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Week 1 football: Raiders, Rovers renew rivalry

It’s the second week of the season and of the 13 games on the District 9 docket, six feature matchups with 1-0 records.

(Photo by Tessa Boschert. Check out more of Boschert’s work here)

Yes, it’s early, but the jockeying for positions has begun. It’s another week of Large School matchups, five in all, and the first week of crossover divisional games between the Small School North and South Divisions.

On the Large School schedule, there are two 1-0 matchups with Brookville traveling to Brockway and Moniteau hosting Clarion. In the other division games, Karns City (0-1) heads to Punxsutawney (0-1), Bradford (0-1) hosts St. Marys and Kane (0-1) visits Ridgway (1-0).

In the Small School crossovers, three matchups feature teams coming off opening-week wins — Otto-Eldred at Redbank Valley, Coudersport at Elk County Catholic and Clarion-Limestone at Smethport. In the other three games, all six teams seek to bounce back from opening losses with Keystone at Port Allegany and Sheffield at Union/A-C Valley on Friday and the lone Saturday game having Curwensville at Cameron County.

Clearfield (1-0) visits Penns Valley (1-0) in its Mountain League opener while DuBois (0-1) hosts General McLane (0-1) in their District 10 Region 7 opener.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s games:


Brookville (1-0) at Brockway (1-0)

The Raiders and Rovers renew acquaintances for the first time since 2010 when Brockway, coached by Frank Varischetti, routed the Raiders 50-0 in the D9 Class 2A title game. Now, Varischetti is the Raiders’ offensive coordinator and the Rovers are coached by former Raiders assistant Tom Weaver.

It’s the first regular-season matchup between longtime rivals since 1992, the last year of the Little 10 Conference before Brookville left for the District 9 League and the conference transformed to the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference.

Both teams are coming off wins, the Raiders outgunning Bradford, 69-60, and the Rovers rallying to win at Karns City, 27-24.

Raiders quarterback Jack Krug broke school records with his 555 yards passing and eight TD passes while running for 138 yards and a touchdown. Cabe Park, taking over the primary receiver spot with all-state Bryan Dworek out with an injury, set school records with 15 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns. Dworek’s status is uncertain for this week.

The Rovers trailed by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and rallied to beat the Gremlins, thanks to Zane Puhala’s 30-yard field goal with under three minutes left. Tyler Serafini ran for 148 yards on 21 carries and quarterback Peter Downer completed 7 of 17 passes for 76 yards.

Clarion (1-0) at Moniteau (1-0)

The Bobcats head to West Sunbury to face the Warriors, who won on the road with a 14-13 decision at Kane in head coach Bob Rottman’s debut.

The Warriors racked up 306 rushing yards with Cody Wise leading the way with 160 yards on 15 carries and the go-ahead TD on a 60-yard run early in the third quarter. Quarterback Chance Nagy ran for 53 yards after going just 2-for-5 passing for 35 yards. The Warriors held Kane to 19 yards on 12 attempts.

Clarion, playing without leading returning rusher Logan Minich who was injured, fared just fine in its rout of Punxsutawney. Logan’s brother Sam ran for 127 yards on just five carries and scored three TDs, one of them on a reception.

Karns City (0-1) at Punxsutawney (0-1)

Both teams try to get into the win column for the first time as they face off for the third time since the beginning of last year. The Gremlins beat the Chucks twice last year, including a 42-14 win in the District 8/9 Class 3A Sub-Regional final.

Hunter Jones led the Gremlins with 49 yards on nine rushes with two TD runs and quarterback Anthony Kamenski completed 9 of 17 passes for 53 yards with two interceptions.

The Chucks, playing without quarterback Dylan Ishman who was sick in the lopsided loss to the Bobcats, scored their only touchdown on Carter Newcome’s TD pass to Alex Gianvito, who ran for 33 yards on nine carries and caught two passes for 41 yards.

St. Marys (0-1) at Bradford (0-1)

The Dutch and Owls meet for the first time since Dutch’s season-opening win over the Owls in 2015. Both are coming off losses, the Owls piling up 604 yards in a 69-60 loss to Brookville and the Dutch limited to 126 yards in a 42-0 loss to Ridgway.

Bradford put three backs over the 100-yard rushing mark, led by Donny Pattison’s 204 yards on just 14 carries. Derek Sunafrank and Jaron Ambrose also went over 100 yards.

Cody Ritter ran for 63 yards on eight carries to lead St. Marys.

Kane (0-1) at Ridgway (1-0)

It’s a matchup of former Allegheny Mountain League South Division rivals. The Elkers are coming off their shutout of St. Marys as they put up 403 yards of offense, 256 on the ground led by Cole Secco and Jake Wickett who ran for 95 and 70 yards respectively.

The Wolves, limited to just 19 yards rushing, moved the ball mostly through the air with sophomore quarterback Zuke Smith completing 17 of 34 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.


Otto-Eldred (1-0) at Redbank Valley (1-0)

The Bulldogs and Terrors square off after their Class 1A playoff matchup in the opening round last year in Duke Center that was won 15-8 by the Bulldogs.

Brothers Chase and Cole Sebastian led the Terrors in last week’s win over Port Allegany. Cole completed 17 of 24 passes for 251 yards and three TDs while running for 59 yards. Chase caught five passes for 94 yards while Cameron Magee grabbed seven passes for 105 yards.

Bulldogs senior quarterback Keaton Kahle completed 16 of 23 passes for 177 yards and two TDs while running for 123 yards on eight carries, ripping off an 85-yard TD run. Hunter Wiles ran for 149 yards on 11 carries.

Coudersport (1-0) at Elk Co. Catholic (1-0)

It’s another battle of teams coming off wins and looking to establish themselves in the Class 1A playoff race. The Crusaders were impressive in their 34-14 win at Curwensville while the Falcons breezed by Cameron County in a 71-0 blowout.

Stephen Bobby and Mason McAllister led the Crusaders. Bobby ran for 166 yards on 26 carries with three TDs while McAllister completed 7 of 14 passes for 103 yards and two TDs.

The Falcons outgained Cameron County, 376 to minus-5 yards. Hayden Keck and Stephen Kelly each scored three touchdowns. Kelly ran for 117 yards on eight carries.

Clarion-Limestone (1-0) at Smethport (1-0)

The Lions travel to McKean County to take on the Hubbers in what appears to be an interesting matchup of Class 1A contenders. Both teams are coming off easy wins, the Lions in a 40-0 win over Union/A-C Valley and the Hubbers in a 54-6 rout of Sheffield.

C-L finished last week’s win with just 16 players in uniform and perhaps not coincidentally, last Friday the PIAA approved a co-op between the schools’ junior high programs effective immediately. Here’s the story.

It’s the first meeting between the teams since they split home-and-home regular-season games in 2014 and 2015. The Lions won 40-20 at home in 2015 and the Hubbers won 46-32 in Smethport in 2014.

The Hubbers breezed past Sheffield as quarterback Grant Ognen completed four passes, three going for touchdowns, and wound up going for 135 yards. Bryent Johnson caught three balls for 81 yards and Blake Kinner caught a TD pass and ran for 89 yards on just five carries.

Austin Newcomb starred for the Lions, scoring from three different angles on a kick return, run and pass reception. He finished with 151 yards rushing on 13 carries and caught six passes for 127 yards. Quarterback Colby Himes threw for 170 yards and two TDs in his starting debut.

The Lions limited Union/A-C Valley to just 64 yards of offense, all coming on the ground.

Keystone (0-1) at Port Allegany (0-1)

The Panthers head north to play the Gators and both teams look for wins. The Panthers moved the ball, but fell to Redbank Valley in a 41-18 loss, while the Gators lost at Otto-Eldred, 34-6.

Panthers quarterback Isaak Jones completed 17 of 25 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Jayden Blazosky caught five passes for 75 yards. Brandan Kapp caught five passes for 84 yards and returned an interception on defense 55 yards for a score.

The Gators managed just 108 yards of offense, all of it rushing. Josh Rees ran for 69 yards on 17 carries with the team’s only touchdown.

Sheffield (0-1) at Union/A-C Valley (0-1)

The Falcon Knights host the Wolverines in Rimersburg, looking for their first win for head coach Brad Dittman. They’ll take on a Sheffield team with a new coach as well with Chris Korbar.

All of the Falcon Knights’ offense came on the ground with Tony Thompson running for 36 of the 64 yards on eight carries.

Smethport lost its starting quarterback Matt Dunham early in the game with a broken leg. Kevin Marfink ran for 48 yards on eight carries.

Curwensville (0-1 at Cameron Co. (0-1)

The Golden Tide head to Emporium for a rare Saturday night kickoff at 7 p.m. Both teams also look to rebound from losses, the Tide in a 34-14 loss to Elk County Catholic and the Red Raiders a 71-0 shutout against Coudersport.

Curwensville was outgained 35-150 by the Crusaders, although the Tide defense forced four ECC turnovers including three interceptions. But they struggled to move the ball. Blake Passarelli ran for 87 yards on eight carries.

Cameron County finished in the red in yardage with minus-5 yards of offense. Ebon Jackson ran for 16 yards.


General McLane (0-1) at DuBois (0-1)

The Beavers host the Lancers, who are in the District 10 Region 7 setup this year, in the first of six division games. The Lancers, 4-6 last year, opened with a 27-14 loss to Slippery Rock while the Beavers dropped a 28-3 opener to Clearfield.

It’s the first time they’ve met since a home-and-home series in 2014-15. The Lancers won 41-19 in 2015 while DuBois won 50-30 in 2014.

The Beavers were limited to a 37-yard field goal from Dylan McCluskey against the Bison. He also ran for 75 yards on 17 carries while quarterback Eric Schneider completed 12 of 19 passes for 97 yards with two interceptions.


Clearfield (1-0) at Penns Valley (1-0)

The Bison open their league schedule with a trip to Spring Mills to play the Rams, who are coming off a 49-6 rout of Fairfield. Clearfield hasn’t lost to Penns Valley since they begin playing it annually in 2007, a streak of 11 straight wins. Last year, the Bison won, 42-12.

The Rams are led by Ryan Ripka and Aaron Tobias. Ripka ran for 180 yards on 11 carries with three TDs last week while Tobias threw for 169 yards and three scores.

The Bison were somewhat balanced offensively and forced four DuBois turnovers last week in a 28-3 win. Quarterback Isaac Rumery threw for 118 yards and ran for 84 yards, having a hand in three touchdowns. Brett Zattoni ran for 68 yards.