DuBois, Clearfield, Curwensville Set for Football Postseason Friday

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (D9Sports) – Two days after the Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year old championship drought, the DuBois Beavers will look to end a drought of their own Friday night when they face Johnstown in the District 5-6-9 4A Semifinals at Johnstown.

(Photo of DuBois QB Matt Miller)

DuBois (6-4) hasn’t won a postseason game since 1996, a stretch of 11 straight losses. That includes a 29-7 loss to State College in last year’s District 6-9 4A Championship game after getting a semifinal bye.

This time around, it’s a matchup against the second-seeded Trojans (9-1) who dropped their only game of the season two weeks ago against Bishop Guilfoyle (21-14), the No. 2 team in the state in Class 1A according to Penn Live and the two-time defending PIAA 1A champion.

Johnstown’s schedule is heavier on the smaller schools with just one team 4A or bigger, that coming in a 21-14 win over Somerset. Conversely, the Beavers have played one team this year smaller than 4A and that was their 42-35 shootout win over state-ranked 2A Newport.

The Trojans feature Division I recruit Exree Loe, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound West Virginia recruit who de-committed from Pittsburgh last summer before signing with the Mountaineers this fall. Loe, a receiver-defensive back, doesn’t own any eye-popping stats this year — 23-566, 5 TDs receiving, third on team at 6.5 tackles per game and no interceptions with modest numbers on a combined 13 kick and punt returns to go with eight touchdowns, second-best on the team.

Junior quarterback Austin Barber (67-123, 1,407 yards, 16 TDs, 3 Ints.) and running back Bryce Gibson (149-1,096, 13 TDs) give the Trojans plenty of balance offensively. They average 34 points and 327 yards per game.

The Beavers try to bounce back from a 35-21 loss to Hollidaysburg in their season-finale. The Tigers limited DuBois to minus-3 yards rushing, although quarterback Matt Miller threw up 57 passes, completing 31 for 357 yards. Kyle Hopson caught 15 more passes for 210 yards and a touchdown, although much of that came with the Beavers down in the second half. A return to health of a couple of lineman would greatly help the offense.

Hopson (92-1,540, 17 TDs) set district single-season records for catches and receiving yards — the previous marks were Port Allegany’s Nick Conway’s 1,482 yards in 2012 and Brockway’s Mike Vervoort’s 88 catches in 2009 — while Miller (140-231, 2,082 yards, 19 TDs, 6 Ints.) continues to climb up the D9 passing ladder. Now with 5,702 career yards, he moved up to No. 7 on the district’s all-time list.

Also for the Beavers, running back Brock Adams (152-980, 14 TDs) is edging close to a 1,000-yard season. Miller’s other receiving targets are Dylan McCluskey (36-390, 2 TDs), Kenny Garvey (15-201, 2 TDs) and Adams (17-156).

Defensively for the Beavers, Garvey (9.1), Ryan Pasternak (8.3) and Dylan Oswalt (8.0) are the top tacklers. Pasternak has a team-high 5 1/2 sacks.


CLEARFIELD, Pa. – In a rematch of a Week 5 contest also at the Bison Sports Complex, a pair of Mountain League foes will dual again in the other District 5-6-9 4A semifinal when top-seeded Clearfield (9-1) hosts fourth-seeded Bellefonte (5-5) at 7 p.m. Friday.

In the first meeting, Clearfield blanked the Red Raiders, 28-0, limiting Bellefonte to 85 yards of offense.

After falling, 30-20, in the season opener at DuBois, Clearfield has won nine straight and is coming off a come-from-behdind 35-28 win over Karns City last week that saw the Bison twice rally from down 14.The points allowed to the Gremlins ended a stretch where the Bison had allowed just 10 points with three shutouts in the previous five games.

Meanwhile, the Bison average 372 yards per game — 210 rushing, 162 p6-3)assing. Last week’s D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Week, sophomore quarterback Isaac Rumery (85-for-161, 1,618 yards, 16 TDs, 9 Ints.) has thrown at least one touchdown in all 10 games. His top receivers are junior Micah Heichel (33-763, 7 TDs) and senior Ryan Lezzer (31-600, 5 TDs).

Rumery is also the second-leading rusher at 512 yards with 4 touchdowns. Senior running back Seth Caldwell (216-1,107, 15 TDs) is the workhorse leading the Bison ground game.

Middle linebacker Matt Collins leads the Bison defense with 15.6 tackles per game. Senior Hunter Bumbarger has five sacks while Lezzer leads the team with four interceptions.

The Red Raiders had to get help from Philipsburg-Osceola to get into the fourth spot for the playoffs. The Mounties’ win over St. Joseph’s Academy ended a 36-game losing streak last week, vaulting Bellefonte past Somerset.

The Red Raiders, 2-2 since their first loss to Clearfield, average 257 yards per game offensively. Senior quarterbacks Tyler Kreger (31-57, 556 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int.) and Chase Gardner (61-104, 728 yards, 3 TDs, 10 Ints.) have shared chores behind center, but Kreger was 9-for-14 for 205 yards and two TDs in last week’s 35-0 win over Bald Eagle Area.

Dexter Gallishaw (72-392, 3 TDs) and Kreger (57-349, 6 TDs) leading rushers.

The Bison have beaten Bellefonte seven straight times dating back to the Red Raiders’ last win in 2007. It’s also the 21st straight season in the playoffs for the Bison and 24th overall.


CURWENSVILLE, Pa. – In what’s become a familiar matchup in the District 9 1A playoffs, fourth-seeded Curwensville (5-4) hosts fifth-seeded Coudersport (5-4) at 7 p.m. Friday night in the quarterfinals with the winner facing top-seeded Ridgway next week – the Elkers have a bye this week.

It’s the sixth time these teams have met in the postseason and Golden Tide host the Falcons looking for their first win over them in the playoffs. Coudersport beat Curwensville in 2011, 2009, 2006 (finals), 2005 and 2001 (finals).

As the AML crossover schedule went this year, they didn’t meet. Both teams are coming off bye weeks.

Curwensville, after sweeping the AML-North in a 4-0 start, dropped four of five games in the AML-South and ended a four-game losing streak two weeks ago with a 37-8 win over Bradford. Coudersport sort of reversed its season compared to Curwensville as the Falcons were the only AML-North team two in a crossover game — also Bradford in a 36-34 win in Week 1 — and won four of their final five games. However, the Week 7 loss to Otto-Eldred cost Coudersport the AML-North title.

The Golden Tide are run-heavy as usual, averaging 257 of their 314 yards on the ground with workhorse junior running back Nick Stewart (234-1,732, 22 TDs) leading the way. Stewart, who accounts for just over 65 percent of the Tide’s yards from scrimmage, is the district’s third all-time leading rusher at 5,236 yards with a year to go and he trails two Golden Tide runners at the top — No. 1 Nick Sipes (5,963) and No. 2 Alex Holland (5,754).

Senior Kaleb Witherite (56-302, 5 TDs) is the Tide’s second-leading rusher while junior quarterback Bryce Timko (33-80, 490 yards, 6 TDs, 3 TDs.) takes the snaps. Stewart (10-156) and Zach Marshall (9-199, 2 TDs) are the leading receivers.

Defensively, Stewart leads the Tide with five sacks. Noah Von Gunden has four interceptions.

Coudersport comes in much more balanced at 261 yards — 137 rushing, 124 passing — per game offensively. Leading the offense are quarterback Aaron Wolfinger (78-156, 1,129 yards, 14 TDs, 13 Ints.), running back Brock Wilson (102-531, 7 TDs) and Jared Green (48-257, 4 TDs rushing; 27-502, 7 TDs receiving). Wolfinger (88-213, 3 TDs) is third on the team rushing while two other receiving targets are Derek Keglovits (12-223, 2 TDs) and David Burd (14-218, 4 TDs).

Green leads the defense with 9.3 tackles per game with Wolfinger (6.8) and Wilson (6.8) following him.

The Golden Tide are making their 14th playoff appearance with a 12-10 record while the Falcons are 16-12 in 16 appearances. Coudersport made its first playoff appearance last year for the first time since 2011, also the last year it won a playoff game in a 28-27 first-round win over Curwensville.

Read all the District 9 playoff previews at D9Sports.com

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