Bobcats Down Kane In Thriller To Win D9 AA Title (11/13/17)
The Clarion Area Bobcats are the 2017 District Nine Class AA Champions!
The Cats downed the Kane Wolves 28-21, on Friday (November 10th) at Brockway, to win their first Class AA championship to go along with four their Class A Championships. Clarion ended Kane’s streak of three straight championships, in a rematch of last season’s title game, won by the Wolves, 21-14. The win also snapped the Wolve’s District Nine win streak at 39 games. A great run by Kane’s class program.
Clarion jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Spencer Miller intercepted Kane’s first pass of the game and the Cat’s marched down the field from the opponent’s 34 yard line. Miller capped the drive with a 26 yard run. Archer Mills’ kick made the score 7-0, with 7:15 left in the quarter.
Later in the quarter Miller passed to Clayton Adams for a 3 yard touchdown, at 1:38. The kick was successful and the Cats led 14-0 headed to the second quarter. A key play in the drive was a 33 yard run by Miller.
The score held until 2:13 of the second, with Wolves’ quarterback Reed Williams tossing for a 9 yard touchdown to Jake Alcorn. Aaron Hottel kicked the extra point and the Bobcat lead was cut to 14-7.
The Wolves’ J. T. Stewart intercepted a pass, with just under a minute left in the half. Several plays later,Williams hit Stewart for an 11 yard score with just under three and a half seconds left on the clock. The two point conversion failed and the Cats led by just one 14-13, headed into halftime.
Clarion increased their lead to 21-13, when Logan Minich scored on a 24 yard run, with 5:05 left in the third and Mills converted on the PAT. But Williams threw for his third TD on the night, hitting Stewart again, from 4 yards out. Hottel kicked the extra point and the score was knotted at 21-all, with 2:20 left in the third.
Clarion would score what would prove to be the winning touchdown with 2:42 left in the game, when Sam Minich followed some great blocking from his line on a 4 yard scoring run. Mills was successful again and the score stood at 28-21.
Kane made one last effort to tie or win the game. They drove to the Clarion 16. But a fourth down pass, was knocked down by Logan Minich, to seal the victory.
Miller had a super night, going 10-for-16, through the air, for 75 yards and the touchdown, running for 105 yards on 8 carries and recording 15 tackles and the interception on defense. Logan Minich also put up some nice numbers, rushing for 72 yards on 10 carries and catching three passes for 26 yards. Brendan Zerfoss had 4 carries for 37 yards. Colton Rapp ran for 27 yards and had two catches for 19 yards.
Zak Bauer had another very solid outing. He registered 2 pancake blocks from his O-line position and on defense, he had 14 tackles, 4 of them for loss. He also recovered a pass. Thomas Wurster had 10 tackles, two for loss, including a sack. Nick Porciello had 5 tackles, 3 for loss, including 2 sacks. And Colt Stimmell had 6 tackles, one for loss.
The Bobcats will now face Chestnut Ridge, on Friday (November 17th) at 7:30PM at Windbur, in the State quarterfinal.
Jacob Selker: Kane played a really solid game against us. We practiced pretty hard all week. We got off to a slow start, in the first half. But we really came together, played for each other in the second half and started to move guys using each other for fuel. Props to Kane. It was a really great game. We put a lot of work and effort and the outcome was the right outcome in my mind.
We’ll work hard this week to play (Chestnut Ridge) on Friday.
Sam Minich: It’s truly amazing. We had a great game all year. Winning the District championship is a major step. We’re still ready to go. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep moving the ball. I just want to say that the team has been working hard all year and the fans mean a lot to us. The louder they are, the more hyped we get.
Coach Larry Wiser: I want to mention what I talked about to the kids: how proud I was going into this game, regardless of what the outcome was. Number one, going undefeated was really something. That’s not to be minimalized. Also winning the KSAC Large, which was our first time in school history and on top of that, these kids were were the team to bring home the 500th win in school history, there’s a lot of good things surrounding these guys. This is the first team to win a District Nine AA title.
Coming in we knew Kane was going to be tough. They do a lot of different things offensively and defensively. Again, what they did up there, AML champs, District Nine champs the last three years, they’ve been here, they’ve been in the driver’s seat. For us, it’s been four years since we’ve been in the driver’s seat.
It wasn’t a perfect game, by any stroke of the imagination, which you sometimes come to expect playing a team the caliber of Kane. I’d like to clean up the penalties before the next game. Kudos to our kids. They did it when it mattered. It was pretty exciting for the fans. From a coach’s standpoint, stopping that last Kane drive especially when it was fourth and five, was big. Our defensive backs did a good job of knocking off their timing.
We won the title. I’m really proud of our coaches. They worked hard all week, getting ready for this game. Like I said we have things we need to fix. But we’re going to enjoy the heck out of this title over the weekend here.
(Thanks to Bri Nellis and Bri Nellis Photography for her photo. CONGRATULATIONS BOBCAT GRIDDERS. LET’S GO CATS!!!!)