North Sends Coach Wiser Out In Style With Lezzer Lumber Classic Win; Six Wildcat Players Participate
The 36th Lezzer Lumber game is history. And with a big come from behind 26-22 win, at Tyrone Stadium on Sunday (June 6rh), the North Squad was part of history, sending their Head Coach, Central Clarion Wildcats and former Clarion Area Bobcats’ Coach Larry Wiser out in style, in the last ever game in his Hall of Fame coaching career.
Among the players on the North Squad were six Wildcats, Cal German, Ethan Burford, Cutter Boggess, Hunter Craddock, Beau Verdill and Jason Ganoe. And Coach Wiser had a number of his Central Clarion coaches and staff assisting, Dave Eggleton, Dave Louder, Doug Knepp, Cam Kirkland, Kevin “Fonzie” Slike and Ryan Wiser.
Coach Wiser said, I’ll be honest with you, coming back from the game, it was tough to sleep. It was exciting obviously, the way the game turned out. (It) was kind of like a Hollywood script for me. We were down by sixteen points. The kids came back that second half and the game was played well on both sides of the ball.”
But the team had some sad news to cope with right before the game. “Two of the Central Mountain kids came up and said Cyrus McCarl, a real good defensive lineman from was going to be late, because of a death in the family. Cyrus came to the game. We were about half-way through the chalk walk. He said last night at graduation, my dad fell and had a cerebral hemorrhage and he died today. Oh My.” Coach Wiser and the North Squad consoled the young man, who had decided to play. And their was a moment of silence for his dad before the game. “It was nice they had a moment of silence for his dad, before the game. Cyrus played the whole game.”
And with the North win the series now sits dead even at eighteen wins apiece.
Neither team was able to score in the first quarter.
But the second quarter saw twenty-eight points put on the board, twenty-two by the South.
The South struck first. Hollidaysburg’s Bryce Martellacci hit Juniata Valley’s Gabe Brower with a 29 yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed and with 11:05 on the clock, the South led 6-0.
Next it was the North’s turn, with Central Clarion quarterback Cal German tossing to Glendale’s Bain Seilhamer, for the score from 11 yards out, at 9:44. The point after failed and the score was now tied at 6-all. German had a fine game, completing 9 of 16 for 175 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for twenty-four yards on six carries. Between passing and rushing, German had a hand in 199 of the North’s 363 total yards. The North out gained the South 363 to 223. Selhamer was the North’s Offensive MVP, with 6 catches for 65 yards.
The South scored again at 6:39, with Brower taking a 10 yard pass from Claysburg-Kimmel’s Corey Chamberlain for the score. Chamberlain then threw to Bellwood-Antis’ Zach Mallon for the two-point conversion and a 14-6 lead. Chamberlain threw to Tyrone’s Tommy Hicks for a 17 yard touchdown, with just twelve seconds left on the clock. The pair hooked up again for the two pointer and the South led 22-6 going in at halftime.
But the game wasn’t over by a long shot, as the North staged their big comeback in the third quarter. State College’s Nehemiah Howell got things going with a 50 yard touchdown run at 10:36. The pass for two failed, but the North’s lead was cut to 22-12.
Then Glendale’s Garrett Misiura completed a 9 yard scoring pass to Seilhamer. The point after failed and at 4:43, the North trailed by four points, 22-18. Then German hit another area player, Brookville’s Robert Keth with what proved to be the winning score, from 29 yards out as time ran out in the third. Keth finished the game with 3 receptions for 75 yards. Wildcat’s kicker Beau Verdill scored the North’s and the game’s final points, with a two-point kick, setting the final at 26-22, North.
Seilhamer was the North Offensive MVP, Nick Domico from Clearfield was the North Defensive MVP. Bower was named the South Offensive MVP and the South Defensive MVP was Kyle Murray from Altoona.
Coach Wiser mentioned some things about the Central Clarion players and staff who took part in the game. “Calvin had the winning touchdown pass. He threw for 175 yards or something like that. Ethan made a couple of great catches, one for a touchdown, that Calvin threw to him and on the other he was tackled on the one. Both of them got called back on holding calls.” Ethan also played defense on third down and returned kickoffs and punts. Coach Wiser also was impressed with Beau who barely missed one kick and made two others including, the two pointer.
“Cutter hurt his ankle in the East-West Game, so he didn’t practice much all week. We used him throughout the first half. But he started limping in the second half and towards the fourth quarter, we started pulling him out. He obviously did a great job. The rules are for a 4-4 defense, so he was really covering as an outside linebacker, which is what I think (he’ll be used at in college). He’ll obviously do some run support also.
“Hunter (had a big game). He had three quarterback hurries and a sack. Jason Ganoe played at defensive back. He has been one of our great defensive backs.
“I thought all our kids had a great experience. My immediate reaction after the game, to go out with a win. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to play that next game in the for the District Nine championship in the post season.”
Most all of my staff was there. Equipment manager Kevin Slike was there and my son Ryan was there assisting. Dave Eggleton called the offense and did a great job getting the kids prepared offensively. Cam Kirkland, Doug Knepp and Dave Louder all helped out.”
And what do players come away with participating in these all-star games? “For me it’s pretty special. The thing I like about these all-star games is that the kids get to meet other people and become good friends. I’m pretty sure that happened; they had a good experience. And the win obviously helps that. Coming back like that, I think all of them came away pretty satisfied.”
Something else about the game really stood out to Coach Wiser. “The other thing that stands out to me is that we had nice crowds on both sides. I caught a little bit of the Altoona paper and the players were commenting about the fans in the stands. It was really great for all the players on both squads.”
There was another “Win” for several the Wildcats’ players on Sunday, The Wildcats had three of the North’s seven scholarship award winners. Cal German won the Jack Bailey Memorial Award, Beau Berdill won the Madalyn White Hubler Award and Ethan Burford won the Lezzer Lumber Award (his brother Ty won the same award in 2016).
Coach Wiser was very pleased about that. “We had three Central Clarion kids win three of the North’s scholarships. I think that is as impressive as the win. We’ve done well in winning scholarships, in all of these games over the years.
“That is also a testimony to our English Department, which has excelled in developing our kids writing skills. The players are to be commended for their personal writing skills, which were well displayed in their fine essays. and at the same time the teachers (elementary and high school) deserve credit for the expert help they have given them.
And now Coach Wiser begins a much longed for new “pursuit.” Overall, I’m pretty pleased to end my coaching career, with a win. My new career started Saturday, taking my three year old grandson to Cook Forest. He caught his first trout. He actually caught four. I can’t tell you. That was a ‘Bucket List’ experience. My dad got to see Ryan catch some fish; an event my dad went to the grave smiling about.
Congratulations to Cal, Ethan, Cutter, Beau, Hunter, Jason, Coach Wiser and his Wildcats’ staffers and the whole North Squad on the win and to all those selected for the game from both teams!!!!