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SHOWDOWN GOES TO WILDCATS: Central Clarion Pulls Away From Redbank Valley to Win Battle of Unbeatens

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT/D9) — With two teams who put up points almost at will this season, along with two defenses that didn’t allow much offense to their opponents, one had to wonder if the game between 9-0 Central Clarion and 9-0 Redbank Valley would be a shootout or a low scoring affair. The end result would be a kind of middle ground of a 35-14 victory for Central Clarion.

Jase Ferguson, with the help of blocking from his line, churned up most of the yardage in accounting for 362 of the 435 total yards for the Wildcats. Conversely, the Wildcats defense limited the Bulldogs to just 190 total yards, 180 through the air.

“They are very good up front,” said Redbank Valley head coach Blane Gold. “They are definitely the best up front we’ve seen all season. We knew what they did to Port Allegany and they have a good front line as well so we knew we’d have our hands full.”

Ferguson rushed 28 times for 141 yards with two scores while completing 14-of-21 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

“My staff kept telling me that we can run someone else, and I was like I know we can,” said C-L head coach Dave Eggleton referring to Ferguson’s workload on the ground. “When he’s getting five, six, seven yards per carry you just go with it. He’s just a phenomenal athlete. He showed tonight that he’s probably the best quarterback in District 9.”

Braylon Wagner completed 12-of-20 passes for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury after a fumble in the fourth quarter.

“He was sore, and we don’t know his situation as of yet,” said Gold. “At that point when we were down 14 it was like just take your pads off you are done for this game. We’ll evaluate things tomorrow and go from there.”

Redbank Valley won the coin toss and chose to receive. The Bulldogs gained one first down on their opening drive on a 15-yard pass from Wagner to Mason Clouse before the drive stalled at the Central Clarion 39 and the Bulldogs chose to punt.

Central Clarion ran just three plays on their opening drive before Clouse intercepted Ferguson on his first passing attempt of the game.

After the turnover, the Bulldogs would take over at the Wildcats 19. They would drive to the 2-yard line where they faced a fourth and goal situation. Wagner would be stopped short of the end zone turning the ball over on downs.

“With the ball being on the left hash I knew the angle wasn’t going to be good for a field goal attempt,” said Gold. “Plus, in a game like this you figure you need to score a touchdown there and we weren’t able to convert.”

Central Clarion would embark on a 20-play, 99-yard drive that took up the remainder of the quarter and the first two and a half minutes of the second when Ferguson scored the game’s opening touchdown of the contest on a 7-yard run. Thomas Uckert made the PAT kick for a 7-0 Wildcats lead with 9:29 left in the second quarter.

Redbank Valley would answer with an eight-play drive of their own which covered 73 yards and ended on a Drew Byers 3-yard run. Mason Clouse booted the PAT kick to tie the score with 6:19 to play in the first half.

Once again Central Clarion would take up nearly the remaining 6:16 on an 11-play drive which covered 79 yards and was finished off by a 1-yard run by Braylon Beckwith. Thomas Uckert tacked on the PAT kick for a 14-7 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the half.

The Wildcats gained one first down after receiving the second half kickoff but were forced to punt.

Wagner completed an eight-yard pass to Clouse before some confusion in the Wildcats secondary allowed Ashton Kahle to be wide open for a 67-yard touchdown pass. Clouse added the PAT kick for a 14-all tie with 7: 51 to play in the third.

“We felt we wore them down in the second and fourth quarter,” said Eggleton. “Give them a ton of credit as that’s a really good single A football team stepping up in class and I think they’ll make some noise in the playoffs.”

Central Clarion answered the Bulldogs touchdown with an 11-play drive which covered 70 yards and ended on a Ferguson 2-yard run. Ferguson ran the final 25 yards on six carries including the touchdown. Uckert added the PAT kick for a 21-14 lead.

Mason Burford intercepted a Wagner pass on the first play of the fourth quarter and returned it 15 yards before fumbling the ball. Dawson Smail recovered the fumble, and the Wildcats took over at the Bulldogs 29. Three plays later Ferguson tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mason Burford. Uckert added the PAT kick again for a 28-14 lead.

A fumbled snap on the first play of the Bulldogs next possession was recovered by Matt Alston of Central Clarion at the Bulldogs 49.

Six plays later Noah Harrison would score on a 2-yard run to increase the lead to 35-14 with 7:38 to play in the contest.

The Wildcats defense would force a punt and then their offense would gain three first downs before being able to run out the clock for the victory.

“This game has been on my mind almost a whole year,” said Eggleton. “I felt like last year was on my back this whole time. It was a huge win for our team going forward. I couldn’t be prouder of how the whole team showed up tonight. Our coaching staff did a great job of getting these guys ready.”

Burford caught five passes for 84 yards with a touchdown. Brady Quinn, Dawson Smail, and Tommy Smith each caught three passes for 50, 46, and 41 yards respectively.

For Redbank Valley Kahle caught five passes for 91 yards with a score while Mason Clouse added five catches for 74 yards.

Landon Martz ran wild again for the Chucks, scoring three TDs and the defense did the rest in a shutout win over the Falcon Knights.

Punxsutawney led 26-0 at the half.

Union/A-C Valley managed just 144 yards of offense. Brody Dittman was 15-of-30 passing for 110 yards.

Zach Cooper caught four passes for 51 yards and Trey Fleming also caught four passes for 35 yards for the Falcon Knights.

Union/A-C Valley had just 34 yards rushing. Dittman led the way with 22 yards.


Charlie Krug threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns and Anthony Ceriani rushed for 115 yards and another score for the Raiders, who closed the regular season on an eight-game winning streak.

Hayden Freeman had a monster game for Brookville with seven receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns.

Sam Krug also caught a 49-yard touchdown and Jack Pete also hauled in a TD grab.

Trenton Colgan also got in on the act for the Raiders. He was 2-of-2 passing for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Brookville led 20-0 at the half on the strength of three TD passes from Krug — 10 yards to Pete, 16 yards to Freeman and 65 yards to Freeman.

Krug caught his 49-yard TD from Colgan early in the third to make it 27-0.

Ceriani’s 31-yard run, followed by a 2-point conversion run by Logan Loy made it 35-0.

Rocco Delhunty scored for Ridgway on a 16-yard run.