For those who are familiar with this site, this preview will be different than others that I’ve posted over the past year. Over the offseason I collected assorted information about former Bison who made an impact in football beyond Clearfield. Thanks to the help of sports information directors at various colleges, this site will be able to feature a CHS great from the past during most weeks this regular season. These previews will follow a similar format to the post in March following the death of Vic Jones. I thought this would be a more interesting way to include information into a preview than just rehashing what I posted during, for example, the 2013 Penns Valley game. A brief rundown of Friday’s game in Spring Mills can be found at the bottom of this post. If you have any other ideas, please let me know.
Bill Miller is arguably one of the first true stars in Clearfield football history along with Bill Shepherd, who played for the Bison in the late 1920s and was named to four All-Pro teams in six NFL seasons. Named to the first AP All-State Team in 1939, Miller led the Bison (then Bisons, of course) to a 10-1-1 record, a Western Conference title, and a berth in the state championship game. In fact, according to a story that appeared in The Progress years later, the idea of selecting an All-State team came about in Clearfield during that game, which was played at the Driving Park.
Miller’s football career at Clearfield spanned from 1937 to 1939, the first three seasons that this site details statistically. Stats were recorded sporadically – if at all – during this period, so the statistics for Miller that we have today are as accurate as possible but not complete. It is virtually certain that Miller was the first Bison to run for 1,000 career yards (unless Shepherd beat him to it a decade earlier), but this cannot be known for sure. Miller’s career numbers are shown below:
63 attempts, 829 yards, 19 TDs. He obviously had many more carries than what can be found in old newspapers, but based only on these numbers Miller averaged over 13 yards per carry in his career. This number is inflated because it includes all of his touchdown runs – many of which were long gains – and few shorter runs, but he still was a dominant runner during his high school years.
20 completions, 364 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs
1 catch, 11 yards
21 total TDs
1,193 total yards of offense (rush plus pass)
26 total rushing and passing TDs
An all-around outstanding athlete, Miller would hit .507 the following spring for the Bison baseball team. He then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Eric Dolan, Associate Director of Athletic Communications at Penn, Miller was a key player during his final two seasons with the Quakers:
William Miller lettered for Penn Football in 1941 and 1942. The 1941 team went 7-1-0 with Miller playing tailback. He ran 50 yards for a touchdown in the Princeton game as well as 30 yards for a touchdown in the Cornell game. He appeared in all eight scheduled games, playing 130 minutes total. The 1942 team went 5-3-1 with Miller playing right halfback. He ran for a touchdown and 107 yards against Harvard, while also running more than 60 yards in games against the Georgia Naval Cadets, Penn State and Cornell. He appeared in all nine games and played for 231.5 minutes total.
In the 1944 NFL Draft, Miller was selected with the 201st pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dolan also sent along several pictures of Miller during his Penn playing days. Here is the 1941 Penn team; Miller is number 51 in the back row:
Again wearing number 51, Miller is seen in the third row of the 1942 team photo:
Miller’s headshot from Penn:
Finally, an amazing sequence of pictures detailing a Miller touchdown run versus Princeton:
A big thank you goes to Eric Dolan and the Penn sports information department for the information and pictures contained in this post.
CLEARFIELD VS. PENNS VALLEY
All-Time Series: Clearfield leads, 7-0
Clearfield points-per-game: 40.9
Penns Valley points-per-game: 11.9
Biggest Clearfield win: 47-0 (2012)
Closest game: Clearfield 14, Penns Valley 13 (2007)
Keyser, WV 43, Clearfield 30
Juniata 29, Penns Valley 16
- Clearfield has played more games against Penns Valley than any other team against whom it has gone undefeated all-time. Following the Rams are Reynoldsville (6-0), Central Mountain (5-0), and Erie East (4-0).
- The Bison’s 40.9 points-per-game against Penns Valley is the highest average versus any opponent with more than two meetings with Clearfield. Central Mountain (36.4), Central (32.5), Indian Valley (31.6), and Reynoldsville (30.2) round out the top five.
- In 2011, the Bison averaged 11.92 yards per rush against the Rams, gaining 429 yards on only 36 carries. That is the 4th highest yards-per-carry average in a single game since The Progress began tracking rushing attempts in 1974. The top three:
- 15.76 vs. DuBois in 2002 (29 rushes, 457 yards)
- 13.15 vs. Lewistown in 2008 (41 rushes, 539 yards)
- 12.27 vs. Bald Eagle Area in 2002 (37 rushes, 454 yards)
- Clearfield’s 37-15 win over Penns Valley was the Bison’s 3rd-closest win of the 2013 regular season. Only Central (35-20) and Tyrone (27-26) lost by a closer margin.