Bobcats Down Wolves, Move On To District Nine Class-AA Football Final Against Elkers (11/11/19)

(Above photo provided by Laura Burford: Cal German and Ethan Burford after the Bradford game earlier in the season)

The Clarion Area Bobcats downed the Kane Wolves 27-13 in a District Nine Class-AA Football semifinal game at E. J. Mansell Stadium in DuBois, on Saturday (November 9th). With the win the Cats will move on to face the Ridgway Elkers in the Title Game, this coming Saturday (November 16th). The game, also at E. J. Mansell Stadium, will start at 6:00PM.

The Bobcats had a great game on both sides of the ball, racking up 517 total yards (325 passing and 192 rushing), while allowing just 65 yards (63 rushing and 2 passing). This was a total team effort, with just about everyone, on both offense and defense, doing a super job.

Though the Bobcats had such a dominate showing, they did fall behind early, as the Wolves’ Jake Alcorn fielded a Bobcat punt at the Kane twenty-five. He headed down the left side lines, made some nice moves and angled to the right sideline for a 75 yard touchdown, with 8:13 left in the first quarter. Aaron Hottel’s point after was good, giving Kane a 7-0 lead.

(Photo by Gary Wiant – Vinyl Graphics) Koaz Baker with a tackle for a loss. The Bobcat defense was “In the Zone” all night.

After setting up at their own nine yard line following a Wolves’ punt at 10:58 of the second quarter the Cats marched down the field, eating up exactly six minutes off the clock.

The big play of the drive was a thirty-five yard pass from Joel German to Ethan Burford, giving Clarion a first an ten from the fifteen. Several plays later, Austin Newcomb ran it through the center of the line for a one yard touchdown. Beau Verdill’s point after kick tied the score at 7-all, with 4:58 on the clock.

Alcorn put the Wolves on top again, when he intercepted a pass at the Clarion twenty-three and took it down the right sideline for the score. The PAT failed giving Kane a 13-7 lead, with 3:27 left in the half. That would be Kane’s last lead of the game.

(Photo by Gary Wiant – Vinyl Graphics) Ethan Burford with a touchdown catch

Kane’s kickoff went into the endzone and the Bobcats set up at their own twenty. They proceeded to drive down the field. Several plays into the drive, with the Cats at their own thirty, German hit Cutter Boggess on the right side at about mid field. Boggess took it down the sideline before being stopped at the Kane twenty-seven.

Clarion was stopped for a five yard loss, at the thirty-two on the next play. On the following play, German hit Burford, who got behind the defender along the right hash mark, in stride just as he was crossing the goal line with 1:04 left before half time. Verdill’s kick put the Bobcats in front 14-13.

Two Bobcat records were set touchdown play. Burford passed Cody Hearst (2011-13) for career receiving touchdowns, with twenty-two. German passed John Katis (2013) for the single season passing touchdown mark, with 26 scoring strikes.    

(Photo by Gary Wiant – Vinyl Graphics) Tyler Schmader (64) and Cooper Schall (22) escort Cutter Boggess around the corner. All three had a good game

Later in the third, German, who was given great protection by his line all night, again found Burford on a big scoring aerial.

The Bobcats were set at their own thirty-seven. German dropped back in the pocket and hit Burford, in stride and behind the defender again, this time along the right sideline, at the Kane thirty. Burford ran it in from there for the sixty-two yard score. The point after was blocked and Clarion led 20-13 at the 9:35 mark. 

The Bobcats were driving down the field and German hit Hunter Craddock with a nice pass covering 42 yards from the Clarion twenty-six to the Kane thirty-two. But the Wolves forced a fumble and recovered on the next play to stop the drive with 5:32 left in the quarter. 

The Bobcats would score once more in the contest. After setting up at their own twenty after a Kane punt with thirty-two seconds left in the third, the Cats used mix of run and pass plays to drive down the field. German hit Boggess with a screen pass to the left; Boggess took it down the left sideline and was ruled stopped at the one. Two plays later German rolled right and hit Craddock in the back, right side of the endzone for the touchdown, with 7:39 left in the game. Verdill’s kick was good setting the 27-13 final.

(Photo by Gary Wiant – Vinyl Graphics) Koaz Baker (67), Hunter Craddock (44) join another Bobcat for one of many big defensive stops.

German completed 14-of-23 passes for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception. He went over the 2,000 yard mark on the season. He now has 2,087 yards and joins Katis (2013) as the only Bobcats to reach the 2,000 yard plateau and now has a record 28 single season touchdown tosses.

Burford finished the night with 5 catches for 176 yards. He now has 1,139 on the year, joining Hearst (2013) as the only Bobcats to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. His career touchdown reception mark now stands at 23 and his single season touchdown receiving mark now stands at seventeen.

Boggess had another big total yardage output, carrying the ball 20 times for 76 yards and catching 5 passes for 95 yards; for 171 yards of offense.

Newcomb, who was injured and sat out the second half, finished with 54 yards, pushing his season total to 1,209.

Cooper Shall had 7 carries for 51 yards. Craddock had 2 catches for thirty-two yards.

Coach Wiser: You want to talk about chemistry. When you face that kind of adversity, you really need to step it up and be positive with each other. On the sidelines, with all the kids, you could hear them saying positive things to our players on the field.

I thought Dave Eggleton made some great adjustments at halftime. I thought we had some young kids step up big time tonight. I can’t say enough about those two sophomore backs. They made some key runs in the second half. And of course, the line opened up some pretty good holes too.

Even when we were losing, we were still controlling the clock, I think both halves… I thought that was the key. Defensively, I thought our guys stepped up and did a really great job, staying disciplined in their gaps and shutting down a great athlete, in that Alcorn. Someone said they had only two yards of total offense in the first half… That is hard to believe, but that’s nice.

Cooper is a hundred and twenty-two pound Z back, he got a touchdown last week, his first one ever. And getting out there tonight. He had some nice runs. He’s going to be a heck of a football player. We’d like to get him in the weight room a little bit more and see what happens.

They are a team. The best four-letter word you are ever going to see. I think it will carry us into this week. I think our kids will be excited after they enjoy tonight, and then get ready for Ridgway. And show that that wasn’t our type of team that played them in the regular season.

(On the team’s conditioning, that was a big factor in the game) Our kids work all year. It’s in the way we practice. Our kids hustle all the time. We try to go game speed as much as possible. We play a lot of guys both ways, which is not what I like to do. We’ve got some nice young kids coming, but some of them had to step up today and they did a good job.

(Thanks to Laura Burford and Gary Wiant – Vinyl Graphics for the photos. Thanks to Nate McClaine for spotting and to Nate and the Tri-County Sunday for stats. Great Job Cats!!!! Beat the Elkers!!!!)