Clarion Ends Brockway’s Season, 40-24

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) — No Spencer Miller? No problem for the Clarion Bobcats Friday night in Brockway as they claimed a 40-24 win over the Brockway Rovers in the semifinals of the District 9 2A playoffs.

Miller chipped a bone in his elbow last week against St. Marys in a 40-7 win. By Tuesday, his teammates knew he wouldn’t play. Miller had thrown for more than 1,000 yards and ran for 164 while accounting for 21 touchdowns. Defensively, he was tied for the team lead in interceptions with three.

But the Bobcats went to the ground game, which is their staple anyway, and churned out 331 yards on 51 rushes with five touchdowns.

Clarion (9-1) dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the No. 2 Rovers (8-2) 19-0 while erasing a 24-21 deficit.

“We found out basically Tuesday we were going to be without Spence and he had a nice talk with the team and Archer (Mills) has been working with the second string all year and it paid off for us to take the time to do that and be ready,” Clarion head coach Larry Wiser said.

Mills, a sophomore who got the call to replace Miller, ran for a touchdown and threw for another. He gained 36 yards on eight runs and Logan Minich chipped in with 27 yards in three runs.

“Archer did a great job tonight,” Wiser said. “It’s a team effort and coming out and getting ready each week and I think we saw that tonight.”

Colton Rapp led the way with 188 yards on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns. His big night put him over 1,500 yards for the season and he has scored 15 TDs.

Mike McCloskey also found the end zone twice while gaining 64 yards on just seven rushes.

“They’ve (offensive line) been doing the job all year. We’ve had some kids step in there for the first time this season and they’ve done a nice job,” Wiser said.

The Rovers appeared to have all the momentum when senior Hunter Miller hit senior Mark Latuska for an 11-yard touchdown pass with just 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Jarrett Esposito’s PAT kick made it 24-21 Brockway.

But while the Rovers sputtered in the second half, punting three times, turning it over on downs once and throwing an interception, the Bobcats scored on three straight possessions to take control in the fourth quarter.

Clarion will take on undefeated Kane (11-0) next week in the 2A title game. The Wolves thrashed Moniteau 55-7 Friday.

While Brockway struggled to get much going in the second half, Clarion had its troubles in the first half and trailed 17-7 late in the second quarter after Esposito hammered home a 37-yard field goal with 4:31 left.

But on the kickoff, the Rovers opted to kick it short to prevent a return and the Bobcats ended up with the ball at their 40.

The Cats picked up a big first down when facing a fourth-and-3 from their 47 after Minich had a 5-yard run.

Two plays later, Clarion had a third-and-3 from the Rovers 41. Clarion called a timeout and Wiser tried a trick play with Ryley McMaster throwing a deep ball. The pass fell incomplete, but the Rovers were flagged for pass interference.

The 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the 26. Two plays later, Mills ripped off a 20-yard run, breaking free of a few tackle attempts, to reach the 6. On third down, Mills hit McMaster for an 8-yard TD pass with just eight seconds left. Mills then kicked the point to bring Clarion to within three points, 17-14.

“It was a big momentum shift to score there,” Wiser said.

The second half started with the defenses dominating.

The Rovers got interceptions from Jake Gorham and Noah Vokes on Clarion’s first two possessions.

But the Rovers couldn’t capitalize, punting twice.

“We went to more press coverage in the second half, give him (Miller) something different to look at and we did a good job on their shallow routes and tried to make sure we kept everything underneath,” Wiser said.

The second punt came out of the Brockway end zone and Clarion took the ball on the Rovers 37 with 4:36 left in the third.

Rapp carried three times for 12 yards, then Minich had a 24-yarder before Rapp scored on a 6-yard run to make it 21-17 Clarion.

The Rovers answered with a 9-play, 75-yard drive to retake the lead, 24-21 when Miller hit Latuska for an 11-yard score.

But after that, it was all Clarion.

The Cats took the lead for good on the very next possession, driving 61 yards on 10 plays with McCloskey powering in from two yards out.

After Mills’s second interception, Clarion never threw the ball again and the Rovers didn’t stop the run.

Clarion ran the ball 23 straight times, gaining 162 yards.

Brockway had to punt after it couldn’t get a first down and the Bobcats started with it on their own 37. McCloskey had a 39-yard run to the Rovers 13, then finished the drive with his second TD from 5 yards out. Archer missed the PAT but the Cats still led 34-24 with 5:17 left.

The Rovers still had time to get out of the hole, but Clarion defensive end Tom Wurster sacked Miller for a loss of two and an errant snap cost the Rovers nine more yards. Miller missed a fourth-and-21 pass and the Bobcats didn’t take long to extend their lead.

From the 11, Rapp gained six yards on second down and Mills capped it with a 5-yard TD, going in untouched with 2:12 left to make it 40-24.

McCloskey then picked off a Miller pass and Mills kneeled twice to end it.

Brockway led first when Miller hit Andrew Trunzo for a 10-yard TD pass less than three minutes into the game.

Clarion answered with 3:19 left as Rapp scored his first TD.

Latuska ran for a 12-yard TD run early in the second to make it 14-7.

CLARION 40, BROCKWAY 24

Score by Quarters

Clarion 7 7 7 19 – 40
Brockway 7 10 7 – 24

Scoring Summary
First Quarter

B – Andrew Trunzo 10 pass from Hunter Miller (Jarrett Esposito kick), 9:35.
C – Colton Rapp 4 (Archer Mills kick), 3:19.
Second Quarter
B – Mark Latuska 12 run (Esposito kick), 10:03.
B – Esposito 37 field goal, 4:31.
C – Ryley McMaster 8 pass from Archer Mills (Mills kick), 0:08.
Third Quarter
C – Rapp 6 run (Mills kick), 2:35.
B – Latuska 11 pass from Miller (Esposito kick), 0:42.
Fourth Quarter
C – Mike McCloskey 2 run (Mills kick), 8:50.
C – McCloskey 5 run (kick failed), 5:17.
C – Mills 5 run (kick failed), 2:12.

TEAM STATISTICS
C B

First Downs 19 16
Rushes-Yards 51-331 25-46
Comp-Att-Int 6-10-2 14-31-1
Passing Yards 47 250
Total Plays-Yards 61-378 56-296
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 5-25 6-74
Punts-Avg. 1-33.0 3-31.3

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
Rushing – Clarion: Colton Rapp 27-188, Mike McCloskey 7-64, Archer Mills 8-36, Ryley McMaster 6-16, Logan Minich 3-27. Brockway: Mark Latuska 12-43, Hunter Miller 8-12, Brian Elias 1-9, Dylan LeCates 1-(-1), John Wood 2-(-6), Team 1-(-9).
Passing – Clarion: Archer Mills 6 of 10, 47 yards, 1 TD, 2 Int . Brockway: Hunter Miller 14 of 31, 250 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int.
Receiving – Clarion: Ty Burford 1-14, Ryley McMaster 2-9, Mike McCloskey 2-20, Dominic Fleming 1-4. Brockway: Andrew Trunzo 3-28, Dylan LeCates 4-50, Cameron Baka 2-65, Jake Gorham 3-63, Mark Latuska 2-44.
Interceptions – Clarion: Mike McCloskey. Brockway: Jake Gorham, Noah Vokes.

(1) KANE 55, (4) MONITEAU 7

KANE, Pa. – Reed Williams threw four touchdown passes, and Erik DeLong ran for three scores and became Kane’s all-time single-season rushing leader as the top-seeded Wolves rolled past visiting and fourth-seeded Moniteau, 55-7, in the District 9 Class 2A semifinals.

Kane (11-0), which is making its fifth straight appearance in a D9 title game (3 in 2A and 2 in 1A) rolled to a 42-0 halftime lead and outgained the visiting Warriors (3-7) 390-124.

Williams had a big night going 11 of 15 for 258 yards and four touchdowns. He threw a pair of scoring passes to Davis Gardner (5 catches, 64 yards) and one each to Ange Costanzo (2 catches, 74 yards) and Ray Maze (2 catches, 89 yards).

DeLong, meanwhile, ran 13 times for 137 and three touchdowns scoring on runs of 8, 4 and 70 yards. The 70-yard score early in the second half helped the junior eclipse the school’s single-season rushing mark of 1,529 yards set last year by Shane Rolick. DeLong now has 1,577 yards on the season.

Kane jumped to a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter on two DeLong scoring runs and a 48-yard Williams to Costanzo touchdown pass. Williams then hit Gardner from 24 and 10 yards out and Maze from 63 yards out in the second quarter to push the lead to 42-0.

After DeLong’s 70-yard burst made it 49-0, Frank Truden ended the scoring for the Wolves with a 5-yard run in the third quarter.

Dalton Anderson, who had four catches for 41 yards, caught the lone Moniteau TD on an 11-yard pass from Chance Nagy in the fourth quarter. Nagy was 5 of 14 for 57 yards. He also caught two passes for 20 yards and ran four times for 31 yards. Hunter Fitzingo was 5 of 9 passing for 44 yards. Wyatt Geibel chipped in four grabs for 30 yards for the Warriors.

Kane will take on Clarion in the District 9 title game next week.


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