This weekend the seasons change, as the fall equinox officially is declared on Sunday. It is appropriate that the past week has felt this way as temperatures begin to cool off, and it feels more like football weather with each passing Friday.
The Clearfield Bison and coach Tim Janocko are happy as well as after being away from their home turf for one week, they return to the Clearfield High School for their third home game in four weeks. Having three wins already this season, each game having a different story, the team is still riding high, and hoping to continue their ways as September rolls on.
Across the field are the Huntingdon Bearcats, a team that has been both up and down this season.
On opening weekend, the Bearcats were on their home field, but lost a devastating heartbreaker in overtime to Mount Union. One week later, they bounced back in a big way, blanking Bellefonte 47-0. However that momentum quickly stopped; as against powerhouse Tyrone, they were shut down 28-6.
It is unclear which team Clearfield will see this week, but it’s very clear as to what the Bison will have to do in order to win…stop the run. On average the Bearcats put up 273 yards on the ground per game, and with three backs to contend with, it could be quite a task. Leading rusher Devon Claar is averaging nearly nine yards per carry, and has a touchdown to his credit. Then there’s Mitchell Lauer, who averages 6.5 yards a carry and has three touchdowns. Add in also that Rhett Stetchock averages 8.5 yards a carry, and this offense is potent.
The line will have to get a big push against the Bison defense to get field position, because the passing game, although sound, is only used when needed. Sophomore quarterback Hudson Speck is 10-for-25, but has only passed for 171 yards on the season.
For the Bison, if they stop the run, the game will fall right into their hands.
At the same time, when on offense, Clearfield must do the same thing that Huntingdon will try to do when they are on offense: control the line. Last week, especially in the second half, the Bison made a charge and put up over 400 yards on the ground. Clearfield averages over 370 yards per game, and that is a big credit to the offensive line in being able to create a big push and spring the backfield some holes.
Only three games in, and quarterback Christian Lezzer is leading the team in rushing with 492 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. At this rate he will hit 1000 yards before the end of the regular season. His senior tailback Tyler Stratton has also been strong, despite only playing in two full games. He has 340 yards rushing plus four touchdowns, but he is the back that can spring a long run when the opportunity arises.
But, after not being used much on offense last week, it would not be surprising to see Seth Caldwell get the call at tailback during some point in the game.
He has showcased, that despite his size, he is quick, and explosive. Caldwell averages nearly eight yards a carry, which is even more than Stratton. If duty calls, look for this young man to once again make the most of his opportunities, and don’t be surprised if he makes his own highlight reel.
One team could end the night back at the .500-mark, or one team could remain unblemished. It will all be determined at 7 p.m. at the Bison Sports Complex.
|08/30||ST. JOAN OF ARC||45 – 7||1 – 0|
|09/06||PENNS VALLEY||37 – 15||2 – 0|
|09/13||@ Central||35 – 20||3 – 0|
|09/27||@ Central Mountain|
|10/18||BALD EAGLE AREA|