Throw-Down, Drag-Out Battle to Happen in Brockway between Clarion and Brockway

hunter-miller-brockway-by-paul-burdick
BROCKWAY, Pa. (D9Sports) – When thew new classifications came out after the PIAA went to six classes in football, Class 2A in District 9 was small – only five teams – but immediately intriguing with the last three Class 1A champions – Kane and Clarion – and the runner-up in 1A the last two years – Brockway – all moving up.

(Photo of Brockway quarterback Hunter Miller. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

And those three teams haven’t disappointed going a combined 26-2 in the regular season meaning a matchup at 7 p.m. Friday night between third-seeded Clarion and second-seeded Brockway, both at 8-1, at Brockway’s Frank Varischetti Field.

It’s a grudge match as well with the teams meeting for the third time in the playoffs in the last five years. Clarion won the first two meetings, both in the old Class 1A bracket, 35-14 in 2012 and 56-12 in 2013.

Brockway, who didn’t play last week, comes in averaging big numbers offensively at 47.1 points while piling up 404 yards — 227 passing, 177 rushing — per game despite scoring just 3 in a 14-3 loss to Kane two weeks ago in a game that decided the AML South and the top seed in the 2A bracket.

Quarterback Hunter Miller (95-165, 1,777 yards, 17 TDs, 9 Ints.) is the catalyst and he’s second (62-330, 10 TDs) on the team in rushing behind Mark Latuska (99-867, 12 TDs).

Miller’s top receivers are Andrew Trunzo (30-564, 3 TDs), Dylan LeCates (17-347, 5 TDs) and Noah Vokes (8-200, 2 TDs).

Sixteen players have combined to score 56 TDs for the Rovers, who also have a solid kicking game led by Jarrett Esposito, who’s made 52 of 55 point-after kicks while going 4-for-8 in field goals.

Defensively, Brian Elias (8.1) leads the Rovers in tackles while Vokes, Trunzo and LaCates each have four interceptions.

The Bobcats boast big offensive numbers at 37.2 points per game along with 384 yards — 269 rushing, 115 passing — per game. They’re also giving up just 9.6 points per game. They are coming off a 40-0 trouncing of St. Marys last week, and their only loss is to 3A No. 1 seed Karns City.

Junior running back Colton Rapp (158-1,337, 13 TDs) and junior quarterback Spencer Miller (56-110, 1,035 yards, 19 TDs, 8 Ints.) lead the Bobcats offense. Also for the Bobcats are junior Ryley McMaster (24-222 rushing; 13-184, 1 TD receiving), senior Mike McCloskey (44-242, 6 TDs rushing; 10-120, 3 TDs receiving) and the leading receiver in senior Ty Burford (22-549, 12 TDs).

Colt Stimmell (6.8) and Rapp (6.2) are the Bobcats’ leading tacklers. Thomas Wurster has seven sacks, and Miller and McMaster each have three interceptions.

The Bobcats are 20-16 going into their 20th trip to the district playoffs. The Rovers are 18-13 in their 19th trip to the playoffs.

TOP-SEEDED KANE HOSTS MONITEAU

KANE, Pa. – The other semifinals in 2A features top-seeded Kane, which won the D9 1A title in each of the last two seasons after being runner-up in 2A the two years prior to that, looking for its fifth straight title-game appearance when it hosts fourth-seeded Moniteau.

Kane (10-0), which has a co-op with East Forest, rolls into its playoff opener with a 26-game winning streak against D9 foes, looking for a third-straight title.

Meanwhile, the Warriors (3-6) finished the season with a three-game losing streak and four losses in their last five games.

Kane shook off a scrappy effort from Otto-Eldred to win last week’s AML Championship game. The Wolves, who gave up a season-high 26 points last week, are yielding just 8.2 points per game. Offensively, they’re scoring 41.2 points per game while piling up 402 yards per game offensively — 249 rushing, 153 passing.

Junior running back Erik DeLong (185-1,440, 18 TDs) is the workhorse back for the Wolves while junior quarterback Reed Williams (76-129, 1,525 yards, 20 TDs, 4 Ints.) having a very effective season. Williams’ top receivers are Davis Gardner (29-439, 7 TDs) and Ray Maze (25-649, 8 TDs).

DeLong, from his linebacker spot, leads the Wolves with 8.9 tackles per game. Gardner has a team-high four interceptions.

Moniteau averages 250 yards per game — 153 rushing, 97 passing — as sophomore quarterback Chance Nagy (44-110, 771 yards, 7 TDs, 13 Ints.) also leads the team in rushing (98-303, 5 TDs). Freshman fullback Nick Martino (73-302, 2 TDs) is a yard behind Nagy for the team lead. Receiver Dalton Anderson (32-569, 5 TDs) leads the team in all-purpose yards and touchdowns (7). Warriors junior kicker Steven Fawcett has made 7 of 8 field goals.

The Wolves have won six straight district playoff games and they’re 12-8 going their 12th playoff appearance. The Warriors are 7-11 in their 13th trip to the playoffs.

Read all the District 9 playoff previews at D9Sports.com


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