Wildcats Historic Season Comes To An End
Photos courtesy of Nate Girvan
The Central Clarion Wildcats saw their fine, historic season conclude, with a 44-8 PIAA First Round loss to the Pittsburgh City League (District 8) champion Westinghouse Bulldogs at George Cupples Stadium, on the city’s Southside, on Friday (November 18th).
The Wildcats won the program’s first ever District Nine League Region 2 and District Nine Class-A Championships in 2022.
Westinghouse scored three first half touchdowns. Kyshawn Robinson carried it in from 3 yards out and quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo threw to Sincere Smith for the two-point conversion at 2:15 in the first giving the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead. Morsillo threw a 15 yard touchdown pass in to Davon Jones at 8:12 of of the second, moving the score to 14-0, Bulldogs. With 1:00 left in the half, Roderick Jeter dove into the endzone, setting the halftime score at 20-0
Morsillo scored on a 2 yard run and and Jeter had a 21 yard run for another score in the third. Morsillo ran for two after each and the Bulldogs led 36-0.
The Wildcats avoided the shutout, when Jase Ferguson hit Tommy Smith on a 9 yard scoring pass, in the fourth. Ferguson then hit Ashton Rex for the two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 36-8.
The Bulldogs scored again, with time running out, on a Khalil Green run. The two-pointer was good, setting the final.
With the loss the Wildcats finish at 10-2, and can forever say they were the first section and district champions in program history, something to cherish for the rest of their lives.
Coach Dave Eggleton had major praise for the seniors who played their final game, Connor Kopnitsky, Ryan Hummell, Ashton Rex, John Burke, Ethan Wenner and Dawson Hotchkiss. “First off, I would like to thank my seniors. Their hard work and leadership have laid a foundation for future Wildcats to build on.”
Coach Eggleton was very pleased with hard work and dedication of his players and staff, to bring this fine season about. “The turn around they made from last season has been phenomenal. I know that not many people outside of our locker room had us even contending for a conference and district title, let alone winning both. That is a testament to the work the guys put in all off-season. It also is a testament to the work my coaching staff has put in. They dedicate countless hours to the weight room and summer workouts. I believe I have one of the best staffs in District Nine.”
And the future benefits of playing a strong Bulldogs’ squad in the state playoffs? “While the outcome Friday night was not what we hoped for, the experience of playing a team like Westinghouse in Cupples Stadium will pay dividends for the future of the program. Our returning players now know where the bar is set.
“Westinghouse is a fantastic program that has the potential to win a state title, and I wish them the best of luck. I know this experience will drive our players to work even harder to meet the challenge of playing some of the very best teams in the state.”
Coach Eggleton shared his thanks for many who made this wonderful season possible. “I can’t express how much gratitude I have to all who have supported us this year. I have seen Clarion, North Clarion, and C-L communities come together and support these young men. The parents, fans, administrations, band, and cheerleaders have all contributed to our success this year. What they do for our team is not overlooked.”
(Absolutely fantastic season, 2022 Wildcats!!!! Thanks to Nate Girvan for his photos!!)
(Game information culled from Pennsylvania Football News, the Derrick and others.)