As the high school football season rolls into Week 7, Clearfield’s matchup with Tyrone on Friday carries a ton of importance. Not only is an outright Mountain League title likely on the line, but the Bison also have playoff seeding points to start thinking about. As of this week, Clearfield leads the District 5/6/8/9 Subregional with 550 points. Somerset (500), University Prep (440) and Johnstown (320) round out the top four, which is the number of teams that will qualify for the subregional. Punxsutawney sits in fifth place with 260 points, so the playoff field is far from set with three games to play.
The Bison and Golden Eagles have played 66 times heading into Friday night and many of those matchups have been important ones for either team. Snapshots of some of those games are shown below:
Clearfield faced Tyrone for the first time, but little is resolved as the two teams battle to a scoreless tie. It was the first of three ties in the series, with the others coming in 1950 (0-0) and 1976 (14-14).
During Clearfield’s first 10-win season, they had to get by a tough Tyrone team that would finish the season 11-1. Clearfield won the game, 13-7, giving the Golden Eagles their only blemish of the year. Tyrone was beginning the first great stretch in school history, going 101-10-4 from 1939-48. From 1939 through 1943, the team would go 54-4-2. The 1940 team would tie Shenandoah, 0-0, for the state championship in 1940.
The homestanding Golden Eagles gave Clearfield one of its toughest games in its 10-0 season, holding the Bison to a 6-0 halftime lead. Clearfield pulled away in the second half and won, 20-0, marking the team’s sixth shutout of a total of seven they’d have that year. Vic Jones ran 19 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, which was a relatively pedestrian game for the star who would run for 1,720 yards that year.
On September 2, the Bison hosted Tyrone in the first game ever played at the Bison Sports Complex. Clearfield wins, 27-7, as Pat Davis ran 17 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns. The Golden Eagles did their best to help out the Bison, fumbling eight times and losing six of them. The win would be the first of many for Clearfield teams on “The Hill in Hyde City” – Clearfield is 89-21 at home since the start of the 1994 season and has gone 35-4 there since the start of 2008.
In the two teams’ first meeting since 1991, the Golden Eagles came to the Bison Sports Complex ranked 4th in Class AA by the Pennsylvania Football News. Tyrone had won 35 consecutive regular-season games, but Clearfield pulled out a 35-34 win on its way to a 10-3 season. Isiah Morgan ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and Jarrin Campman accounted for over 200 total yards and three touchdowns.
2012, 2013, 2014
The current three-game winning streak over the Golden Eagles has featured a number of memorable moments for Clearfield. In 2012, Clearfield used Christian Lezzer (34 carries, 154 yards, 2 TDs) and a stingy defense that held Tyrone to 155 total yards to knock off the Golden Eagles, 14-13, in Tyrone. The next year, Seth Ford blocked two extra points and Lezzer scored the game-winning touchdown with 41 seconds left, giving the Bison a 27-26 win. Last year, the Bison scored two touchdowns before Tyrone’s offense set foot on the field. Clearfield beat the undefeated Golden Eagles, 26-14, in Tyrone. Dustin Maines blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown to help give Clearfield a lead in the second quarter that they wouldn’t relinquish.
- Friday’s matchup will go a long way in determining the Mountain League champion for 2015. Clearfield is undefeated in the conference, while Tyrone and Central each have one loss. A win by the Bison this week followed by wins over Bald Eagle Area and Philipsburg-Osceola – who have combined for 1 win this season – would wrap up the title for Clearfield.
- The last three meetings between Tyrone and Clearfield have been close ones, but the Bison have won each (14-13, 27-26, 26-14). Clearfield is the first team to beat the Golden Eagles three years in a row since Huntingdon did so from 2001-03.
- Sad news for the Bison football family as former CHS standout Christian Lezzer has decided to end his football career following a string of concussions. Lezzer totaled nearly 4,800 yards from scrimmage and 74 total touchdowns in his career. While at Boston College, Lezzer played as a true freshman in last year’s upset win over USC, recording a sack in the game.
- Heading into Friday’s game, Tyrone quarterback Drew Hunter has thrown 16 touchdown passes without an interception on the season.
- Matt Collins is just 9 tackles away from becoming the 8th Bison to record 100 tackles in a season. Collins would join Seth Ford (2012) as the only juniors to do so since 1993. He has recorded at least 12 tackles in all but one game this season and ranks third in the state with 91 on the year. Christian Rumery is 9th with 81.
- Tyrone leads the all-time series, 34-29-3. In its history, Tyrone holds a 630-356-41 record, while Clearfield enters Friday’s game with a record of 561-461-38.