STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Every coach knows going into a season opening game that mistakes are going to happen. It is how your team responds to those mistakes that will determine your overall fortune. Central Clarion made a few mistakes in their opening game against Punxsutawney, but the Wildcats overcame them in a 42-6 victory over Punxsutawney at the C-L High School football field on Friday evening.
(Article by Steve Smail. Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)
Senior quarterback Cal German had a big night for the Wildcats completing 13-of-20 passes for 308 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. His top target was fellow senior Ethan Burford who caught five passes for 193 yards and three of the touchdown passes. Christian Simko added the other score through the air.
Cooper Shall and Breckin Rex each added a touchdown on the ground.
“We made some big plays on offense and defense tonight,” said Central Clarion head coach Larry Wiser. “We had some penalties and some bad snaps and so forth. As they say, we’ll go in and wipe off the whiteboard and get back to work getting ready for Brookville.”
The Wildcats defense also came up big with four interceptions and aside from a long Chucks touchdown run in the first quarter, they really didn’t give up much allowing 142 yards rushing and just 77 passing yards.
“We played well defensively against the run outside of that one play,” said Wiser. “We defended the pass very well with those four interceptions so that was nice.”
After forcing a three and out the Wildcats took over at their own 40-yard line to start their opening drive of the game. After Burford lost six yards on first down from a lateral pass, Shall reeled off a 65-yard touchdown run. Beau Verdill added the PAT kick for a 7-0 lead at the 9:45 mark of the first.
Central Clarion would use another quick-strike touchdown after forcing another three downs and out from the Chucks. After a pair of runs netted three yards, German attempted his first pass of the game which turned out to be a 52-yard scoring pass to Burford. The kick failed leaving the score 13-0 with 7:25 remaining in the first.
Punxsutawney took over at their own 17-yard line following the kickoff. Quarterback Kameron Falgout took the snap from center and raced 83 yards for what turned out to be the Chuck only score of the evening. The kick failed leaving the score 13-6 with 7:07 to play in the first.
The Chucks recovered a fumble at the Central Clarion 30-yard line. They would drive to the 14 before Jason Ganoe intercepted his first pass of the game at the eight yard line.
Six plays later Breckin Rex raced 56 yards for a touchdown. After Verdill booted the PAT the Wildcats would lead 20-6 after one quarter.
Neither team could muster much offense in the second quarter as the Wildcats allowed just two first downs to the Chucks in the quarter. Meanwhile German threw his lone interception while Verdill punted for the only time in the game and he certainly made it count as it traveled 58 yards before being downed at the one yard line.
The Chucks did gain a first down on the drive, but a fumble moved the ball back to the two where they would be forced to punt out of their own end zone. The Wildcats then took over at the Chucks 33.
On the first play German connected with Simko for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Verdill kicked another PAT for a 27-6 lead at halftime. Central Clarion received the opening kickoff of the second half, but the Wildcats lost a fumble on the opening play of the half. Punxsutawney took over at the Central Clarion 25 and drove to the 14 before Shall intercepted a pass at the one.
The Wildcats then used a 10-play drive which ended in a 64-yard pass from German to Burford. German then connected with Cutter Boggess for the two-point play for a 35-6 lead after three.
After recovering a fumble near the end of the third quarter, the Wildcats finished off the third quarter moving from their own 25 to the Chucks 40.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, German connected with Burford again from 40 yards out. Verdill made the PAT to increase the lead to 42-6 which set the mercy rule running clock into effect for the remainder of the game.
Rex finished with 82 yards rushing on six carries while Shall added 73 yards also on six attempts.
Falgout led the Chucks rushing attack with 105 yards on 10 carries. Three quarterbacks combined for a 6-of-18 passing effort for 77 yards and four interceptions.
“The nice thing about it is that we got the win,” said Wiser. “In doing so we are able to see that we have things we need to work on to become a better football team. I think our kids have that will to learn and to grow as a team.”
Central Clarion 42, Punxsutawney 6
Score by Quarter
Punxsutawney 6 0 0 0-6
Central Clarion 20 7 8 7-42
CC- Cooper Shall 65 run (Beau Verdill kick), 9:45
CC- Ethan Burford 52 pass from Cal German (kick failed), 7:25
P- Kameron Falgout 83 run (kick failed), 7:07
CC- Breckin Rex 56 run (Verdill kick), 1:51
CC- Christian Simko 33 pass from German (Verdill kick), 1:47
CC- Burford 64 pass from German (German pass to Cutter Boggess), 5:06
CC- Burford 40 pass from German (Verdill kick), 11:52
First Downs 9 15
Rushes-Yards 23-142 31-146
Passing Yards 77 308
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-18-4 13-20-1
Total Yardage 219 454
Punts-Average 7-29.6 1-58
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards 4-30 6-50
Rushing– Punxsutawney: Kameron Falgout 10-105, Colin Hoover 7-35, Zeke Bennett 14-21, Peyton Hetrick 1-(-6), Team 1-(-13).
Central Clarion: Cooper Shall 6-73, Breckin Rex 6-82, Boggess 7-37, Ethan Burford 1-(-6), Cal German 4-(-20), Hayden Haines 1-3, Connor Kopnitsky 1-(-2), Logan Divins 2-(-2), Team 3-(-19).
Passing– Punxsutawney: Seth Moore 3-of-7 39 Yds, 2 Int; Peyton Hetrick 1-of-4 18 Yds., 1 Int; Kameron Falgout 2-of-7 20 Yds., 1 Int. Central Clarion: Cal German 13-of-20 308 Yds., 4 TD, 1 Int.
Receiving- Punxsutawney: Zeke Bennett 2-27, Cooper Ritchey 1-11, Gabe Kengersky 1-4, Colin Hoover 1-7, Alex Phillips 1-28. Clarion: Ethan Burford 5-193, Cutter Boggess 5-62, Christian Simko 2-38, Jason Ganoe 1-15.
Interceptions- Punxsutawney (Colin Hoover), Clarion: (Jason Ganoe 2, Cooper Shall, Ryan Hummell).