Information for this story provided by Justin Skiba
BROCKWAY, Pa. – Seth Caldwell and Ryan Lezzer combined to score five first-half touchdowns, as Clearfield rolled to its sixth straight championship in District 9 Class AAA with a 56-8 win over Punxsutawney Friday night in Clearfield.
Caldwell rushed 14 times for 184 yards, all in the first half, and scored on runs of 26 and 22 yards while also catching an 8-yard touchdown pass from Lezzer while grabbing two passes for 20 yards.
“I’m definitely happy,” Caldwell told the Advanced Disposal Friday Night Overtime Show on D9Sports.com. “I’m always happy with the way I play when it contributes to a win.”
Lezzer added a touchdown run of 35 yards while catching a 28-yard scoring strike from Cody Spaid and finished the night with 46 yards rushing on four carries and 60 yards receiving on two catches while going 1-for-1 passing with the 8-yard touchdown pass.
The game wasn’t do-or-die for Clearfield (9-1), as the winner wasn’t guaranteed a trip to the District 5-6-8-9 Regional Playoff nor was the loser necessarily done – although in Punxsutawney’s case the Chucks season is now over at 3-7. But the victory did wrap up the No. 1 seed in the Regional playoffs for the Bison and was also important in keeping the momentum of what is now a 9-game winning streak going according to Caldwell
“It’s a very important (to win) this game because it just keeps our winning momentum going forward,” Caldwell said. “It just gives us excitement and gives the players a reason to keep battling and keep playing ball. From my perspective, it’s another step in getting better and getting closer to the playoffs and going against better teams.”
Clearfield scored twice in the first quarter on a 35-yard Lezzer run and a 26-yard scamper by Caldwell and then built the lead to 42-0 by halftime thanks to a 22-yard Caldwell run, a 28-yard Spaid to Lezzer touchdown pass, the 8-yard Lezzer to Caldwell scoring pass and a 7-yard Corey Shimmel run.
“A big part (of the win) was getting on them early and getting that lead and keeping that lead,” Lezzer told the Advanced Disposal Friday Night Overtime Show on D9Sports.com.
Playing with junior varsity players in the second half with a running clock, Clearfield got the lead to 46-0 on a 1-yard Ty Bender midway through the third quarter and on a 4-yard Isaac Rumery run in the fourth quarter before Brandon Matthews finally got Punxsy on the board with a 2-yard touchdown run with just over five minutes left.
Clearfield outgained the Chucks 533-98 with 67 of Punxsutawney’s yards coming on their last drive, the scoring drive. The Bison also had 27 first downs in the game.
CLEARFIELD 56, PUNXSUTAWNEY 8
Score by Quarters
P – 0 0 0 8 – 8
C 14 28 7 7 – 56
C – Lezzer 35 run (Josh Serena kick), 7:04
C – Caldwell 26 run (Serena kick), 1:29
C – Caldwell 22 run (Serena kick), 10:41
C – Lezzer 28 pass from Spaid (Serena kick), 5:51
C – Caldwell 8 pass from Lezzer (Serena kick), 3:49
C – Corey Shimmel 7 run (Serena kick), 1:46
C – Ty Bender 1 run (Serena kick), 6:13
C – Isaac Rumery 4 run (Serena kick), 10:00
P – Brandon Matthews 2 run (2-point conversion), 5:10
First Downs 7 27
Rushes-Yards 29-88 50-408
Passing Yards 10 125
Comp-Att-Int 3-12-1 5-10-1
Total Yards 98 533
Fumbles-Lost NA/1 NA/0
Punts-Avg. 4-33 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-35 5-50
Rushing – Punxsutawney: Brandon Matthews 9-52, Joey DiPietro 9-17, Ryan Jones 6-14, Ethan Riley 2-6, Stone Smith 1-1, Team 2-negative 2. Clearfield: Seth Caldwell 14-184, Ryan Lezzer 4-46, Christian Rumery 2-11, Isaac Rumery 6-31, Corey Shimmel 7-53, Ty Bender 11-74, Steven Sawyer 2-10, Spencer Graham 1-negative 3, Jonathan Maines 3-2
Passing – Punxsutawney: Brandon Matthews 3-for-12, 10 yards, 1 interception. Clearfield: Cody Spaid 4-for-9, 117 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception. Ryan Lezzer 1-for-1, 8 yards, 1 touchdown.
Receiving – Punxsutawney: Ethan Riley 1-6, Jacob Weaver 2-4. Clearfield: Jake Wingate 1-18, Ryan Lezzer 2-60, Seth Caldwell 2-20, Mason Royer 1-27.
Brandon Matthews 3-12, 10, 1 int (Matt Collins)
Interceptions – Punxsutawney: Ryan Jones. Clearfield: Matt Collins