Bobcat Gridders Down Redbank To Move To 6-0 (10/07/17)
The Clarion Area Bobcat team downed homestanding Redbank Valley 35-7, on Thursday night October 5th, to move to 6-0 on the 2017 KSAC football season.
The Cats were playing with star running back Colton Rapp, on the sideline with an injury. So it was up to other backs, who have proven themselves capable of strong play, to carry more of the load and those players didn’t disappoint.
The Minich brothers, Logan and Sam along with Brendan Zerfoss were big contributors, out of the backfield.
The Bobcats opened up a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, when on first and ten from the Clarion forty-eight , quarterback Spencer Miller rolled right and hit a wide open Logan Minich at the Redbank Valley forty. Minich ran down the right sideline and was knocked out of bounds at the two. Logan Minich ran the ball up the middle, on the next play, following some good blocking for the score. Archer Mills, who was successful on all five of his extra point attempts, connected and the Cats led 7-0.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, through the half.
The third quarter saw the Bobcats move their lead to 21-0, with two more scores. Logan Minich took a pitch from Miller, with 4:05 left, and found a seam in the right side of the line and cut it in for a 22 yard score. Then after stopping the Bulldogs short, on a fake punt, Clarion took over at the Redbank Valley forty-five, with 2:25 left in the half. The Cats were stopped for no gain on first down. Then Zerfoss took a hand off around right end, untouched as he outran everyone for the touchdown, at 1:35.
Redbank’s next possession, resulted in their lone score of the game. Clint Thurston, who was very impressive with his combination of power and speed, had consecutive runs of 26 and 27 yards. After a pass fell incomplete. Thurston gained 6 more yards, to end the quarter. He then ran the ball in from the seven, with 11:56 remaining in the game. Thurston kicked the PAT and the score was now 21-7, Bobcats. Thurston, who had 154 yards on 20 carries, went over the 1000 yard mark, in the game.
Keeven Weaver received the ensuing kickoff and ran the ball all the way from 91 yards out, but the the play was called back, due to a penalty. Two plays later, Zerfoss took a hand off from Miller, and going off tackle to the right, he found a nice hole and with after following some fine blocking, was able to outrun everyone for a 90 yard touchdown. With Mills’ extra point, the Bobcats led 28-7, with 11:25 left.
Logan Minich recovered a Bulldog fumble at the Redbank nineteen and after a five yard penalty, the Cats went to their signature style of play, driving down the middle of the field behind some great line surge. The drive was capped by a one yard run by Sam Minich, with 8:50 left setting the final at 35-7, Clarion.
The Bobcats had 409 total yards on the night, with 358 coming on the ground. Redbank Valley had 205 yards of offense, with 157 coming on the ground.
Zerfoss had 140 yards on just three carries. Logan Minich had 128 yards, on 24 carries and also the 54 yard catch. Sam Minich had the one touchdown and on defense had an interception, caused a fumble and recovered it. Zak Bauer had seven tackles. Jacob Selker had two pancake blocks. Miller had nine tackles.
The Bobcats will face Karns City at Memorial Stadium, for Homecoming, next Friday (October 13th), in a game with big implications for the KSAC Big School Division title. With a win, and a win against St. Mary’s the Cat’s will own the title outright.
After the congratulatory handshakes, the teams joined at midfield for 22 pushups, to bring to light the issue of 22 veterans on average, commit suicide each day, due to post-traumatic stress disorder. For more information go to: www.mission22.com
Logan Minich: First off, we had to come out hard for this game. With Colton out we knew, everybody’s going to have to step up, do their part. I wanted to come in and run behind the line, that did a great job opening up holes for me. I was just able to cut through the line. We had a lot of guys run great. We scored a lot of points as a team. Our defense played well and shut down their offense for the most part.
Clint Thurston definitely did a good job running the ball hard. He was definitely the hardest part to stop. But everybody stuck to their jobs and stayed inside on them, shutting down their holes up the middle.
Brendan Zerfoss: Overall we all played well. Everyone had a good week. Everyone had good blocks…, good everything. Overall, as a team performance, everyone did their role. Everyone got us a win.
(On his nice runs) That was a big part due to the blocking. I remember on the first one, I can still see it in my head, Archer Mills turned a kid out and opened up a huge hole around the outside. That basically got me the score. The second one: I just followed Colt Stimmell a lot of the way and then just broke it out off of him when he was driving a kid back fifteen or twenty yards. Those are definitely big, huge blocks along with rest of the line blocking.
Everyone had the need to step up. Obviously Colton is one of the biggest parts of our offense. Everyone knew they had to step up for this game. Everyone did their job, especially with having the short week. Overall everyone did awesome.
Lineman Seth Nellis: Pretty much, it was just everyone just did their job plugging the holes, making sure they couldn’t stop our running game. We had a little trouble in the first half, but we adjusted and we were able to get the ball downfield (in the second half). Logan, Sam, Cam (Boggess) and Spencer did a real good job. And I have to give it to our linebackers, Bauer up there. Our ends, Stimmell, Wurster and Selker did a good job stopping outside runs.
Coach Larry Wiser: I want to start with special teams play. Archer has done such a great job getting his kickoffs downfield, getting them down inside the twenty yard line. The defense came up big again. We had a key interception at a point in the game when we needed it, to start taking the game out of reach. That was huge. We did a good job against one of the better running teams in the league. We haven’t seen many of their running formations before.
Offensively, the line continued to do a great job opening up holes. We were able to make adjustments, to some of the things Redbank Valley was doing defensively, at halftime. I give credit to offensive line coach Nate McClaine. We made little adjustments on some plays that ended up being big plays for us, scores in the second half: Brendan, the fastest guy in D9; Logan stepping in and replacing Colton. Logan did a great job coming in last week and he did a great job this week.
And Redbank’s Thurston is obviously a great runner. He hurt us last year. He and Colton are two different kinds of runners. But no question he’s the real deal.
Overall, I want to complement my team. We got busy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday preparing for a short week. We put little quirks in, which is hard to do on a short week. The kids were focused for the most part.
The only negative I take from tonight are all the penalties. I’m sure Waz (Coach Wasilowski) felt the same way too. Redbank had a number of penalties also. But it was a great game, Thursday night. I’m happy our kids get to enjoy the next three days. I appreciate Redbank playing the game today, for our kids and our community (ALF Celebration).
I also appreciate Waz and his team coming in and participating in the Mission 22 pushups at the end of the game. David Hartley has organized this on a local level. Whatever we can do to draw attention to this veteran’s cause… 22 veteran suicides a day is way too many. That needs to change. My dad was a vet and I know he would do anything he could to accentuate this cause. I hope more people’s attention will be drawn to this cause. Our kids are doing it for 22 days and maybe more.