For Brookville and Clarion-Limestone this week heading into the fourth week of the football season, perhaps the agendas are a little different.
The 1-2 Raiders just want a healthy week and continue to survive and heal up as they head to unbeaten Clarion Friday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff against the Bobcats at Clarion University.. At the C-L Sports Complex, the 2-1 Lions host a 3-0 Coudersport team that’s off to a powerful start. It’ll be another Class 1A measuring stick game in the early-season.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s games:
Brookville (1-2) at
The banged-up Raiders try to keep things together after two straight losses totaling five points, including last week’s 23-21 Route 36 Trophy loss at home against Punxsutawney.
Head coach Scott Park’s team now faces an unbeaten Clarion squad that’s beaten Punxsutawney (40-6), Moniteau (34-14) and Karns City (21-7), pulling away from the Gremlins in the second half last week on the road.
Again, the Raiders won’t have quarterback Jack Krug, who’s still out with a broken collarbone. They could have back senior receiver Bryan Dworek, who hasn’t yet played this year, but is getting closer to being ready to go. His status is still up in the air for Friday.
The Raiders lost Trenton Gilhousen last week when he injured his shoulder on defense. He got the start at quarterback as well before being replaced by freshman Tate Lindermuth. Park said that sophomore Robert Keth could get some snaps as well this week behind center.
“We’re just plugging away like we have had the past few weeks, nurturing the injuries we have and trying to get better as a team in certain positions and see what happens against Clarion,” Park said. “Hopefully, we get through a game where we don’t have any injuries and turn the corner to get back to being healthy.”
The Raiders used a full-house backfield last week, putting top receiver Cabe Park in the set to try to get him the ball more and he wound up rushing for 132 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. Tucker Wolfe also ran for 195 yards on 20 carries and the Raiders piled up 341 yards on the ground, only to be doomed by costly turnovers against the Chucks.
“We told the kids that we have enough faith in them and that they were smart enough as a team that we were going to do whatever we had to do on offense and defense to give our kids the best chance to be successful,” Park said. “Coach (Frank) Varischetti is very good at looking at film and taking advantage of what they’re going to give us. You’ll see that again on Friday.”
Clarion averages 284 yards of offense per game, getting some balance thanks to senior quarterback Archer Mills, who’s completed 17 of 24 passes for 306 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. They have a balanced backfield running the ball with sophomore Cutter Boggess (31-197, 2 TDs) and Sam Minich (10-192, 3 TDs), who is also one of Mills’ top receiving targets at six catches for 135 yards.
“It’s a Larry Wiser team. They’re coached well,” Park said. “They’re not last year’s team, but they’re very good and have a lot of good talent back. We want to go over and not get pushed around like we did last year and I think a lot of those players who are back remember that and want to prove to themselves they can play with Clarion.”
Clarion has owned the Raiders historically, with a 45-19-2 edge going into the 67th meeting. The Bobcats have beaten the Raiders seven straight times dating back to the Raiders’ last win in 2011 (13-12).
They beat the Raiders twice last year, 55-12 in the playoffs and 58-22 during the regular season. The Bobcats have scored 50 or more points on the Raiders in five of the last six games.
Coudersport (3-0) at
The Falcons and Lions last met in last year’s playoffs where the Falcons outgunned the Lions at the C-L Sports Complex, 44-40, in the first round.
Coudersport lost leading player Jared Green to graduation, but the Falcons have enough back to be more than dangerous, as their scoring so far this year has shown.
The Falcons routed Cameron County (71-0) and Sheffield (61-6), both of them winless teams, but they did handle a much better Elk County Catholic squad (28-6) in their second game.
And with those routs, the Falcons have mostly run, averaging more than 325 yards per game on the ground with Stevie Kelly (35-304, 5 TDs) and quarterback Hayden Keck (28-130, 6 TDs) leading the way. Keck has completed 6 of 9 passes this year for 132 yards and two TDs.
“They’re a good football team, solid on both sides of the ball,” Lions head coach Davey Eggleton said. “Their quarterback is a good athlete who split time there last year. He’s there completely this year and good football player.
“It’ll be a good matchup. Our run defense is pretty stout, their strength vs. our strengh. It’ll be a big matchup and we’ll see which side is stronger.”
Eggleton said that he’ll be dressing 20 or 21 players this year with the addition of three other players in junior lineman Chase Makray, junior tight end Travis Devey and senior lineman Jake Wareham. He’ll take any depth where he can get it.
Junior Austin Newcomb is coming off his D9Sports.Com Player of the Week performance against Keystone and he’s compiled big numbers so far in the early going. He’s rushed for 463 yards and five TDs while catching 12 passes for 284 yards and two TDs to go along with 136 yards of returns.
Newcomb has accounted for 54 of the team’s 110 points and half of the team’s 10 TDs.
Quarterback Colby Himes (24-for-41, 447 yrds, 5 TDs, 2 Ints.) is off to a good start as is senior running back Ayden Wiles (38-219, 4 TDs).