Clarion U. Football Hosts Bloomsburg in Home Opener Saturday


CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion University football team opens its home season at 1 p.m. Saturday when it entertains Bloomsburg.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

Game 2 // Clarion Golden Eagles (0-1, 0-0 PSAC West) vs. Bloomsburg Huskies (0-1, 0-0 PSAC East)
Saturday, Sept. 9 // 1 p.m. ET // Clarion, Pa. // Memorial Stadium (5,000)

Live Stats // Live Video // Live Audio

Clarion Game Notes

Two-Minute Drill

  • The Clarion Golden Eagles play the first of three straight games at Memorial Stadium when they host the Bloomsburg Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 9
  • This will be the 12th meeting between Bloomsburg and Clarion, with the Huskies holding a 7-4-1 edge in the all-time series with the Golden Eagles
  • The last Clarion win against Bloomsburg came during the 1996 season when the Golden Eagles won an NCAA playoff game
  • The Golden Eagles forced four turnovers in last week’s loss at UT Martin, with Myles Edmonds and Avery Howsare recording interceptions and Colton McKay and Tyrone Archie forcing fumbles
  • Running back Mylique McGriff made a strong first impression for the Golden Eagles, rushing for 46 yards on 10 carries against UT Martin
  • Clarion returns 12 players who started six or more games last year — eight on defense and four on offense
  • Junior offensive lineman Zack Morris was a Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Super Region 1 selection in 2016 and was one of only two Clarion offensive linemen to start every game last year
  • An extremely young team in 2017, the Golden Eagles have 31 players with either freshman or sophomore eligibility on their offensive and defensive two-deep chart
  • Junior defensive lineman Tyrone Archie led the Golden Eagles with 5.5 total sacks last year and has 12.0 sacks over his first two years
  • Clarion has once again renewed its fruitful partnership with Sports Fever and will have two games televised locally and streamed nationally on ESPN3 – 9/23 vs. Mercyhurst and 9/30 at Edinboro
  • Starting in 2017, all five Golden Eagle home contests will be available as free web streams via ClarionGoldenEagles.com

The Lead
The Clarion Golden Eagles return home for the first of three straight games at Memorial Stadium, when they host the Bloomsburg Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Mike Kalinowski and Joe Lodanosky will have the radio call for the game on 92.9 WCCR-FM and 96.3 WKQW-FM an hour before kickoff. Live audio streaming will be available via the C93 website and linked on the schedule at ClarionGoldenEagles.com.

Scouting the Huskies
Bloomsburg is coming off a 6-5 record from a season ago, including a 4-3 record in PSAC East play. They were picked to finish fourth in the PSAC East preseason coaches’ poll. Always known for their potent running attack, Bloomsburg averaged 170.5 yards on the ground last year compared to just 186.1 yards through the air. The difference in touchdowns was much more stark, with the Huskies scoring 26 times on the ground and just seven times through the air.

Junior defensive lineman Chris Gary was named a Preseason All-American by several publications after leading the PSAC with 12.5 sacks in 2016.

Series History
This will be just the 13th meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Huskies since the 1934 season, with Bloomsburg holding a 7-4-1 advantage in the all-time series with Clarion. It’s been a long dry spell for the Golden Eagles, who haven’t beaten Bloomsburg since winning 42-29 in the 1996 NCAA playoffs. To put that in perspective, current Clarion head coach Chris Weibel was the quarterback of that squad.

Last year, Bloomsburg held on for a close 35-20 win in a game at Redman Stadium. Clarion pulled to within 28-20 with three seconds remaining in the third quarter and had a number of chances to convert in the fourth, but Bloomsburg forced a fumble, recovered it and return it for a touchdown to seal the deal.

About the Coach
Chris Weibel enters his third season as the program’s head coach after spending many of the previous years as an assistant. Weibel has an overall record of 11-12 at Clarion, including a 7-7 record in PSAC West play. A 2010 inductee into the Clarion Sports Hall of Fame, Weibel graduated with every major Clarion passing record to his credit.

Last Week
The Clarion defense forced three first-half turnovers to keep Division I opponent, the University of Tennessee at Martin in check, however, the Skyhawks flexed their muscle in the second half and pulled away with a 36-0 shutout victory on a rain soaked Thursday night in Tennessee.

Clarion’s duo of Kyle Evans and Mylique McGriff ran for 68 and 50 yards, respectively, on a rainy night where field conditions made it tough in the air.

Weibel Names Captains
Head coach Chris Weibel named his two offensive and two defensive captains for 2017 on Saturday, Aug. 26. Quarterback Asiantii Woulard and offensive lineman Zack Morris will represent the offense, while defensive back Colton McKay and linebacker Avery Howsare represent the defense.

Rip and Run
The Golden Eagles were able to stay close with the Skyhawks all throughout the first half of last week’s game, in large part due to Clarion’s veteran defense forcing four turnovers. Senior defensive back and captain Colton McKay forced a fumble on UT Martin’s third play of the game, with linebacker Layne Skundrich scooping up the loose ball.

Myles Edmonds quashed a potential scoring drive when he picked off Skyhawk quarterback Troy Cook in the second quarter, and linebacker Hakeim McKenzie fell on a loose ball on kickoff coverage late in the half. Avery Howsare finished it off by picking off a pass at the very end of the period.

First Impressions Are Everything
Freshman running back Mylique McGriff made the most of his first collegiate game action with a solid showing against UT Martin. McGriff rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries, including a 21-yard run that was the longest rushing gain of the night for the Golden Eagles.

Where He Left Off
Junior linebacker Layne Skundrich picked up the 2017 season right where he left off from a season ago, recording a game-high 10 total tackles against UT Martin. Last year Skundrich led the Golden Eagles with 85 total tackles, as well as a team-high 7.7 tackles per game.

Pushing the Pocket
The defensive line was expected to be one of the areas where Clarion expected to excel, especially early in the year with many veteran faces returning, and that played out against the Skyhawks. Leading the way was Robert Zilhaver, who finished with six tackles and a game-high four quarterback hurries.

Home Cookin’
For the second straight year, the Golden Eagles will enjoy a three-week stretch of home games, starting this week against Bloomsburg. Last year Clarion went 2-1 during their three-game homestand, including wins over Slippery Rock and Gannon.

Home Field Advantage
In his short time as head coach, Chris Weibel has shown difficult to beat at Memorial Stadium. The Golden Eagles are 7-4 at home under Weibel.

But Now the Inverse…
Clarion will play three straight games away from home to start the season, starting with an Oct. 28 showdown at Slippery Rock. They then travel to take on Gannon and West Chester, respectively, to close out the slate.

Sunshine State Transfer
Junior transfer Asiantii Woulard seized the quarterback reins after the completion of fall camp, taking the starting job in time for Week 1 against UT Martin. Woulard was once a four-star recruit out of Florida who originally signed a National Letter of Intent at UCLA. He transferred to South Florida in order to be closer to family but after the 2016 season decided to transfer to Clarion.

Clarion Picked Seventh in Preseason Poll
In a coaches’ poll before the start of the year, Clarion was predicted to finish seventh in the PSAC West division in 2017.

PSAC West (# of 1st place votes)
1) IUP (6)
2) California (2)
3) Slippery Rock
4) Edinboro
5) Gannon
6) Seton Hill
7) Clarion
8) Mercyhurst

Lights, Camera, Action!
Clarion University will continue its fruitful partnership with the Pennsylvania Sports Fever Television Network in 2017, with two contests – 9/9 vs. Bloomsburg and 9/30 at Edinboro – airing live on affiliates across the state of Pennsylvania and made available to millions in the Keystone State. The selected games will also be streamed on ESPN3 via the Watch ESPN app.

Eagle Media to Stream Clarion Home Games
In a joint venture between Eagle Media Productions and the athletic department, all Clarion home football games in 2017 will be available via free video streaming. Viewers will be able to access the video streams via the schedule page on ClarionGoldenEagles.com.

What’s Next
The Golden Eagles play their second straight at home when they host one of the favorites in the PSAC East division, the Shippensburg Red Raiders.


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