By Rich Rhoades
Two Thursday night games, divisional play in the Allegheny Mountain League and a couple of key games in the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference’s Small School Division highlight the 13-game Week 5 schedule.
Plus, there’s a compelling non-conference game between the Clearfield Bison and Brockway Rovers.
The Bison (3-1) and Rovers (4-0) are ranked second and third respectively in the latest Allegheny Grille D9Sports.Com football rankings. Kickoff is Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Varischetti Field in Brockway.
It’s their third meeting since 2006. Last year, the Bison beat the Rovers, 28-17, at the Bison Sports Complex while back in 2006, the Rovers rallied to beat Clearfield, 24-21, in Brockway.
It’ll be the first thing resembling any kind of test for the unbeaten Rovers, who roughed up their four AML-North opponents to start the season by a combined margin of 202-21.
Clearfield had a tough one out of the gate, losing its opener to two-time defending state champion Fort Hill, Md., 49-14. Since then, the Bison have secured the role of favorite to win the Mountain League with wins over Penns Valley (42-18), Central-Martinsburg (19-8) and Huntingdon (50-23).
The Rovers, coming off a 42-7 rout of Otto-Eldred, head into the game possibly without the services of their leading rusher Tony Isabella who was hurt in the game. He leads the Rovers with 520 yards and nine touchdowns.
Rovers quarterback Hunter Miller has completed 30 of 54 passes for 410 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Jake Gorham, who didn’t catch a pass last week, leads the Rovers with eight catches for 150 yards and three scores.
The Bison have some offensive balance as quarterback Cody Spaid has completed 38 of 80 passes for 559 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Ryan Lezzer, his top receiver with 13 catches for 207 yards, has also rushed for 244 yards and four scores. He has three interceptions on defense.
Seth Caldwell leads the Bison on the ground with 495 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, junior linebacker Matt Collins leads the team with a hefty 71 tackles
In other games:
Keystone (2-2 overall, 1-1 KSAC-Small) at Clarion (3-1, 2-0)
The Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference’s Small School Division has a couple of big games with one coming Thursday at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium. Clarion, which hasn’t lost a division game since the KSAC was split into two divisions in 2010, hosts Keystone.
Both have played two games in the division with Clarion at 2-0 and Keystone at 1-1 with its loss to Redbank Valley. The Bobcats’ tests remain on their division schedule, starting with the Panthers and including Union (Week 7) and Redbank Valley (Week 9) later on.
The Bobcats have won seven straight over the Panthers, dating back to back-to-back losses to Keystone in 2006 and 2007. Colton Rapp (393 yards, 5 TDs) and Josh Kriebel (178 yards, 3 TDs) lead their run-heavy offense, which has attempted just 39 passes for 87 yards.
Jake Weaver leads the Panthers’ offense with 678 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He was limited to 23 yards on 14 carries last week.
A-C Valley (0-4, 0-2) at Clarion-Limestone (2-2, 0-2)
The Lions and Falcons are trying to stop bad streaks of sorts. The Falcons are on a 26-game losing streak while the Lions haven’t won more than three games in a season since 2005 when they went 9-2.
Lions quarterback Anthony Louder earned Co-Player of the Week honors last week in their win over Smethport and he’s close to going over the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season. He’s thrown for 895 yards and 10 touchdowns and second on the team with 146 rushing yards. His top receivers are Brady Himes (53 catches, 503 yards, 5 TDs) and Conner Keth (14-205, 2 TDs).
The Falcons have scored just 21 points, including three touchdowns, with only 358 offensive yards in four games.
Redbank Valley (3-1, 2-0) at Union (2-2, 1-1)
The Bulldogs are trying to keep pace with Clarion at the top of the division while the Knights look for their third straight win after starting the season 0-2. The Bulldogs are coming off a 33-7 win over Brookville, which beat Union 13-6 in Week 2.
The Bulldogs’ Wyatt Hetrick had a huge game at Brookville, scoring four times including three TD receptions and an 85-yard kick return. For the year, he’s caught 13 passes for 229 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 133 yards.
Since taking over the starting quarterback job with the injury to Devin Schimp at the beginning of the Bulldogs’ Week 3 game against Keystone, Connor Shoemaker has filled in well, completing 14 of 29 passes for 193 yards and six touchdowns.
Cole Morris and Dugan Gallagher lead Union. Those two and quarterback Lucas Bowser, who stepped in as the starter with Morris still taking some snaps, have accounted for all of the team’s 12 touchdowns. Morris has rushed for 235 yards with five catches for 68 yards receiving. Gallagher has been a workhorse with 93 carries for 536 yards.
It’s the 80th time these teams will meet with the Bulldogs holding a 50-25-4 edge. They’ve won 25 out of the last 27 meetings.
Moniteau (1-3, 0-1) at Karns City (4-0, 2-0)
The top-ranked Gremlins host a struggling Moniteau squad that ended its seven-game losing streak dating back to last year with a win last week over winless A-C Valley.
The Gremlins, who routed Clarion with six different players scoring touchdowns, average over 330 yards rushing yards per game. Collin Dunmyre (306 yards, 3 TDs), Maverick Kelsea (281 yards, 76 TDs) and Chandler Turner (220 yards, 4 TDs) lead the running game. Quarterbacks Cullen Williams (231 yards passing, 151 yards rushing) and Jacob King (252 yards passing) have both taken snaps behind center.
Moniteau quarterback Derek Boben has passed for 502 yards and two touchdowns while leading the team with 324 yards rushing.
Brookville (1-3, 0-2) at St. Marys (3-1, 0-1)
The Raiders head to Dutch Country Stadium where the Dutch haven’t lost to them since 2003.
Matt Marconi (396 yards, 5 TDs) and Christian Steffan (165 yards) and Nate Straub (144 yards) lead the St. Marys run-first offense. Quarterback Pat Schlimm has completed 60 percent of his passes for 194 yards.
Raiders quarterback Seth Ray has passed for 563 yards and four touchdowns with nine interceptions. Logan Thrush (10 catches, 262 yards) is his top receiver.
Allegheny Mountain League-South
Ridgway (3-1) at Kane (4-0)
The Elkers dropped a 13-7 decision at Coudersport last week, becoming the only AML-South team to lose to the North this year. Meanwhile, the Wolves are chugging along, scoring 201 points in their first four blowout wins, including a 66-22 win over Port Allegany last week.
Going into the Port game, Tyler Rolick (395 yards, 5 TDs) and Erik Delong (310 yards, 5 TDs) led the Wolves running game.
James Winslow leads the Elkers with 190 yards rushing.
Allegheny Mountain League-North
Coudersport (1-3) at Otto-Eldred (0-4)
One of just two teams in the AML-North with a win, the Falcons will try to get off to a good start in the division in their trip to Duke Center. The Falcons beat Ridgway last week, 13-7. The Terrors lost to the Elkers, 14-7, in Week 3.
Falcons quarterback Darren Keglovits has thrown for 382 yards and five touchdowns while the running game has produced just 175 yards in four games.
Quarterback Sawyer Drummond (207 yards passing, 1 TD) and running back Seth Drummond (271 yards, 2 TDs rushing) lead the Terrors.
Punxsutawney (2-2) at DuBois (1-3)
It’s meeting No. 101 between longtime district rivals. The Beavers have beaten the Chucks four straight times by a combined margin of 210-46, including a 69-26 win last year.
The Beavers are averaging 43.8 points while giving up 66.8 points per game. Quarterback Matt Miller (1,280 yards passing, 12 TDs, 5 Ints.), receivers Colin Read (23 catches, 562 yards, 6 TDs) and Dante Dawson (28-390, 1 TD) all have big numbers. Braden Paulinellie (235 yards, 5 TDs) leads the Beavers in rushing.
Chucks quarterback Ryan Jones has passed for 655 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions. He’s also rushed for 262 yards and three scores.
Allegheny Mountain League-South
Curwensville (4-0) at Elk County Catholic (4-0)
It’s a 2 p.m. kickoff at Dutch Country Stadium as the Golden Tide visit the Crusaders.
Both teams have beaten up on the AML-North. The Crusaders gave up just 12 points in four wins while the Golden Tide have scored 206 points in their four wins.
Tide running back Nick Stewart was a Co-Player of the Week winner last week. He’s rushed for 802 yards and 11 touchdowns while Hunter Johnson has good numbers with 527 yards and four scores. Quarterback Jakob Terry has passed for 758 yards and 11 touchdowns, his top receiver being Quamone Newkirk (16 catches, 240 yards, 8 TDs).
Crusaders quarterback Nate Dacanal has passed for 308 yards and three touchdowns while running for 146 yards and four scores. Noah Werner (390 yards, 8 TDs) leads the team in rushing.
Allegheny Mountain League-North
Smethport (0-4) at Sheffield (0-4)
Both teams are looking for their first wins. The Hubbers are coming off a 40-20 loss at Clarion-Limestone while Sheffield was blanked by Elk County Catholic, 53-0. The Hubbers lost 47-6 to the Crusaders in Week 3.
Adam Shunk has rushed for 242 yards to lead the Hubbers.
Since losing 12-0 to Ridgway in their opener, the Wolverines have given up 163 points in three straight losses.
Cameron County (0-4) at Port Allegany (1-3), CORRECTED, GAME TIME IS SATURDAY, 2:30 P.M.
The Gators have a non-conference win against Moniteau and are coming off a 66-22 loss to Kane last week. Cameron County lost its season opener to the Wolves, 38-0.
For the Gators, quarterback Tre Garzel has passed for 123 yards and four touchdowns while Mac Tanner has rushed for 278 yards and two TDs and caught eight Garzel passes for 139 yards.
Cameron County trailed Curwensville 34-28 in the third quarter before the Golden Tide pulled away. Caleb Burnside leads the Red Raiders with 189 yards rushing.
Bradford (0-4) at Erie Central (3-1), CORRECTED GAME TIME IS 7:30 P.M. SATURDAY
The Owls take on an Erie Central team that beat Meadville 48-43 last week. The Owls lost to Meadville, 57-14, in Week 3.
John Eakin (266 yards rushing, 2 TDs) and quarterback Kyle Kirk (444 yards passing, 5 TDs) lead the Owls.