Thieves in the Night: Central Clarion Forces Seven Turnovers, Jase Ferguson Throws Four TD Passes, in 45-7 Win Over Punxsutawney

STRATTANVILLE, Pa. (EYT/D9) – Central Clarion used seven turnovers, turning four of them into points, as the Wildcats erupted for a 45-7 victory over Punxsutawney on Homecoming Night at the Clarion-Limestone football field.

(Above, Jase Fersguson threw for four touchdowns in the win over Punxsutawney.)

Central Clarion (4-0 overall) recovered four fumbles while Ryan Hummell intercepted two passes and Brady Quinn another.

“I’ve been saying we can’t expect to keep getting that many turnovers and yet here we are again,” said Central Clarion head coach Dave Eggleton. “Our guys have just been getting in the right position and tackling the ball and dropping back into their zones really well. We’re just playing good, sound defensive football. We’re really not doing anything extraordinary out there.”

But it has been extraordinary for the Wildcats, who have now forced a staggering 22 turnovers in four games.

Central Clarion football coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.

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On the Chucks’ first possession of the game, Hummell intercepted a Peyton Hetrick pass, returning it 40 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back on a penalty.

The Wildcats were later stopped on downs at the Chucks’ 36.

Two plays later Zeke Bennett fumbled, and Central Clarion recovered at the Punxsy 45. Four plays later, Jase Ferguson fired his first of four touchdown passes on the evening, this one to Tommy Smith from 42 yards out. Thomas Uckert added the PAT kick for a 7-0 lead with 7:50 to play in the first.

Punxsy (2-2) answered by running the ball nine times, with Bennett carrying the ball on six of those carries, including the final 30 for a touchdown. Hetrick added the PAT kick to tie the game 7-7 with 3:39 to play in the first.

Bennett turned out to be the lone bright spot for the Chucks, carrying the ball 26 times for 119 yards with one score.

“That Bennett kid is a very good running back,” said Eggleton. “Just that one run where he made a nice cutback move for the touchdown shows how good he is. Otherwise I felt our guys did a pretty good job on him.”

After Quinn collected his interception, it took the Wildcats just one play in the second quarter to score again, this time on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Ferguson to Ashton Rex. Uckert added the PAT kick for a 14-7 lead with 9:25 to play in the second.

After a Punxsy punt, the Wildcats used six plays to score on a 6-yard touchdown run by Ferguson. Uckert would add another PAT kick for a 21-7 lead with 4:40 to play in the half.

Connor Kopnitsky rushed four times for 43 yards on the drive. He finished the game with 80 yards on 10 carries.

After trading punts, Central Clarion took over at their own 40. Three plays later, Ferguson found a wide-open Dawson Smail for a 36-yard touchdown pass. Uckert added the PAT kick for a 28-7 halftime lead.

Neither team mustered much offense in the third quarter as a 26-yard field goal by Thomas Uckert accounted for the only points, putting the score 31-7 after three.

The field goal was set up by Hummell’s second interception.

On the last play of the third quarter, the Chucks were trying to hurry and get off a play, but the snap resulted in another fumble recovered by the Wildcats at the Chucks 14.

Brady Quinn then ran around the left side for a 14-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to push the score to 38-7 following the Uckert kick at the 11:55 mark.

Following yet another fumble recovery, the Wildcats needed just two plays to score. Ferguson found Rex for a 50-yard strike to put the mercy rule running clock into effect for the final 8:06 of the contest as the score jumped to 45-7.

Ferguson finished 12-of-23 passes for 249 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Rex caught nine passes for 161 yards with two scores. Smith caught one pass for 42, and Smail added one catch for 36 yards and a score.

“Ashton Rex had a huge night for us tonight,” said Eggleton. “Tommy Smith had a nice catch down there and Dawson Smail. We even ran the ball a bit tonight even though they had a lot of guys in the box most of the night.”

Central Clarion rushed a total of 31 times for 116 yards. Ferguson rushed 10 times for 53 yards.

The Wildcats’ defense held Punxsy to just 136 yards of total offense. The Chucks gained just eight first downs for the game, including just two in the second half.

Central Clarion is set to travel to Bradford next Friday.

“We’ll celebrate this one a bit tonight and then we’ll start to get ready to try and move to 5-0 next week,” said Eggleton.

Central Clarion football coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Redbank Chevrolet and DuBrook.
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