TYRONE — As the Clearfield Bison hit the road for the first time in three weeks, there was an individual goal and a team goal. The team goal is the same as they had at the beginning of the year: achieve victory. The individual goal was more of a personal goal for Bison quarterback Isaac Rumery, as he was on the cusp of a school record for passing yards.
Against the Tyrone Golden Eagles, both goals became reality as thanks to 190 passing yards, Rumery set the new record for passing yards in his career, while his supporting cast helped push the Bison to a decisive 35-7 triumph over the Golden Eagles. Rumery’s total of 6103 passing yards eclipsed the old record of 6088 held by Chad Kroell from the mid-1990’s.
“I thought we played really well. We’re pretty banged up right now with some guys hurt, and we had some confusion now and then since we were moving people around,” head coach Tim Janocko said afterwards. “But the guys that came in for those hurt, they played well. Tyrone played tough, so it’s a good win for us.”
It did not start well for the Bison who started the night on the defensive side of the ball, and watched the Golden Eagles march down the field in almost four minutes. Zac Albright punched the Golden Eagles into the end zone, then Keegan Raabe followed suit with the extra point to give Tyrone the early 7-0 advantage.
Clearfield did not like playing from behind, and when the offense took the field, it was time to get down to business. Rumery’s right arm got the drive going, and assisted in getting some key yards. But, it was Caleb Freeland that punched the ball into the end zone first on this night for the team in white. His 16-yard rumble to the end zone brought Clearfield to within one. Unfortunately, that was as close as they got as the ensuing extra point saw a mishandled snap lead to a tackle for loss, keeping the score 7-6 with 4:12 remaining in the opening quarter.
Tyrone started the second drive the same way as they started the first, by driving down the field. However, Clearfield stood tall, and forced them to punt. That play started to move things into the favor of the Bison, as the snap to Denver Light on 3rd and 10 near midfield soared over his helmet, resulting in a 21-yard loss, and a punt.
Rumery started the drive with his arm, completing the opening pass to Spencer Graham. Seven runs followed to put Clearfield inside the opposing 10. Rumery then capped off the drive when he found Taye Lynch for the nine-yard strike to put Clearfield in the lead. Originally looking to go for two, a false start pushed the ball back, and instead Zach Hess booted the P.A.T. to give Clearfield its first lead of the night heading into the second quarter.
Tyrone began to struggle on offense as they were forced to punt after just three plays on their first possession of the second quarter. Janocko seemed to notice things in the first pair of drives from the Golden Eagle offensive schemes, and decided to make some changes. Afterwards, he was happy with his decision in making those changes.
“We made adjustments in the secondary with a couple different coverage. After that point, we were able to dictate how it went,” Janocko said.
Clearfield had its first full possession of the second quarter be good in some ways, bad in others, and unfortunate in one key aspect. During their longest drive of the game, center Allan Myers went down like a boulder during a Brett Zattoni run, and the look on his face was one of intense pain, beyond one that could come from cramping. He would remove his helmet as training staff from both Clearfield and Tyrone came out to check on his status. Ultimately, his pain was coming from his ankle area, as his leg was stabilized, and he was carried off the field by coaches.
Afterwards, Janocko was concerned for his junior center, both in his words and in his eyes.
“I really don’t know. We carried him off and I know he was taken to the hospital for x-rays. So, we’re just hoping for the best,” he said.
The drive continued, this time with Chris Fenton doing the snaps, and Clearfield again continued to move the ball down the field, showing the good of the offensive line to protect its quarterback. Sadly, the bad part of the drive came as despite all the yards gained, Clearfield was denied points as they came up short on fourth down inside the Tyrone 5, and gave the ball back to the home squad.
But, the Bison defense decided if the offense was stepping up their game, they had to do so as well.
Three plays into the following possession, Light looked to his right for his receiver down the sideline, but instead saw Lynch use his basketball skills to leap up and intercept the pass, giving Clearfield new life after falling short one possession prior.
“I think that definitely was the momentum breaker,” Janocko said of the interception.
It only took two plays following the turnover for Clearfield to find the end zone. On second down, Rumery was flushed out to his right, but saw an opening when Barrett Kline was all alone in the end zone, and launched the pass right into his hands for his second touchdown pass of the night. This time, Clearfield went for the 2-point conversion, and somehow Rumery threaded a needle to Jake Lezzer to make the score 21-7, where it remained heading into halftime.
Rumery’s solid first half was just the beginning of his record-breaking night. He would finish the night with his 190 yards passing, a pair of touchdowns, and a new school record. Janocko was impressed his senior signal-caller had such a successful night considering the different coverage Tyrone was playing, but also gave credit for his team to not focus on getting the record, but instead looked at the bigger goal at the end of the night.
“I think Isaac had a good game. It was typical for him. They were playing so deep we had to take a lot of short passes. Our playmakers made some plays,” he said. “We really weren’t focused on that (record). I mean we knew it was going to come, but it was kudos to him, our receivers and our offensive line.”
Janocko also spoke strongly of Rumery’s decision to play football after high school at a school that has a top quarterback currently this season. Rumery elected to go to Penn State next fall, hoping to play under James Franklin in the Nittany Lion offense, stating, “He felt that was the best fit for him at this point. I’m happy for him. I think he can definitely add to what they have going over there.”
With momentum in its corner, Clearfield came out swinging in the third quarter, taking a near-five minute drive over the course of 10 plays that culminated with Zattoni plunging into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown. Another extra point, and it was 28-7, and the Tyrone faithful were sensing the end was near.
After Tyrone again went three-and-out, Clearfield put the final nail, at least offensively, in the night as following a Rumery pass and Freeland carry, Zattoni broke free right up the center of the field, speeding 33 yards untouched to the end zone for another rushing touchdown. Hess booted the extra point, which ultimately closed out the scoring.
The Golden Eagles did find some momentum in the fourth quarter as they pushed into Bison territory, but just like in the first half, Light looked to his right, and once again on an attempted pass to Brandon Homan, Lynch had the coverage, and it was a case of “same song, different verse,” as Lynch pulled in another interception to ultimately ice the game for the visiting squad.
With their 7-0 record intact, the next game for the Bison is building up to be a big one, but Janocko wasn’t buying into the idea of it being “the” game of the season.
“We still have two games to play after that, but it certainly will dictate the Mountain League,” he said with a chuckle.
Next week’s game is a major showdown against the only other unbeaten squad in the league, Bald Eagle Area, as the Eagles finished Friday night with a 30-7 victory over Huntingdon. According to the PA Football News, both teams are among the best in Pennsylvania. Bald Eagle Area is listed as No. 6 in Class AAA, while Clearfield is ranked second in Class AAAA. The winner of next week’s game ultimately will be the one in control of the Mountain League title.
It’s shaping up to be the big game of the week, and will likely be a near standing-room only crowd. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
- Clearfield held the Golden Eagles to only 26 rushing yards, the lowest amount of any team Clearfield has faced all season.
- Lynch recorded his first multi-interception game of the season to go along with his receiving touchdown.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Clearfield 6 15 14 0 – 35
Tyrone 7 0 0 0 – 7
GOLDEN EAGLES: 6-yard run by Albright (Raabe kick), 8:08
BISON: 16-yard run by Freeland (Hess kick muffed), 4:12
BISON: 9-yard pass from Rumery to Lynch (Hess kick), 8:55
BISON: 23-yard pass from Rumery to Kline (Rumery pass to Lezzer), 1:23
BISON: 1-yard run by Zattoni (Hess kick), 7:47
BISON: 33-yard run by Zattoni (Hess kick), 4:36
First Downs: 16/12
Rushing Yards: 196/26
Passing Yards: 190/178
Total Yards: 386/204
Time Of Possession: 24:50/23:10
Clearfield: Zattoni-16 carries, 81 yards, 2 TD; Rumery-11 carries, 37 yards, Freeland-10 carries, 70 yards, TD; Plubell-2 carries, 3 yards; Lezzer-1 carry, 5 yards.
Tyrone: Albright-14 carries, 34 yards, TD; Light-6 carries, 1 yard; Hicks-1 carry, 10 yards; Lucas-1 carry, 4 yards; Team-1 carry, (-21) yards.
Clearfield: Rumery-13 for 18, 190 yards, 2 TD.
Tyrone: Light-12 for 23, 128 yards, 2 INT; Lucas-4 for 5, 50 yards.
Clearfield: Lezzer-5 catches, 56 yards; Lynch-4 catches, 67 yards, TD; Graham-2 catches, 31 yards; Kline-1 catch, 23 yards, TD; Glass-1 catch, 13 yards.
Tyrone: Lehman-4 catches, 37 yards; Homan-3 catches, 24 yards; Hicks-2 catches, 31 yards; RJ Zimmerman-1 catch, 26 yards; Clifton-1 catch, 13 yards; Gripp-1 catch 11 yards; Etters-1 catch, 6 yards; B. Zimmerman-1 catch, 5 yards.