While it’s Week 2 of the high school football season for the coverage area squads, it’s the first week of a full slate of games across District 9 as the Intermediate Unit 9 Bubble Region teams begin play actually Thursday night.
Elk County Catholic hosting Cameron County at Dutch Country Stadium kicks off the delayed Bubble Region — it’s actually been called the IU9 Northern Region for Big School and Small School teams — due to the IU9 mandate that covers 10 football schools in McKean, Potter, Cameron and Elk counties. No school is permitted to play a regular-season contest against a non-IU9 team without mandatory suspension of the schedule for a period of time.
Meanwhile, the Non-Bubblers head into Week 2 looking to continue some momentum. For the Brookville Raiders and Central Clarion County Wildcats, the scenario is the same. Both want to go 2-0.
While the Raiders bested DuBois, 42-28, the Wildcats routed visiting Punxsutawney, 42-6, at the C-L Sports Complex, which will be the site of Friday’s game starting at 7 p.m.
While rumblings of changes in crowd policy are starting due to the recent ruling that stated that Governor Tom Wolf’s moves during the COVID-19 pandemic on closures and limitations on gatherings were unconstitutional.
Reaction to that ruling will vary in timing, but the Karns City school district announced earlier this week that fans will be permitted at sporting events, but will be required to wear masks and follow CDC social distancing guidelines.
So stay tuned on that front.
It’s been eight years since the Raiders beat a Larry Wiser-coached team in Clarion, a stretch covering nine games. It became a co-operative program last year with Clarion-Limestone after a handful of years already combined with North Clarion and this year the name and colors were changed for the football team. The Wildcats moniker was used to honor the 105th Pennsylvania Regiment, nicknamed the Wildcats, during the Civil War. The regiment had many soldiers from both Clarion and Jefferson counties.
The Raiders fell to the then-Bobcats, 29-12, last year at home, losing quarterback Jack Krug early on with an ankle injury. He’s back again and leading a Raiders offense that put up over 400 yards of offense in the win over the Beavers.
Wildcats quarterback Cal German also started his senior year strong, throwing for over 300 yards as well against the Chucks and connecting with standout receiver Ethan Burford for three TDs and nearly 200 yards. Those a big keys to deal with according to Raiders head coach Scott Park.
“The challenge is going to be to cover Burford and shut down the run,” Park said. “For the most part last year, we did that but Burford caught two long TD passes that killed us. The kids are hungry. Until we beat Clarion, you have to consider them the favorite.”
Burford caught just two passes for 72 yards against the Raiders last year, but one went 37 yards for a touchdown. Krug scored on the team’s first drive on a 6-yard run but left the game soon after that.
The Bobcats won that game despite turning the ball over five times. German completed 5 of 12 passes for just 72 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
Krug was last week’s first-ever www.District9and10.com D9 Player of the Week after passing for 383 yards and four TDs against the Beavers. The new website continues coverage of both districts 9 and 10 now.
Clarion’s German and Burford, and Redbank Valley’s Gunner Mangiantini were Honorable Mention picks.
ELSEWHERE — Also in the Southern Region Large School setup, Karns City hosts DuBois and Moniteau travels to Punxsutawney. In the North Bubble Large, Bradford visits St. Marys and Kane travels to Ridgway. Those four Large teams will play each other twice home and away before matching up with Small School Division teams from the Bubble at the end of the schedule if time and playoffs permit.
In the Small South, Redbank Valley hosts Brockway, Keystone hosts Union/A-C Valley in the best matchup of the Small teams this week and Curwensville hosts Sheffield, which gave up 86 points in a shutout loss last Saturday to Keystone.
The defending Class A champion Coudersport Falcons host Port Allegany and Otto-Eldred hosts Smethport in Friday night Small Bubble games.