Photo info: Punxsutawney’s Perry Arrington leads the Chucks into their 100th meeting against DuBois Friday. Photo by Don Long. www.long.fototime.com.
By Rich Rhoades
Celebrating Autumn Leaf Festival Week in Clarion County, four county schools are heading to the football field a day early with two Thursday night games.
In Knox, the 0-4 Keystone Panthers host the 3-1 Clarion Bobcats while 4-0 Redbank Valley entertains 2-2 Union in New Bethlehem.
It’s two of 13 games on the Week 5 schedule, the other 11 games all set for Friday night. And it’s an important division/conference week as the Allegheny Mountain League enters divisional play while the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference has five games, including the two KSAC-Small School Division games Thursday night.
The Bobcats dropped their showdown at Karns City last week, 16-6, ending a 23-game regular-season winning streak dating back to their last loss, a Week 10 setback to the same Gremlins in 2011. They’ll face a winless Panthers squad on a seven-game losing streak, their last win a Week 7 victory over A-C Valley last year.
Clarion averages nearly 300 yards per game rushing, led by Ian Corbett’s 412 yards and nine touchdowns. Freshman Colton Rapp has 262 yards and four scores.
Keystone quarterback Bryce Altman has passed for 388 yards and rushed for 129 yards.
The Bobcats have beaten the Panthers six straight times — four by Mercy Rule margins — since last losing to them 30-7 back in 2007.
It’s the 79th meeting between the Bulldogs and Knights and it’s a key KSAC-Small game considering the winning team keeps pace with the favored Bobcats at the top of the division. And it’s Homecoming Night for the Bulldogs as well as they’re trying to go 5-0 for the first time since 2008.
Both quarterbacks are off to strong starts. The Bulldogs’ Jake Dougherty has passed for 888 yards and 13 touchdowns while the Knights’ Lane Cicciarelli has thrown for 592 yards and seven touchdowns.
Here’s a look at Friday’s other games:
Clarion-Limestone (0-4) at A-C Valley (0-4)
The Lions have an eight-game losing streak while the Falcons have lost 16 straight games, so something has to give.
Karns City (4-0) at Moniteau (4-0)
The Butler County rivals clash in a key division matchup. The Gremlins, now the No. 1 team in District 9 according to the latest First Commonwealth Bank/D9Sports.com rankings, are also No. 7 in the state in Class AA according to the Pennsylvania Football News.
Tristan Rhoades paces a deep Gremlins offense with 312 yards rushing. The Gremlins run average 279 yards rushing per game as Christian Turner has gained 185 yards. The quarterback tandem of Caleb King (425 yards, 3 TDs) and Cody Deal (208 yards, 1 TD) has combined to pass for 633 yards and four scores.
The Warriors feature the district’s top rusher in Josh McBride, who’s run for 884 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Cody Skiver isn’t far behind with 589 yards and six touchdowns. He’s passed for 103 yards as the Warriors are run-heavy this year.
St. Marys (3-1) at Brookville (1-3)
The Raiders host the Dutch on their Homecoming Night. Both teams were blasted by Karns City — the Raiders 60-6 and the Dutch 42-0 — while the Dutch’s three wins have come against winless A-C Valley, Keystone and Bradford. The Raiders haven’t played any of those teams yet with their lone win coming against Union with other losses coming to Punxsutawney and unbeaten Redbank Valley.
The Dutch have the running game as their bread and butter once again as T.J. Hogan (307 yards) and Kyle Glatt (263 yards) leading the way. For the Raiders, Jonah Sampson has run for 251 yards. Quarterback Bobby McGranor has passed for 442 yards.
The Raiders have beaten the Dutch five straight times at home dating back to their last loss in 2000.
Otto-Eldred (0-4) at Coudersport (0-4)
Seth Drummond continues to be the workhorse for the Terrors with 512 of the team’s 791 yards from scrimmage — 348 rushing, 164 receiving.
The Falcons continue to struggle with just two touchdowns this year. Quarterback Jared Green has passed for 164 yards, with most of that going to receiver Nevada Waterman (7 catches, 148 yards).
Common opponent look: Curwensville beat Coudersport (35-6) and Otto-Eldred (34-12), Brockway beat Coudersport (48-0) and Otto-Eldred (33-13) and Ridgway beat Coudersport (42-6) and Otto-Eldred (28-7).
Port Allegany (0-4) at Cameron County (0-4)
Common opponent look: Kane beat Cameron County (13-0) and Port Allegany (42-6). Curwensville also beat Cameron County (43-13) and Port Allegany (48-16).
Sheffield (0-4) at Smethport (1-3)
Common opponent look: Kane beat Sheffield (32-18) and Smethport (42-6), Elk County Catholic beat Sheffield (50-23) and Smethport (53-6).
Kane (4-0) at Ridgway (4-0)
John English keys the Wolves’ offense with 584 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Quarterback Jack Kocjancic has passed for 388 yards and three scores.
Elkers quarterback Ben MacDonald leads his team’s running game with 348 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 254 yards and six touchdowns. Cole Myers (344 yards) and J.P. Cerroni (242 yards) also help with the running game.
Elk Co. Catholic (4-0) at Curwensville (4-0)
Golden Tide freshman Nick Stewart has rushed for 548 yards and seven touchdowns while Hunter Johnson has 222 yards and six touchdowns. Quarterback Jakob Terry has thrown for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
Crusaders quarterback Mitchell Smith leads the running game with 430 yards and nine touchdowns while throwing for 308 yards and six TDs.
DuBois (2-2) at Punxsutawney (3-1)
The Beavers head south on Route 119 anxious to end a two-game losing streak and take on the Chucks for the 100th time. The series has DuBois ahead 63-33-3 and it’s been continuous since 1923. Previous year preview stories had the series total incorrect.
Beavers quarterback Gabe French threw for 306 yards in last week’s 51-21 blowout loss to Cathedral Prep with his third straight two-interception game. He’s at 1,210 yards passing for the season, hiking his career total to 5,579 yards and into fourth place on the district’s all-time passing list. Next up is Clearfield’s Chad Kroell at 6,088 yards.
Devin Clark has rushed for 408 yards for the Beavers while Bryson Paulinellie has caught 25 passes for 376 yards and five scores. Paulinellie is now over 2,000 career yards receiving at 2,072 yards on 127 catches and 29 touchdowns.
Cole Kriner has 17 catches for 355 yards and four touchdowns.
The Chucks have a trio of key players as well offensively as running back Perry Arrington has rushed for 546 yards and five touchdowns. Quarterback Dakota Thomas has thrown for 506 yards and seven TDs while receiver Braxton Giaviadoni has caught 16 passes for 418 yards and six TDs.
Brockway (4-0) at Clearfield (2-2)
The last time the Rovers and Bison met was in 2006 when the Rovers won a tight one, 24-21, despite Clearfield leading 21-0 before the end of the first quarter. It’s the only meeting between the teams until this year.
So the second time around could be an interesting matchup as both teams feature balanced offenses. The Rovers have passed for 700 yards and rushed for 732. Quarterback Braden Martini has completed 32 of 50 passes for 434 yards with five touchdowns. Anthony Benson has rushed for 265 yards and caught 13 passes for 205 yards. Mike Martino has rushed for 206 yards while Anthony Isabella has caught 15 passes for 258 yards.
The Bison — 797 yards rushing, 624 passing — are led by quarterback Cody Spaid, who has passed for 556 yards and five touchdowns. Seth Caldwell and Erik Sellers have rushed for 399 and 308 yards respectively. Spaid’s top receiver is Ryan Lezzer, who has 14 catches for 314 yards.
Central Tech (4-0) at Bradford (0-4)
It doesn’t get any easier for the Owls at home this week as unbeaten Central Tech comes to town. Tech beat Meadville at home last week, 58-26. Meadville dropped the Owls the week before, 42-21.