Looking to solidify their positioning in the District 9 Class 2A playoff standings, the Brookville and Central Clarion football teams have home games this week.
Both teams play what’s scheduled to be their final Large Division games as the 6-2 Raiders host Ridgway (5-3) and the 3-4 Wildcats host DuBois (5-3) at the C-L Sports Complex. Each game has a 7 p.m. kickoff time.
The current Class 2A playoff standings have Karns City (7-1, 910), the Raiders (6-2, 780), Ridgway (5-3, 660), Wildcats (3-4, 400), Brockway (3-5, 380) and Kane (3-5, 350) as possible playoff teams. If they all go, it’ll be six-team bracket with the top two seeds getting byes. But most likely, it won’t be a full field and a playoff rematch between the Raiders and Elkers could be in the making regardless of what happens Friday night.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s games:
Ridgway (5-3) at
The last time these teams met, the Raiders beat the Elkers 49-15 in last year’s Class 2A semifinals for the Raiders’ first playoff win in 10 seasons.
After starting the year 4-0 with a big 27-7 win over St. Marys in the opener, the Elkers have lost three of the last four games to DuBois (21-6), Central Clarion (33-14) and Karns City (35-0) last week. The Gremlins beat the Raiders, 41-7, while the Raiders beat DuBois and Central Clarion early in the season and lost 19-14 to St. Marys two weeks ago.
The Elkers average 303 yards per game with some balance as the trio of Dom Allegretto (60-511, 9 TDs), Camron Marciniak (65-413, 4 TDs) and Eric Salberg (46-290) leading the running game. The duo of quarterbacks in senior Jonathan Hinton and sophomore Cameron Larkin have combined to throw for 1,082 yards and 10 TDs against six interceptions.
Allegretto (20-297, 2 TDs), Will Howard (19-293, 3 TDs) and Marciniak (17-246, 4 TDs) are the leading receivers.
Considering his Raiders’ somewhat flat effort against Kane, Raiders head coach Scott Park will be looking to sharpen up things before kickoff.
“They’re not going to back down and play the best they can and we have to be ready to go,” Park said. “For whatever reason, they’ve been struggling a little bit offensively but we can’t bank on that.”
The Raiders weigh in at 310 yards per game offensively as sophomore Charlie Krug (112-for-195, 1,494, 16 TDs, 8 Ints.) is close to going over 1,500 yards for the season. Brayden Kunselman (34-636, 8 TDs) and Noah Peterson (24-388, 5 TDs) are his top targets.
Tate Lindermuth (74-380, 3 TDs) is the team’s top rusher, coming off his career-high 159-yard game against Kane.
Defensively, Hunter Smith (7.3), Carson Weaver (7.0) and Jackson Zimmerman (6.6) lead the team in tackles per game with Smith’s seven sacks leading the unit. Kunselman’s two interceptions against Kane upped his season total to a team-high seven.
DuBois (5-3) at
Central Clarion (3-4)
The Beavers and Wildcats have both turned things around after slow starts. DuBois, after losses to Clearfield, Brookville and St. Marys, have won five straight against Kane, Ridgway, Bradford, Moniteau and Punxsutawney, albeit a group that’s a combined 10-28.
Nonetheless, the Beavers are playing better and average 282 yards per game offensively — 174 rushing and 108 passing. The quarterback duo of Austin Mitchell and Cam-Ron Hays have combined to throw for 862 yards and six TDs against six interceptions with Hays going for 483 yards and Mitchell 379. Mitchell (51-272, 5 TDs) is second on the team in rushing behind leader Austin Henery (69-370, 4 TDs)
The top receivers are Derraick Burkett (30-329, 5 TDs), Adams (14-148, 1 TDs) and Brycen Dinkfelt (15-160).
The Wildcats, similarly, after four straight losses to start the year, have won three straight against Kane, Ridgway and Bradford 38-7 last week. DuBois crushed the winless Owls 55-0 three weeks ago.
Quarterback Jase Ferguson (62-for-128, 1,111 yards, 14 TDs, 10 Ints.) went over 1,000 yards for the season. His top targets continue to be Christian Simko (23-556, 8 TDs) and Ashton Rex (15-353, 5 TDs).
Breckin Rex (106-626, 3 TDs) and Ryan Hummell (53-320, 3 TDs) lead the running game.