PHILIPSBURG — All season, the Clearfield Bison have been able to find some success on the gridiron. They have won keeping it old-school, pounding the ball down and relying on their line to make holes. What has been missing is the passing game, but it wasn’t that it was nonexistent. A week ago, the passes made were strong, but just were not caught.
All that changed when the Bison went on the road against the Philipsburg-Osceola Mounties. A night that saw the offensive line create gaps for the running game also protected well, allowing quarterback Will Domico to have a perfect night en route to a 55-0 rout of P-O.
“We came out on all cylinders tonight and played well,” Bison head coach Tim Janocko said afterwards. “We’re getting better every week, and we’ve really been working on our passing game. Will had a big night, our receivers caught the ball and ran good routes. Everyone contributed tonight.”
Fans that came out, at least on the Clearfield side, did not have to wait long to see what the Bison passing attack would look like. Following an 11-yard run by Carter Chamberlain, Domico showed he had an arm, and his receivers had the hands. He would look to his left, finding Jacob Samsel all alone in the secondary for a 51-yard strike to put the first score on the board not even a minute into the game. Even with the missed extra point, the 6-0 lead invigorated the sideline, and at that point the Bison were rolling.
Rolling so much that the Bison scored another three times in the remaining part of the quarter. After a three-and-out by P-O, Clearfield capped off a quick drive that started at their own 22 when Brady Collins broke loose into the secondary on a 51-yard handoff that went directly to the end zone. The two-point conversion was good and suddenly it was 14-0 with seven minutes remaining.
Clearfield’s third score only took one play, as Domico caught Carter Freeland over the middle, and he was gone for a 69-yard bomb. Just over four minutes later, he connected with Samsel for a second time in the quarter, this time a 41-yard bomb that took the entire breath out of the grandstand at Mountaineer Field.
In one quarter, the Bison put up 28 points, and Domico’s big night started with nearly 175 yards passing in just 12 minutes.
Domico’s night through the air continued in the second quarter, connecting on a 29-yard pass to Freeland yet again. The extra point put the score 35-0, guaranteeing a running clock in the second half.
To cap off an absolutely perfect first half, Domico and Samsel hooked up for a third time just before the whistle on another 29-yard strike, a play that looked to be stopped just past the 15 of the Mounties. But, Samsel juked, jived, and left every P-O defender in his wake to finish off the Clearfield passing game. In one half, Domico went a perfect 8-for-8, tossing for 244 yards, and five scores. The Bison put up nearly 400 yards of offense in the first half alone, giving them an easy ride in the remaining 24 minutes with a running clock.
“I was really happy with our passing game. That is something we’ve been working on, and it certainly showed tonight,” Janocko said.
The second half for Clearfield with the running clock was an opportunity to get his veteran players a chance to rest and give the younger players a chance to get in some experience. Before those younger players got on the field, Carter Chamberlain got in on the scoring as he took a 13-yard handoff from Domico, after he rumbled for 40 yards the play prior, to get into the end zone, the second rushing touchdown of the night. As Evan Davis hit the extra point to make it 48-0, the entire first team starters for Clearfield took a seat and let the underclassmen bring the game to a conclusion.
The younger talent certainly looked to have things well in control as they would run and grind for nearly the entire fourth quarter, including seeing Caden Bell break loose for a 49-yard rumble just after the quarter began to put the finishing touch on the scoring.
“It’s huge to get our younger kids on the field. Everyone got to play tonight, and everyone contributed,” Janocko said of his second-team offense and defense. “The kids are excited; they work hard all week too, so it’s nice to be able to do that for them.”
Clearfield (3-1) is back home next week, and it’s a big night as homecoming festivities are expected to bring in a big crowd. With the Alumni Band in attendance, Janocko wants to have a strong performance against a tough opponent.
“Next week is a tough one. It’s going to be a big night, because Penns Valley is going to be tough,” he said.
The Rams are coming off their first loss of the season, 42-27, against Bald Eagle, making it a pair of one-loss teams trying to keep pace in the Mountain League. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Bison Sports Complex, with homecoming festivities and the crowning of this year’s queen coming at halftime.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Clearfield 28 13 7 7 – 55
Philipsburg-Osceola 0 0 0 0 – 0
- BISON: 51-yard pass from Domico to Samsel (Davis kick Wide Left), 11:14
- BISON: 51-yard run by Collins (Domico pass to Knee), 7:03
- BISON: 69-yard pass from Domico to Freeland (Davis kick), 4:53
- BISON: 41-yard pass from Domico to Samsel (Davis kick), 0:54
- BISON: 29-yard pass from Domico to Freeland (Davis kick), 11:33
- BISON: 29-yard pass from Domico to Samsel (Davis kick Short), 0:46
- BISON: 13-yard run by Chamberlain (Davis kick), 7:48
- BISON: 49-yard run by Bell (Davis kick), 10:28
- First Downs: 12/7
- Rush Yards: 252/61
- Pass Yards: 244/57
- Total Yards: 496/118
- Penalties-Yards: 4-35/1-15
- Turnovers: 0/2
- Time of Possession: 21:15/26:45
- Clearfield: Collins-9 carries, 118 yards, TD; Chamberlain-6 carries, 73 yards, TD; Ryan-6 carries, 33 yards; Bell-2 carries, 52 yards, TD; Curry-2 carries, 3 yards; Lazauskas-1 carry, 18 yards; Domico-1 carry, 10 yards; Team-1 carry, (-2) yards.
- P-O: Jones-10 carries, 40 yards; Gustkey-9 carries, (-3) yards; Snyder-6 carries, 14 yards; Barger-3 carries, 9 yards; McDonald-1 carry, 1 yard.
- Clearfield: Domico-8 for 8, 244 yards, 5 TD.
- P-O: Gustkey-4 for 16, 57 yards, INT.
- Clearfield: Samsel-4 catches, 124 yards, 3 TD; Freeland-3 catches, 114 yards, 2 TD; Chamberlain-1 catch, 6 yards.
- P-O: Prestash-3 catches, 41 yards; Snyder-1 catch, 16 yards.