Getting one win is hard enough for any team on any level. For high school football, winning the first week of the year is the most positive start to a season a team can have, but it’s how the team responds the following week that often means more. The Clearfield Bison already have their first win on the season, and now are looking to follow up a strong opener.
But in order to do that, they must leave the friendly walls of the Bison Sports Complex and make the 60-mile trip to Spring Mills, as the Bison must hit the gridiron to take on the Penns Valley Rams.
When this game was played last year at the BSC, a 41-point first half was more than enough cushion for Clearfield to cruise to the eventual 55-14 victory. That game as well came early in the season, and it was an early indicator for both squads of how their season would turn out.
The Rams are trying to get their first win of the season, as they fell to the Juniata Indians last Friday by a final of 45-7. It all fell apart in the second quarter for Penns Valley. After holding Juniata to just a touchdown on their first drive of the game, the only score of the opening period, it went downhill like a runaway big rig. The second quarter included six penalties to total 45 yards, two of them being personal fouls, five fumbles, losing three of them, seeing two passes intercepted, and the Indians adding 23 points off those turnovers. It was all over but the suffering at that point.
Penns Valley knows that one game doesn’t make a season, but they cannot afford to get far behind against the Bison. Tim Janocko’s squad is again a tough team on both sides of the ball.
Clearfield is coming off their home opener, which was a 35-20 victory over St. Joan of Arc. It was the first game for Clearfield on the brand new turf field, which everyone in attendance loved. But now, without the home crowd on their side, the Bison are looking to go back-to-back in the win column.
The opening game looked like a typical night for Clearfield, which ended the night with 434 yards of total offense. Quarterback Christan Lezzer, who one year ago was receiving passes from then-quarterback Curtis Frye, started his junior season under center by going 8 of 14 for 158 yards, including three scores and one interception. His quarterback rating for the first week was 107.
If those numbers come back this week, the Rams will be facing an uphill battle once again.
But battling the pass opens up the running game, and with Lezzer currently leading the team in rushing (103 yards), and also Tyler Stratton (83 yards) making an impact, the Bison are a heavy favorite to go 2-0 on the season.
Anything is possible when the teams take the field on Friday night.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at the Penns Valley Area High School. For directions to the stadium, visit ClearfieldFootball.org.