CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Just like last season, Westinghouse ended Central Clarion’s stellar season, although unlike last season, the Wildcats put up a lot more fight in dropping the 46-30 decision to the Bulldogs on Friday evening at PennWest Clarion’s Memorial Stadium.
Central Clarion led 8-7 toward the end of the first half before Westinghouse scored on the last play of the second quarter to take a 15-8 lead into halftime.
Westinghouse would score two more times in a three-minute span of the third quarter to open up a 28-8 lead.
“We thought we recovered a fumble, but we had a penalty that continued their drive near the end of the half,” said Central Clarion head coach Dave Eggleton. “Then they fumble again at the end zone and they recover for the score. It was one of those things that momentum swings all seemed to go their way tonight.”
Central Clarion would close the gap to 11 at 34-23 at the end of three quarters, but two Westinghouse touchdowns, followed by a Central Clarion score would set the final.
“The effort was there, although we just made some uncharacteristic mistakes,” said Eggleton. “There were times we could have hung our heads and packed it in, but these kids fought to the bitter end and I’m proud of them for that.”
After Central Clarion fumbled on the opening kickoff, Westinghouse looked poised to take an early lead. However, the drive would stall when Jase Ferguson intercepted a pass in the end zone. The Bulldogs also had a score called back on a penalty.
Ferguson was stopped short of a first down on a fake punt, giving Westinghouse good field position again. However, more penalties backed the Bulldogs up and they were forced to punt.
Ty Abrams would break the scoreless deadlock with 1:38 to play in the first quarter on a 1-yard run to give Westinghouse a 7-0 lead.
Ferguson would score on a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter. He would also add the 2-point conversion for an 8-7 Central Clarion lead.
Late in the quarter, the Wildcats appeared to recover a fumble, but a penalty for an illegal block gave the Bulldogs the ball and new life. A pair of pass completions put the ball inside the 1-yard line with three seconds to play. Following a timeout, the snap was fumbled and recovered by offensive lineman Sincere Shannon for the Westinghouse touchdown. Khalil Green would add the 2-point conversion for a 15-8 halftime lead.
Ayron Pride would haul in a 56-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter to push the lead to 22-8 with 11:37 on the clock.
Lloyd Penn would add a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown three minutes later to push the lead to 28-8.
Tommy Smith would score on a 12-yard reception from Ferguson to close the gap to 28-15 with 5:28 remaining in the third.
Abrams would add his second touchdown of the game with 1:19 remaining in the quarter for a 34-15 lead.
However, the Wildcats would bounce back on a 64-yard catch and run from Ferguson to Smith again. Ferguson again added the 2-point run to trim the lead to 34-23 with just 23 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Quarterback Khalil Green would score on a 71-yard run early in the fourth while Abrams would score his third touchdown of the game on a one-yard run to push the lead to 46-23 with eight minutes left in the contest.
Ferguson connected with Mason Burford on a 36-yard pass to set the final score.
Ferguson finished the contest 10-of-28 for 229 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
He would also rush 20 times for 94 yards.
Smith caught four passes for 103 yards.
For Westinghouse Abrams rushed 29 times for 113 yards with three scores. Green rushed 11 times for 127 yards.
Green completed 4-of-12 passes for 83 yards with one interception.
Penn caught two passes for 69 yards.
“It’s tough thinking about some of these kids not being here next year,” said a choked up Eggleton about his senior group. “I’m going to miss each and every one of them. We’ll take a bit to sit back and reflect and when we do really think about the season, we had there is going to be a lot to be proud of as a team and as individuals. This was a special team and a special group of young men.”