Week one in football is meant to work out some of the bugs in order to get a feel for the game, and also see where improvements need to be made. Whether it’s a win or a loss, teams tend to improve for the second game.
Friday night, the Clearfield Bisons and the Bald Eagle Area Eagles will see how their changes from last week’s games will work.
Clearfield enters it’s second week of competition off a 27-20 victory over Central, one that saw the team overcome two early turnovers to put forth a second half of ground-and-pound football to get the team the first win of the season. The ground game has always been strong for the Bisons, however it needed to be in the victory over the Dragons.
Leading the charge that night was Beau Swales, who started his senior season with 182 yards on the ground and one touchdown. He was the “workhorse,” as coach Tim Janocko said last week. He is going to be leaned on again for sure this Friday night against the Eagles if the foul weather that is predicted is true.
At the same time, quarterback Curtis Frye could use his legs just as easily as Swales, as he scored the other rushing touchdown last week. But, his arm made a big difference. His 122 passing yards, despite hitting on just five completions, were huge as his two touchdowns that came from it were both deep balls that were right where only his receiver could catch it.
Do not be surprised if the Bisons try to get some of a passing game going in the game, but if the rushing attack is working, it could be more of an old-school, smash-mouth contest.
Defensively, the Bisons will have to be well aware of the Eagles as they are facing a very balanced offensive attack from Bald Eagle Area. This team had 111 yards rushing and 113 passing against Springfield Township, despite losing the game 30-14.
The leading rusher last week for the Eagles was Cody Ripka, who had 10 carries for 84 yards. The senior running back should get the bulk of the rushes again this week, but Clearfield will need to be prepared after giving up a 50-yard opening play against Central. Yet, the Eagles also had eight other players run during the game last week, showing their versatility in the backfield.
When looking at the passing attack, the Eagles bring two quarterbacks that are equally impressive, both figuratively and literally. Cody Long and Jeffery Koleno went three for five last week, with Koleno having the higher yardage (57 compared to Long’s 54), but Long had the lone passing touchdown.
In many aspects, this could be a very close game for both the Bisons and the Eagles, especially with the game being early in the season. Both teams are coming off very strong performances, with different results, and are wanting improvement. This could lead to a very interesting game, especially with the way the weather is predicted to be the rest of the week. With Centre County declaring a disaster emergency due to the flooding caused by the rain already this week, field conditions are expected to be slick on the turf at the Bald Eagle Area High School.
This will certainly hinder both teams in some aspects, especially when it comes to passing the football, so this is a true test for both teams on Friday night.
Fans should prepare for the weather as they travel to Wingate for Friday’s game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
|27 – 20
|1 – 0
|@ Bald Eagle Area
|@ Central Mountain
|@ Hamburg Area