Week Eight has three playoff contests in store, with the D9 Class A and AA Titles on the line and Clearfield facing Bedford in the PIAA State Playoffs.
(Photo Courtesy of: Kyle Yates)
Four regular season contests are also taking place, as two teams search for their first win of the season.
D9 Class A Title Game
Smethport vs. Redbank Valley (Sat. Oct. 31, 1:00pm at Brockway)
Smethport and Redbank Valley are set to clash in the D9 Class A Championship, in a game that promises to deliver hard-nosed football. The Smethport Hubbers defeated Union/A-C Valley 13-10 in the semifinals, using strong defense and a productive passing attack to outlast the Falcon Knights. Smethport, who is typically a run first team, was able to pass for 174 yards in the win, displaying an offensive flexibility that could help them against Redbank Valley. Quarterback Noah Lent threw for all 174 yards and added 52 rushing yards against Union/A-C Valley, continuing his dominant 2020.
In their semifinal matchup, Redbank Valley knocked off Coudersport 28-12. Turnovers were the name of the game in this contest, with both teams giving away four turnovers. Just like Smethport, Redbank Valley deviated from their traditional run-first game plan, throwing for 213 yards to emerge victorious. Cam Wagner was the shock star for the Bulldogs, as he threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs’ interior defense was unstoppable, denying Coudersport the necessary space to run their triple option attack.
One Thing to Watch: Both teams love to run the football, yet, both teams have tough rushing defenses. When faced with similar situations in the semifinals, both teams found success in their passing games. Will we see the same in the finals, or will the teams re-focus on the run?
D9 Class AA Title Game
Brookville vs. Karns City (Friday, Oct. 30, 7:00pm at Brockway)
Brookville will face Karns City in the D9 Class AA Championship Game. The Brookville Raiders previously defeated the Karns City Gremlins 44-0 in an early season matchup, and will be looking for a similar type of dominance the second time around. The Raiders have yet to lose in 2020, and their incredible offense makes them a challenge to stop. Quarterback Jack Krug has 2203 passing yards and 30 passing touchdowns this season, and receivers Kyle Macbeth, Brayden Kunselman, and Robert Keth each have over 500 receiving yards. Defensively, the Raiders have snagged 14 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries in seven games. Kyle Macbeth is Brookville’s primary defensive playmaker, snagging four interceptions while forcing and recovering two fumbles this season.
Since the big loss to Brookville, Karns City has found success running the football behind their monster offensive line. In the Gremlins’ semifinal win over Central Clarion, Luke Garing had a breakout performance, rushing for 137 yards. Jayce Anderson and Cole Coon also had solid games in the Gremlins backfield. Karns City’s Achilles heel has been turnovers in the passing game, and the Gremlins will need to execute at a high level to keep pace with Brookville.
One Thing to Watch: Brookville steamrolled Karns City in their previous meeting, and the game was over before the second half started. How will the previous result affect the two teams? Karns City must keep their hope high in spite of their early loss, while Brookville must resist the urge to be complacent against their once defeated opponent.
Class AAA State Playoffs
Clearfield vs. Bedford (TBD)
(Recap Courtesy of: Dustin Parks of Gant Daily)
Two teams, similar names, but two completely difference conferences. Friday night, Clearfield plays host to the Bedford Bisons, who are coming into the playoffs with a perfect 7-0 record from the Laurel Highlands Conference. The “Battle of the Bison” will mean the end of the season for one team, and potentially the end of an unblemished record.
Read the full recap at Gant Daily here.
Central Clarion at Penn Cambria (Friday, Oct. 30, 7:00pm)
Central Clarion is out of the playoff race, but their season goes on as they face another vanquished playoff contender in Penn Cambria. Central Clarion will look to these post-postseason games to further develop their offensive and defensive lines, while star players Cal German, Ethan Burford, and Cutter Boggess look to end their careers on a high note. Penn Cambria is 3-4 on the year, and the Panthers have a strong passing attack. The two similar strengths in the passing game should make this contest a fun one to watch.
DuBois at Punxsutawney (Friday, Oct. 30, 7:00pm)
3-4 DuBois used their powerful offensive line and running game to rout Ridgway last weekend, and the Beavers are looking for another win against Punxsutawney this Friday. DuBois defeated Punxsutawney 24-0 in their first meeting of the season, rushing for 164 yards in the win. Punxsutawney will look to get their offense fired up, as they search for their first win of the season. While Punxsutawney is a rush-first team, they might need to change things up to find success against the big boys of DuBois.
Cameron County at Port Allegany (Friday, Oct. 30, 7:00pm)
Cameron County is still searching for their first victory of the year, and they will face Port Allegany on Friday. Port Allegany won the first matchup 40-8, cruising courtesy of a 166 yard rushing performance and a solid defense. Drew Evens has the ability to pass for big yards for Port Allegany, and Cameron County must be prepared to face both the pass and the run. Can Cameron County put together a season-best performance, or will Port Allegany dominate as they did in their previous matchup?
Bradford at Otto-Eldred (Friday, Oct. 30, 7:00pm)
The Bradford Owls are also looking for their first win of the year, and they will travel to Otto-Eldred for a non-league contest. The Owls have struggled with turnovers in their losses, but have demonstrated a passing attack that has big play potential. They will need to tune in a flawless performance to topple Otto-Eldred. The Terrors are 2-3, but they possess a strong arial offense. Quarterback Cole Sebastian has thrown for over 1000 yards in five games this season, dishing out targets to three senior receivers: Ethan Smith, Jake Merry, and Josh Rhinehart. The game should be fun to watch, as both teams look to run up the score with their exciting brands of football.