Wildcats Down Raiders In 2022 Football Opener

Above: Nate and Aryana Girvan image – The Defense came up big all night.

The Central Clarion Wildcats hosted the Brookville Raiders at the Clarion-Limestone Football Field, on Friday (August, 26th) and came away with an impressive 42-7 win.

Prior to the game, the Wildcats and their school districts honored longtime and well respected coach Jim Williamson, who coached a number of sports. Coach Williamson passed away earlier this year. Clarion Sports Zone is planning on posting an article on the touching ceremony, later this week.

Some of the former players,coaches, family and others lined up for the Ceremony for Coach Williams.

Brookville scored first on a one yard run up the middle by Jackson Zimmerman, at 7:58 of the first quarter. Brayden Kunselman’s point after was good and the Raiders were up 7-0.

The Wildcats answered with 2:15 left in the quarter, when quarterback Jase Ferguson hit Ashton Rex, on a slant, that Rex took the rest of the way, for a 90 yard touchdown. With Thomas Ukert’s kick was good and The score was tied at 7-all.

Central had an impressive drive for their next score. Backed up at their own six, Ferguson hit Rex for a first and ten all the way down to the Raiders forty. Then Ferguson rolled right and hit Dawson Smail with a pass down the side line, setting up a first and goal at the six. Ferguson then hit Tommy Smith for the touchdown at 8:18 of the second. Ukert’s kick gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.

Ryan Hummell took an interception in from thirty-three yards out, with 1:27 left in the half and with Ukert good again, Central led 21-7.

Brady Quinn opened the Wildcats second half scoring, returning an interception 42 yards for a touchdown at 8:55 in the third. Ukert split the uprights again, moving Central’s lead to 28-7. Ferguson hit Dawson Hotchkiss in stride, down the right side for a yard score at 6:23 of the quarter. More of the same from Ukert and the Wildcats lead moved out to 35-7.

Ferguson hit Rex for a 71 yard touchdown, with thirty-nine seconds left in the third. And with Ukert’s sixth extra point of the game, the Wildcats led 42-7, setting the mercy rule clock in motion for the rest of the game, as well as setting the final score.

Nate and Aryana Girvan image: Ashton Rex getting past Raider defenders.

Central Clarion Coach Davey Eggleton was pleased with his team’s opening night performance..

About Ryan Hummell on defense, he said, “Honestly, we didn’t think he was playing on Wednesday. He’s playing with an injury right now and really fighting through it. Just proud of the heart he’s showing doing it. Just big plays in the backfield, that big pick he had.”

And the whole unit, “Our defense as a whole, we bent a couple times but overall we played pretty solid once we caught on to their zone blocking scheme, we really played solid defense. I was happy where we were at.

“They got a big, got a really really good line, everyone back from last year. That back is a big kid. He runs the ball hard. So that was a test. I think we have plays we could get better. But overall, I think we passed it.”

And about the solid passing game. “I thought they played really well. Jase, I know he had three picks, but he only threw one ball that I questioned. The other one, we had a slip on a receiver and the other one bounced off a receiver. So we got to work to clean those up and work on that. But I thought (Jase) made great decisions. He has a lot of leeway out there, putting us in plays. I think he called two touchdowns tonight, that he put us in to, just on the reads. He did a great job.”

The victory came about by a lot of hard work. Coach Eggleton said, “The coaching staff did a phenomenal job all off-season and then all this week, getting ready for this game. I can’t give them enough credit.

“And the guys worked so hard. I told them, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever pushed a team this hard. This many kids out there, we really felt like we could really go hard every day at practice. We pushed them and we pushed them and we pushed them and we pushed them. And I think it shows. Especially in that third quarter, that seemed to drag on and on and on. Our guys were still going hard and I think we were still fresh looking out there.”

Central will travel to Port Allegheny on Friday night (September 1st).

Thanks to Nate and Aryana Girvan for the pics!! Great start, Wildcats!!!!

(Official Maxpreps stats not available by time of posting)