 yards, TD; Swales-9 carries, 63 yards, 2 TD; Frye-7 carries, 7 yards; Graham-5 carries, 11 yards; Lezzer-4 carries, 23 yards; Mellgard-3 carries, 11 yards
PENNS VALLEY: Owens-14 carries, 26 yards; Auman-2 carries, 5 yards; TEAM-6 carries, 1 yard
CLEARFIELD: Frye-16 for 22, 179 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
PENNS VALLEY: Snyder-2 for 9, 23 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
CLEARFIELD: Danver-6 catches, 109 yards, 2 TD; Hogue-3 catches, 14 yards; Redden-2 catches, 25 yards
PENNS VALLEY: Baker-1 catch, 16 yards; Dashem-1 catch, 7 yards