Bobcat Gridders Down Warriors In Historic Home Game (09/02/19)
(Above Photo: Bobcats Cal German, Ben Smith and Ethan Burford have been casting some big shadows on the gridiron, with their play so far this season. They each contributed Cat Quotes at the bottom of the article.)
The Clarion Area Bobcat Football Team hosted the Moniteau Warriors, at the Clarion-Limestone Field, on Friday (August 30th), in an historic game. This was the first home game for the newly formed three school co-op, it was the first game with the combined bands, playing together for the Cats. It was a night when Clarion-Limestone celebrated the Fifty Years of C-L Lions Football history.
And when the final whistle sounded, with a 42-8 win, it was this year’s group of young men, who could lay claim to being the ones who brought home the 225th career win for Coach Wiser.
The Bobcats first scoring drive started, when the Moniteau’s punter kneeled while receiving the snap, with 7:12 left in the first quarter, at their own 23 yard line, giving the Cats possession right there.
On the Cats’ first play, Austin Newcomb was bottled up by a group of Warriors in the middle of the field. He found a big opening to the right, and bounced outside and ran the ball down the sideline for the touchdown, with 6:51 left in the quarter. The Cats failed on an attempted pass from the Swinging Gate formation, for the two-point conversion, leaving Clarion with a 6-0 lead.
Neither team scored the rest of the first quarter, but the Cats got things moving big time in the second, putting up twenty-nine more points, before halftime.
At the 9:49 mark, Bobcat signal caller Cal German had a pass tipped by a defender at about the ten, that wound up in Newcomb’s hands, who took it in for a 22 yard touchdown. Newcomb ran for the conversion, making the score 14-0, Clarion.
German then found Ethan Burford with a 55 yard scoring pass, with 4:16 on the clock. Burford was streaking down the left sideline and was just beyond the defender and hauled the ball in at about the twenty-three. He cut to the middle of the field and ran to paydirt. With Beau Verdill’s extra point kick, the Cats led 21-0.
German hooked up with Newcomb again, this time at 2:41. Newcomb lined up at receiver, and ran straight down the middle of the field beyond the defenders. German laid the ball in perfectly, hitting Newcomb in stride, for a 35 yard touchdown. That play, combined withVerdill’s PAT, moved the score to 28-0, Cats.
The Bobcats weren’t done yet. With fifty-five seconds left, strong safety Colton Zacheral recovered a Moniteau fumble at the Clarion 16 yard line.
Forty seconds later, German connected with Burford on a 73 yard touchdown pass play. Verdill put the kick through the uprights, giving Clarion a 35-0 lead which set up the Mercy Rule running clock for the second half.
Clarion would score once more in the game, when Newcomb ran the ball in on a three yard run around right end, with 7:12 left in the third. Verdill was good on the PAT and the Cats led 42-0.
The drive began on a 45 yard pass from German to Hunter Craddock, followed by consecutive first down runs by Zacherl, Newcomb and Zacherl again.
Moniteau dented the scoreboard, with 3:39 left in the game, with running back Nick Martino carrying the ball in from three yards. The Warriors scored a two-point conversion when Ethan McDeavitt picked up the ball and ran it in after a bad snap, setting the 42-8 final.
The Clarion had a great night, dominating both sides of the ball. The defense looked solid all night, with key stops at key times. There were a number of stops either at, or behind the line of scrimmage.
Some Team Stats: Clarion had 365 total yards to 157 for Moniteau, with the Cats carrying the ball for 121 yards on just 17 carries. Clarion passed for 244 yards to 14 yards for the Warriors.
Key Individual Stats: German threw for 244 yards, completing 6 of 8 passes and 5 touchdowns. Receptions: Burford – 2 for 128 yards; Newcomb – 2 for 57; Craddock – 1 for 43. Rushing: Newcomb – 7 for 85 yards; Zacherl – 3 for 31.
The Cats will face Karns City, this Friday (September 6th) in another “First” home game at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00PM.
Coach Wiser: Cal German started by overthrowing a couple times. Then he really started hitting his target there. Ethan Burford made some great catches. Hunter Craddock’s was probably the highlight catch of the year, that one hand grab. Austin Newcomb is not just a good runner. He can catch the ball too. So I’m very pleased there.
Offensively and defensively, I don’t want to be remiss in not mentioning Mitch Knepp, because he was a big loss for us tonight. Hopefully we can get good news on him and we can get him back soon.
So we had some kids fill in. Chaos Baker filled in and Jordan filled in on the offensive line for both Mitch and Ben. We gave Ben a break in the second half. And obviously Jordan came in and played that strong tackle position, with not a lot of work there. He’s normally a quick side tackle. He’s been a kid we’ve been looking at from camp right up to getting him on the football field there. He’s standing behind our Mike linebacker, Ben Smith, who is one of the top linebackers in the league, in my mind.
Obviously, on the other side, Ethan Remick came back. He’s a senior and he’s performed really well for us, as has Tyler Schmader. So Jordan got his opportunity for us tonight.
Defensively we roll a lot of people in there. We had young Keaton Smith, for the first time, trying nose guard and getting some pressure on the quarterback.
Our kickoff team was much better tonight. They did well.
The one special team that needs work is the punt block. That’s coach Wiser’s team. It’s not coach Weber’s team, so I’m pointing the finger at myself as the guy that has to work at fixing that up. (Note: Moniteau had two first down runs on fake punts.)
But we’ve got to get back at it. Get healthy and be ready to play next week. I’m excited that we got the opportunity to get some depth. But I’d still rather have some of those kids back.
Ethan Burford: Cal was hooking me up the whole game. He hooked Newcomb up a few times. He was just hitting all the receivers great tonight. Cal just told me the line was giving him great protection all night and he wasn’t pressured one time. The line did their job tonight.
I’m excited to play the rest of the games this season.
Cal German: On all the passing yardage) It really doesn’t matter to me honestly. It was great to get the win tonight. Like Ethan said, the line gave me great protection. We looked good tonight. So let’s keep it going.
Ben Smith: The offensive line, I think we are meshing pretty well together. It’s only going to get better throughout the season. So, that’s something to look forward to.
The defensive line is doing a great job, pretty much meeting the kids at the line. They are doing there job, letting the linebackers get all the tackles, and they are even coming up with some of their own.
Our skill players are amazing. Just so much versatility there. You can do what you want there really. You can hand the ball off one play, go to the air the next. It’s always there.
Cal German: They hit pretty well tonight. I thought we responded to it, so it was a great team win.
(Keep up the great work, Cats!!!!