Wildcats Drop Regular Season Finale To Bulldogs
Photo by Nate Girvan: Matt Alston recovering a fumble.
The visiting Central Clarion Wildcats fell to the Redbank Valley Bulldogs in the regular season finale for both teams, 47-38, on Friday (October 28th). Both teams, now 9-1, will enter the District Nine Football playoffs.
The Wildcats opened the scoring at 6:08 in the first quarter, with quarterback Jase Ferguson hit Ashton Rex on an 85 yard touchdown. Rex caught the ball at the Bulldog forty yard line and ran it the rest of the way. Thomas Uckert was good on the point after and the Wildcats led 7-0.
The Bulldogs knotted things up 7-all at 4:30 of the first, with quarterback Braylon Wagner throwing to Mason Clouse for a touchdown from 17 yards out and Owen Clouse making a successful kick.
Wagner hit Aiden Ortz on the front right side of the endzone with one minute left in the frame, Owen Clouse was good again and Redbank led 14-7.
With just nine seconds gone in the second, Ferguson found Rex just inside the pylon, on the left side of the endzone. Uckert’s kick was good and the game was even at 14-14. The Wildcats moved out to a 16-14 lead, on a safety at 2:31.
Ferguson hit Smail down the down the left sideline at about the Bulldog ten and Smail would take it the rest of the way for a 50-plus yard touchdown. With Uckert’s kick, Central led by nine, 23-14, with 2:01 on the clock.
Redbank followed with two scores with under a minute left the half. Tate Minich hauled in a pass from Wagner, for a 20 yard touchdown, with fifty-seconds showing, to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 23-20. Then with time running off the clock, Brandon Ross returned an interception for a touchdown and the Bulldogs led 27-23 going to the locker rooms.
Redbank added to their lead with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Wagner to Rylan Rupp, at 3:28. The kick was good and the Bulldogs led by eleven, 34-23 going to the final stanza.
The teams would trade scores in the fourth.
Ferguson dove in for a touchdown, with Ryan Hummell running for a successful two-point conversion, cutting Redbank’s lead to 34-31, with just five seconds gone in the quarter.
Wagner hit a wide open Minich in the middle of the field at about the Central fifteen and Minich did the rest for a long touchdown at 10:32. Clouse was successful on the PAT and Redbank now led 41-34.
A one-yard run by Ferguson, on fourth-and-goal, combined with Uckert’s kick closed the Wildcats’ deficit to 41-38, with 3:16 left. But Clouse took the ensuing onside kick down the right sideline, untouched for the evening’s final score.
Ferguson completed 12-of-21 passes for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for another 84 yards on 24 carries. He went over 4,000 career passing yards and now stands at 4,071.
Rex caught 9 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns, breaking the Wildcats’ single season touchdown mark (12) which he shared with Ethan Burford and Christian Simko. He now has 14 on the season. Rex also went over 1,400 single season receiving yards and 1,800 career receiving yards.
Dawson Smail had 2 catches for 60 yards and a touchdown and Connor Kopnitsky ran for 77 yards on 11 carries.
Wagner completed 15-of-24, for 267 yards and 4 touchdowns for Redbank Valley. (Both quarterbacks combined for 541 passing yards on the night.)
Minich caught 5 passes for 126 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mason Clouse had 4 catches for 63 yards, and Aiden Ortz caught 4 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats will have a First Round Bye in the District Nine Class-AA Playoffs and will face the winner of this Friday’s (November 4th) matchup between Karns City and Brookville that will take place at Memorial Stadium, in the Championship Game on either Friday, November 11th or Saturday, November 12th.
(Let’s have a great playoff run, Wildcats!!!! Thanks to Steve Smail for providing player stats, etc. and Nate Girvan for his photo!!)