Two District 9 football teams remain alive in the postseason and both will play at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium this weekend.
Friday night, newly-crowned Class 1A champion Ridgway meets District 10 champion Farrell at 7 p.m. Clarion, coming off its first-round PIAA Class 2A win over Chestnut Ridge last Friday, meet Wilmington this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Here’s a look at last Friday’s playoff games involving D9 teams:
DuBOIS — Following nearly the same script as their regular season matchup, the Ridgway Elkers and Curwensville Golden Tide found themselves embroiled in a low-scoring struggle. This time, the winner was different and the champion remained the same.
Aaron Hinton’s 32-yard field goal with 9:49 left in the fourth quarter lifted the Elkers to a 9-7 win over the Golden Tide last Friday night at E.J. Mansell Stadium, giving Ridgway its second straight District 9 Class 1A title.
Ridgway (9-3) heads into the PIAA quarterfinals this Friday night against District 10 champion Farrell, which advanced with a 34-19 win over District 5’s Northern Bedford in the PIAA first round. They’ll square off at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.
Last year, Farrell knocked Ridgway out in the same round at Slippery Rock University, 20-7. The Steelers then lost to WPIAL champion Clairton, 24-6, in the state semifinals.
Not surprisingly, points and yards weren’t easy to come up with in the Elkers’ rematch with the Tide, who beat the Elkers 14-11 during the regular season when a third-quarter blocked field goal return by Nick Stewart put the Tide ahead for good.
This time around, Stewart had a much better game against the Elkers with 161 yards on 26 carries, but 85 yards came on his touchdown run to start the game’s scoring at the 8:36 mark of the first quarter.
Ridgway, which managed just six first downs, took advantage of a Tide decision to go for a first down on fourth-and-short from their own 43. After stopping fullback Avery Francisco for no gain on fourth down, the Elkers cashed in with quarterback Johnny Mitchell’s 18-yard run with 1:20 left before halftime.
The Elkers, however, missed the point-after try and trailed 7-6 going into the fourth quarter. They took advantage of Curwensville’s second of three turnovers when Tide quarterback Bryce Timko’s fumble was recovered at the Tide 25, setting up Hinton’s field goal.
Neil MacDonald led the Elkers with 92 yards on 20 carries. He went into the game with 999 yards for the season.
It’s the third district title for the Elkers, who beat Johnsonburg 3-0 in the final in 1989 and Elk County Catholic 42-13 last year. They’ve co-oped with Johnsonburg since 2013.
Chestnut Ridge 14
WINDBER — Three second-half Colton Rapp touchdown runs rallied the D9 champion Clarion Bobcats to a come-from-behind 20-14 win over Chestnut Ridge.
The unbeaten Bobcats (12-0) trailed 14-0 at halftime, limited to just 104 yards by a Lions squad that couldn’t fully capitalize on the early dominance. They turned the ball over four times and were penalized 12 times for 71 yards.
Rapp scored on a 7-yard run at the 8:31 mark of the third quarter to get on the board. The Bobcats then had a chance to tie the game, but were stopped on four straight running plays from the Chestnut Ridge 1.
The huge momentum swing to the District 5 champs’ side didn’t last long as the Bobcats forced a punt and went back to work with a 56-yard hook-and-ladder play setting up Rapp’s 1-yard TD run to tie it at 14-14 with 6:31 remaining.
After forcing a Chestnut Ridge three-and-out possession, the Bobcats went 65 yards for the game-winning touchdown when Rapp’s 4-yarder set the final with 1:06 left in the game.
Clarion outgained Chestnut Ridge, 341-309. Rapp ran for 92 yards on 18 carries with quarterback Spencer Miller completing 12 of 16 passes for 168 yards. Sam Minich caught three passes for 109 yards.
Karns City 17
CLARION —At Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium, the D9 champion Gremlins were no match for the District 10 champion Tigers who led 47-7 by halftime.
Karns City (7-5) did manage 370 yards of offense in the 50-point loss with Dalton Beham running for 189 yards on 15 carries. He scored the Gremlins’ first TD on a 76-yard run in the second quarter. Clay Garing kicked a 29-yard field goal and quarterback Anthony Kamenski scored on a 9-yard run in the second half.
Sharon, which scored 33 points in the second quarter after a 14-0 first-quarter lead, racked up 441 yards. Quarterback Lane Voytik completed 7 of 14 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns, five of those completions going to standout receiver Ziyon Strickland for 135 yards.
Strickland caught TD passes of 23 and 75 yards and ran one in from two yards out in the first
quarter. Jordan Wilson ran for 168 yards on 12 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 47, 6 and 39 yards.
Sharon (9-3) meets District 5/6 champion Forest Hills Saturday at Penns Manor High School starting at 1 p.m.