CLARION, Pa. – The Brookville Raiders have only given up a touchdown in each of their last three games, while averaging 26.7 points per game and 334.0 yards on offense, but Coach Park and the Raiders understand the test at hand this week.
“Anytime that you come to Clarion, you know that you are going up against a well coached team,” said Brookville head coach Scott Park. “I think it’s going to be a really good game, we have to come out ready to go.”
The Raiders come into week four a perfect 3-0 handing out convincing losses to Bradford, Dubois and Punxsutawney.
Last season Brookville handed Central Clarion a 49-30 defeat on the road, racking up 524 all purpose yards.
“Both teams are so different this year so it will be interesting,” said Park. “We concentrated on what Clarion has done so far this season, because the film from last year doesn’t show us what we need.”
It was the connection of Jack Krug and then sophomore Brayden Kunselman who led the way for the Raiders in the passing attack, as Kunselman hauled in 5 catches for 88 yards.
A look ahead to this season it is the connection of Krug and Kunselman that is powering the passing attack once again, but it is younger brother Charlie Krug that has formed an instant connection with Kunselman.
In three games Krug has found Kunselman 21 times for 382 yards and four scores.
“You always want to have a receiver that is a threat to score anywhere on the field,” Park said. “We know that once we get deeper into the season that teams will focus on shutting Brayden down so Charlie will need to start to spread the ball around.”
Upperclassmen Tate Lindermuth and Jackson Zimmerman have shouldered the workload for the Raiders in the run game. Lindermuth has carried the ball 28 times for 102 yards and three touchdowns, while Zimmerman has toted the rock 23 times for 189 yards and three scores
“Running the ball was a big focus in the offseason, ” Park smiled. “We have great backs that can carry the load. It really helps Charlie as a first year quarterback, I think the reason we have been so successful is how great our running game has been.”
As for Central Clarion, they come off back to back losses against a tough Slippery Rock team and an even tougher Karns City unit. They look to add their first “W” to the win column this week against an extremely talented Brookville Raiders squad.
For the Wildcats they have a workhorse of their own that can shoulder the load in Breckin Rex. In two games for Central Clarion, Rex has carried the ball 16 times for 195 yards and one score
“Everytime Breckin touches the ball he is a threat to score, ” said Central Clarion Head Coach Dave Eggleton. “We really try to get him the ball and get him out in space so he can use his speed to beat guys to the corner. I think that the more opportunities that we give him, the better he will be as the year goes on.”
Freshman quarterback Jase Ferguson is still trying to settle in as the go to guy in a high powered Wildcat offense. The young Ferguson is 10 of 28 passing on the year for 116 yards, but has shown steady improvement each game under center for Head Coach Dave Eggleton.
“We just ask Jase to play within himself and make good decisions with the football, ” said Eggleton. “Our staff is really happy with his progress and we know that he will continue to get better each week as the game slows down.”
Bruising sophomore fullback Noah Naser has proven to be a steady change of pace back in the Wildcat offense, adding 13 for 52 yards so far this season. It has been his defensive play at middle linebacker that has caught the attention of the coaches though. In two games Naser has 13 total tackles and 3 tackles for loss.
“Noah has had a great season so far,” Eggleton said. “He does everything we ask him to do week in and week out, it’s great to have a consistent guy like that leading the defense.”
Ryan Hummell, a do it all guy for Eggleton, has been all over the field in the first two games, rushing 9 times for 62 and two touchdowns, while catching 4 passes for 32 yards and adding six tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
“Hummy is just a gamer, that’s the best way to describe him, said Eggleton. “You know that you’re going to get 100% from him each play and that he’s going to fly around the field for 60 minutes.”
With one team looking to remain unbeaten and another looking for their first win of the year, the Raiders and Wildcats are set to take the field at Clarion-Limestone High School Friday Night at 7 pm.