Punxsy Cancels Game at Central Clarion Due to COVID-19

CLARION, Pa. (EYT/D9) — The Central Clarion football team has a new opponent less than 12 hours before the season-opener.

(Photo by Dave Cyphert / ProPoint Media Photography.)

After Punxsutawney canceled early Friday morning “due to COVID concerns,” Central Clarion will now play at Slippery Rock at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on www.exploreClarion.com and www.D9Sports.com.

Slippery Rock’s regularly scheduled game against Fort LeBoeuf was canceled Thursday afternoon because of COVID-19 issues at Fort LeBoeuf.

“They just had some issues, and they thought the best thing for both teams was that they should cancel,” said Clarion athletic director Nancy Mills about Punxsutawney’s cancellation. “We were very fortunate to pick up Slippery Rock because we want our athletes, and our band to be able to play and perform. They work very hard.”

It was a stressful Thursday for Slippery Rock athletic director Dan Follett.

The Rockets had their annual Meet the Team and Light Up Night at the high school stadium, not knowing if they would play a game there the next day.

Follett couldn’t find an opponent on Thursday, but 10 minutes into his day on Friday, Mills gave him a call.

“She said, ‘Hey, I hear you’re looking for a game,’” Follett said, chuckling. “So, Clarion is coming down here, and we’re going to play a football game tonight. It’s going to be our Veterans’ Night and it should be a full crowd, so we’re looking forward to it. It has been a little whirlwind the last 24 hours.”

Slippery Rock is a Class 3A school in District 10. The Rockets are coming off a 2-6 season in 2020, but have a talented junior quarterback in William “Zip” Mokel, who threw for more than 1,000 yards last season. He also has a core of talented receivers, led by junior John Sabo.

The Rockets play on a turf field at their high school stadium.

Ten schools from across the state have already canceled football games because of COVID-19 concerns.


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