Bobcats Defeat Wolves In Homecoming Match-up (09/29/18)
The Clarion Area Bobcats defeated the Kane Wolves 34-7 on Homecoming, Friday night (September 28th), at Memorial Stadium. The win sets up a battle of unbeaten, 6-0, teams, as the Cats will host Ridgway/Johnsonburg, next Friday (October 5th), in a key match-up in the District Nine League Large School Division.
The Bobcats opened the scoring at 6:21 of the first quarter, when Colton Zacherl used some nice zig-zag moves in running the ball in from 31 yards out. Archer Mills kicked the extra point and Clarion led 7-0.
Then at 1:17 of the opening period, Mills at quarterback faked a hand-off, and then threw a great pass to Sam Minich, who was wide open behind the Kane defenders in the middle of the field. Minich hauled the ball in and cut left, out running the defense for a 67 yard touchdown and Mills was good on the point after, giving the Cats a 14-0 lead.
Mills then hit Ethan Burford, who was behind the defender, on the back left side of the endzone, with a 5 yard scoring strike. With the successful kick, the Cats led 21-0 at 7:29 of the second quarter.
The Cats would score once more before halftime, moving their lead to 27-0. Following some nice blocking by his line, that was outstanding all night, Logan Minich ran through the middle of the Wolves’ defense for a 50 yard score, at 5:02 of the stanza. The extra point was unsuccessful.
Kane would score their only points on the night, when Kevin Scharba had a beautiful catch, getting his feet down just inside the right side of the enzone, on a 12 yard pass from Zuke Smith. Aaron Hottel kicked the extra point and the Bobcats’ lead was cut to 27-7, with 54 seconds left in the half.
The Homecoming festivities were held at halftime, with the Court and their escorts making their way across the field and lining up along the home sideline, while the Clarion Area Marching Band played.
Then last year’s queen Maddie McNamara crowned miss Phylicia Hockman as Clarion Area 2018 Homecoming Queen.
In the third quarter, the Wolves were lined up to punt, but had a bad snap that was recovered by Drew Whren at the Kane 13 yard line. Several plays later, Sam Minich took a pass from Mills down the left side for a 17 yard touchdown, at 8:15. Sam Minich ran for the two point conversion, setting the final at 35-7.
Mills was 8-for-15 passing for 143 yards.. Sam Minich had 97 receiving yards. Logan Minich rushed for 96 yards and Zacherl had five carries for 59 yards.
Cutter Boggess had a fine game returning punts and the defense did their usual stellar job.
(Two Bobcat linemen shared about the reasons for their success against the Wolves)
Tanner Oberlander: In practice all week, we worked on opening up bigger holes; it was just a matter of driving our feet and keeping low and really driving them off the ball. Our outside run game has been there pretty much the whole season, but we really improved on it, I think. Our pass blocking also was phenomenal.
We couldn’t have done it if our running backs didn’t bounce it out with the ball; without that it wouldn’t have been anything. Coach Tack had us driving the sled all week. That taught us how to drive off the ball. We really worked on blocking up the middle, because that’s sort of been our weak point all season. But tonight, I think we really showed up with that.
Tyler Schmader: (It was) just practicing and stuff. Driving off the ball and everything else. Coach Wiser is a pretty coach and Coach Tack taught us how to drive off the ball.
Coach Wiser: Cam Kirkland, former Clarion Area great, has done a great job working with the secondary and the receivers and so forth, tonight. I think that was pretty self evident on the field out there. I’d like him to say a couple of things here about his people. We’re co-offensive coordinators.
Coach Kirkland: This year we’ve got a lot of big play potential, players. Between the Minich’s and Cutter, and Ethan and Drew, we’ve got lots of people who can hit you in different ways. The good and the bad about our offense is that we’ve got a lot of people who can do a lot of things, so we’ve got to run a lot of plays with the right people.
We like to get creative with them, try to get them the ball in open space, try to get them down the field, try to get them in different places to make these big plays for us. It’s been working pretty well. We’ve got an anchor with Archer at quarterback. He’s been making good decisions, getting the ball out, making good throws.
Our line is really coming together. They are starting to click as a unit. They are starting to get their pass protection down. Tonight, we got a big run up the middle for a touchdown. We’re starting to really click. We’ve got a big test next week with Ridgway. That’s going to be a big test for us. So we’re looking forward to that one.
Coach Wiser: He did a great job, talking about the offense. And defensively, we gave the offense some good field position. And holding them to only seven points was really outstanding. We got some great sacks. We got good pressure on the quarterback. It wasn’t all blitzing. Skylar Rhoades came in. He’s new, playing at defensive end. He put that last sack on. It was a hit and a half. So I’m pretty pleased there.
We gave up the one big pass. He threw it up there and the kid came down with it.
On special teams, Archer continues to do a good job getting good field position for us and Cutter, I’m so pleased with his punt receiving. I feel confident with him back there catching punts and making good decisions about when not to catch it, when to fair catch it, and when to catch it and run. He’s done an outstanding job.
We were not error free tonight. We want to come out on Monday and become a better football team. That’s what we will be looking for.
It’s Homecoming weekend. So hopefully, the kids have a safe weekend and enjoy it.
(Congratulations Bobcats!!!! Let’s defeat Ridgway/Johnsonburg!!!!)