BROCKWAY – -Having already been tested early in the season, the Clearfield Bison were slowly getting their identity as to what kind of team they will be. As the midway point of the year hit, their identity is becoming easier to see. The 2015 squad will do damage, but will do so in all aspects. Whether offense, defense, or special teams, this team has shown they are strong and can be victorious in all area of the game.
Already having shown they can win at home, coupled with a strong road win two weeks ago, the Bison were back on the road to pay a visit to Brockway, a stadium they are familiar with after having won a few District IX championships on that turf. This time, though, they would don the white jerseys as they would play the visitors to the undefeated Brockway Rovers.
At the end of the night, part of that last sentence was no more. The Bison would slow the game down, chipping away at the clock, but pounding the ball right in the heart of the Rovers. The offense would score points, the defense would force turnovers, and the special teams would yield a better field position margin.
It would be too much for the Rovers as they would suffer their first defeat of the year, falling 28-7 to the Bison.
“Our defense played a heck of a game on the road. We’ve come up big on the road against two great teams, first against Central and tonight. We just played extremely well both times,” head coach Tim Janocko said afterward. “We did it against a really good defense. I give credit to our kids. They (Brockway) are big as advertised.”
Although the rushing game for Clearfield again would be led by Seth Caldwell, finishing with 123 yards on 29 carries, it was Cody Spaid who got in on the act this time. His night began strong as he would go 3-for-4 in the first two drives, and culminating an 11-play drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone at the 4:45 mark in the first quarter. Josh Serena’s extra point would put Clearfield up 7-0, something Brockway hasn’t seen all year, especially at home.
“He’s a big kid. He’s not going to beat you outside, but once he gets going up the middle, he’s tough to bring down,” Janocko said of his quarterback.
Not to be outdone, Spaid’s second touchdown of the night came not from his feet, but his right arm. He would throw a strike to Ryan Lezzer in the second quarter, followed up by the quick moves of the wide out, giving Clearfield a second touchdown on the night. Another extra point made it 14-0 heading into halftime. Up until that moment, the Rovers had only yielded 21 combined points in the first four weeks of action, and then found themselves in an early hole after giving up 14 in two quarters of play.
The third quarter would see no scoring from either side, however it would see the Bison chip away at the clock. Clearfield would use both the run and the pass to wear down the defense, executing long drives that would encompass a lot of plays, one of which went 18 snaps. That drive would not amount to any score as Spaid would throw his lone interception of the game.
What made the drives sustain is the run game, but Clearfield added in the draw to Caldwell, which made it a challenge for the Rovers to defend when Clearfield gave a look as if they were passing.
“We just put that in this week. We were rolling out a lot, defenses were overcompensating for where Lezzer was so we figured to catch them off guard to send it back the other way,” Janocko said.
Lezzer would come up big once again to start the fourth quarter as he would get the hand off on a jet sweep that would take him eight yards into the end zone. Another boot by Serena would give the Bison a 21-0 lead, stunning the home crowd.
On the ensuing drive though, the Bison would falter. After a strong kickoff, Brockway would use both a fumble out of bounds along with a controversial late hit call on an incomplete pass to drive deep into Bison territory.
Quarterback Hunter Miller, who had not seen a lot of success all night long, finally hit pay dirt when he connected with Troy O’Brien for the 18-yard touchdown pass.
The extra point made it 21-7.
The biggest defensive play that ultimately sealed the fate for Brockway was on a 2nd-and-10 in their own territory. Miller fell back deep to pass and the ball seemed to float a bit in the air, leading to Lezzer to make yet another strong play on the interception, the third that Miller would throw on the night.
The ensuing drive would put the nail in the game as Spaid would use his big 6′ 6″ frame to plow into the end zone, and Serena’s extra point sealed the final score.
Clearfield ended the undefeated season for the Rovers, but afterward when both teams knelt on the field together to give thanks in a post-game prayer, it was a kind gesture. Janocko said that he enjoys playing against Brockway, whether at home or on the road, because of how well coached they are.
“When you want to beat a team like this, at their place, you have to bring your defense and play great special teams,” Janocko said. “Our punting was great, we covered well, made all our extra points; you have to do all those things to win.
“We made some big plays right when we needed to. Our offense put up 28 points against a good defense. Another good win on the road.”
Now at 4-1, the Bison continue their road trip as they travel to Bellefonte next Friday night.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Clearfield 7 7 0 14 – 28
Brockway 0 0 0 7 – 7
BISON: 1-yard run by Spaid (Serena kick), 4:45
BISON: 20-yard pass from Spaid to Lezzer (Serena kick), 0:56
BISON: 8-yard run by Lezzer (Serena kick), 11:46
ROVERS: 18-yard pass from Miller to O’Brien (Esposito kick), 9:45
BISON: 4-yard run by Spaid (Serena kick), 1:28
First Downs: 18/7
Rush Yards: 211/49
Pass Yards: 115/103
Total Yards: 326/152
Time of Possession: 27:01/20:59
Clearfield: Caldwell-29 carries, 123 yards; Spaid-11 carries, 57 yards, 2 TD; Lezzer-4 carries, 27 yards, TD; Rumery-3 carries, 5 yards; Team-1 carry (-1) yards.
Brockway: O’Brien-12 carries, 19 yards; Miller-5 carries, 30 yards; Latuska-2 carries, 3 yards; Lecates-1 carry, (-3) yards.
Clearfield: Spaid-10 for 20, 115 yards, TD, INT.
Brockway: Miller-13 for 22, 103 yards, TD, 3 INT.
Clearfield: Lezzer-5 catches, 35 yards, TD; Caldwell-2 catches, 26 yards; Wingate-1 catch, 32 yards; Norris-1 catch 13 yards; Ogden-1 catch, 7 yards.
Brockway: Lecates-4 catches, 40 yards; Trunzo-4 catches, 25 yards; Gorham-3 catches, 19 yards; O’Brien-1 catch, 18 yards, TD; Elias-1 catch, 1 yard.
|09/04||FORT HILL, MD||14 – 49||0 – 1|
|09/11||PENNS VALLEY||42 – 18||1 – 1|
|09/18||@ Central||19 – 8||2 – 1|
|09/25||HUNTINGDON||50 – 23||3 – 1|
|10/02||@ Brockway||28 – 7||4 – 1|
|10/23||BALD EAGLE AREA|