LEWISTOWN — When it comes to football, sometimes the original plan of attack is not the best option. In many instances, at one point, an audible is called that could possibly break the game wide open.
On a warm night at Mitchell Field, the Clearfield Bisons decided to call a different kind of audible. Clearfield knew they were going against a very tough defense in the Indian Valley Warriors, so they had to change their game plan early in the game to adapt. The fans in attendance did not see the Bisons like they saw through the first three weeks of the season. There wasn’t much air time for the football, nor a long list of receivers who caught at least one pass.
After struggling early, the Bisons called an audible for the entire game and decided to play old-school football.
On a night where Indian Valley crowned Sarah Wray as their 2010 Homecoming Queen, Clearfield decided to crash the celebration.
A very strong running attack from Derek Morgan and Beau Swales would prove to be the difference-maker as Clearfield overpowered the Indian Valley defense to remain undefeated with a 28-7 victory.
“I’ve been saying all year that our offensive line has been really good, and tonight was a great night to show it.”, head coach Tim Janocko said after the game. “We wanted to control the line of scrimmage, and that’s what they did.”
Control is what they did as the entire Bison squad gained over 200 yards on the ground. Defensively, the Bisons shut down the Warriors’ rushing game, holding them to 66 yards.
For Clearfield, it wasn’t exactly an easy start as, despite holding Indian Valley to a three-and-out on their first drive, their first drive ended in a worse fashion. Quarterback Curtis Frye completed his first two passes, but receiver Andrew Redden lost the handle on the ball trying to escape from Indian Valley tacklers. The Warriors recovered the fumble, and wanted to take advantage quickly.
Not wasting any time, the Warriors dug deep into the play book and decided to do a little trickery. Quarterback Cody Heane lateraled the ball to receiver Cody Wray, who then proceeded to hurl the ball across the field to Zach Hassinger. The ball landed firmly in Hassinger’s hands, and in just 10 seconds the Warriors had the first lead of the game.
It would be the first time that Clearfield was behind all season, but it seemed as though the Bisons turned up the heat after that.
No longer would Clearfield’s Frye decide to make plays through the air. Instead, coach Janocko made the decision to rely on the dynamic run game of Morgan and Swales to wear down the defense. On their final drive of the first quarter, Clearfield used eight plays, seven of which were runs, to move from their own 27 yard-line down the field to the Warrior 3.
On 1st and goal, Morgan punched the ball in for his lone touchdown of the game. Zach Fannin added the extra point to tie the game at seven just before the second quarter.
“I think we really reacted well after the early score and the kids dug in to control the game,” coach Janocko said.
Neither team made much noise entering the second quarter, but Clearfield made a statement on the Warriors’ second drive. The defense would be on the field for nearly six minutes as they would fail to stop Indian Valley twice on third down. But, after 12 plays and nearly 70 yards of effort, the Bisons made a stand on fourth down and took over at their own 22.
In many eyes, the defining drive of the game happened starting right then. With 3:37 left before the break, Morgan and Swales took control as they went right into the heart of the Warrior defense, breaking tackles and getting the extra yards. At the same time, Frye managed to get his passing game going by completing a 28-yard strike to Christian Lezzer. That pass would be the longest of the game, but it wouldn’t be the biggest.
After getting to the Warrior one, the Bisons jumped the snap, and were pushed back five yards. Morgan got two of those yards back on second down, but Frye’s missed pass on the next play left Clearfield in a fourth down situation.
The run game got the Bisons to that point, but a gutsy call to pass the ball on fourth down would be the difference. Frye connected with his go-to target, Derek Danver, just past the goal line for his only passing touchdown of the game. Frye would end the night going 9 for 14 for a hard-earned 120 yards, but his touchdown just before halftime swung momentum strongly in the favor of Clearfield.
“We felt we had to take chances late in the first half. Frye is a great player and he executed really well on that score,” Janocko said of his junior quarterback.
The momentum didn’t leave the Bisons in the second half. In fact, Clearfield made a statement on the kickoff when Swales took the ball at his own 11, found a seam in the middle of the field, and out ran the entire Warrior coverage team for his first touchdown of the game. Fannin’s extra point made it 21-7 just 14 seconds into the second half.
“Our team did a good job on the kickoff return. We’re gonna look at the tape, obviously, and there were some great blocks in there. Beau [Swales] just followed them, and it led to points,” Janocko said.
Indian Valley tried to get their run game going in the second half with Mitch Fultz and Zach Hassinger. But the Bison defense simply would not allow the Warrior duo to get any momentum as they swarmed both players every time they got the ball. Fultz ended the night with only 47 yards on the ground, while Hassinger accounted for only 32.
“Indian Valley has great backs. They are a great team, and we knew that was going to be the key for us. We needed to get control up front,” Janocko said.
The final score of the game came in the fourth quarter with Swales pounding the ball in from 13 yards out with just over six minutes left in the game.
The Warriors drove down the field late to try and score one last time, using the passing game to get yards quickly. They managed to get to the Bison 15 with two seconds left on the clock. But, as a final statement on the game, the Bison defense swarmed on David Yale when he caught the pass at the 5 yard-line, ending the game with a 21-point margin.
Clearfield (4-0) now will return home to the Bison Sports Complex, but they are not resting on their laurels. The schedule just gets tougher according to Janocko.
“There’s no easy game in the Mountain Athletic Conference. Next week we have Central Mountain,” Janocko said after the game with a smile.
There is a good chance his smile will not disappear if his team continues their impressive performances.
See more photos of the game : http://www.clearfieldfootball.org/092410game.html
SCORE BY QUARTERS
1st 2nd 3rd 4th FINAL
CLEARFIELD 7 7 7 7 28
INDIAN VALLEY 7 0 0 0 7
WARRIORS: 50-yard pass from Wray to Hassinger (Heane kick), 10:01
BISONS: 3-yard run by Morgan (Fannin kick), 1:21
BISONS: 4-yard pass from Frye to Danver (Fannin kick), 0:09
BISONS: 89-yard kickoff return by Swales (Fannin kick), 11:46
BISONS: 13-yard run by Swales (Fannin kick), 6:16
FIRST DOWNS: CF-18 IV-9
RUSH YARDS: CF-232 IV-66
PASS YARDS: CF-120 IV-170
PENALTIES: CF-5 IV-1
PENALTY YARDS: CF-45 IV-5
TOTAL YARDS: CF-342 IV-236
TURNOVERS: CF-1 IV-0
FUMBLES: CF-1 IV-0
FUMBLES LOST: CF-1 IV-0
TIME OF POSSESSION: CF-22:02 IV-25:58
Clearfield: Morgan-18 carries, 134 yards, TD; Swales-12 carries, 86 yards, TD; Frye-4 carries, 12 yards
Indian Valley: Fultz-17 carries, 47 yards; Hassinger-9 carries, 32 yards; Yale-1 carry, 1 yard
Clearfield: Frye-9 for 14, 120 yards, TD
Indian Valley: Heane-13 for 22, 120 yards; Wray-1 f0r 1, 50 yards, TD
Clearfield: Danver-3 catches, 33 yards, TD; Morgan-3 catches, 22 yards; Redden-2 catches, 37 yards; Lezzer-1 catch, 28 yards
Indian Valley: Yale-4 catches, 42 yards; Hassinger-3 catches, 61 yards, TD; Fultz-3 catches, 30 yards; Wray-2 catches, 37 yards
|09/03||CENTRAL||42 – 14||1 – 0|
|09/10||BALD EAGLE AREA||49 – 14||2 – 0|
|09/17||@ Penns Valley||35 – 7||3 – 0|
|09/24||@ Indian Valley||28 – 7||4 – 0|