D9Sports.com Week Previews: Bobcats Open Defense of Class A Title; Elkers-Knights Rematch

d9sports_logoThis isn’t the first time these teams have met in the postseason. It’s third time they’ll meet in the playoffs and Clarion is seeking its first points on the board against the Golden Tide. Curwensville blanked Clarion, 23-0, in the 2000 Class A final and 42-0 in the Class A semifinals.

The Bobcats go into the tournament as the favorite. They haven’t lost to a D9 Class A team not named Port Allegany — they lost in the finals to the Gators in 2011 and 2012 — since a first-round playoff loss to Cameron County in 2010. Since the loss to the Red Raiders, the Bobcats are 27-2 against Class A teams in the district.

For anyone to beat the Bobcats, they’ll have to deal with Ian Corbett, who leads the district with 1,788 yards (12.4 yards per carry) and 29 touchdowns. For his career, Corbett has 3,448 yards and 65 touchdowns, 55 of them rushing.

If Corbett is slowed down, the Bobcats have other options as four other backs have rushed for over 230 yards. Freshman Colton Rapp has 491 yards and eight touchdowns, Jacob Troutman (380 yards), Thomas Plummer (266 yards, 5 TDs) and Destin Strauser (235 yards, 4 TDs) are all factors out of the backfield.

Quarterback Taylor Smith has thrown for 537 yards with over half of his 23 completions, 12, going for touchdowns. Corbett leads the team with 12 catches for 288 yards.

Curwensville is no stranger to big running resumes over the years and it might have another big one coming as freshman Nick Stewart is off to a strong start with 1,445 yards and 16 touchdowns in his rookie season. Junior Hunter Johnson has rushed for 679 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Tide were knocked out of last year’s playoffs with a 28-22 loss to Redbank Valley in the semifinals.

For more preview, visit http://d9sports.com/bobcats-open-defense-of-class-a-title-elkers-knights-rematch/.

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