D5/6/8/9 Semifinals: Clearfield (9-1) vs. Johnstown (5-5)

johnstown

Clearfield squares off against Johnstown in the District 5/6/8/9 Subregional semifinals Friday night at the Bison Sports Complex.  This is the fifth time in six years that the Bison and the Trojans have met in the playoffs, with Clearfield winning each of the previous four matchups.  The two teams also met in 1919 and 1924, both Johnstown wins (6-3 and 17-0, respectively).

The Bison are currently 9-1 this season.  Here’s how each of its opponents have fared over the last 10 weeks:

WEEK 1 – vs. Fort Hill (MD) – 49-14 L

The Sentinels currently sit at 8-1 on the year and will play Northern – which is based in the wonderfully named Accident, MD – this week in the Maryland state playoffs.  Fort Hill’s only loss this year was in Week 2, a 48-41 loss to Keyser (WV), the team Clearfield lost to in last year’s season-opener.  The Sentinels are outscoring their opponents this year by an average of 43-16.

WEEK 2 – vs. Penns Valley – 42-18 W

Penns Valley finished another tough season, going 2-8.  The Rams beat Bald Eagle (32-20) and P-O (26-7), but struggled defensively, giving up 40 or more points five times and allowing 75 points in a season-opening loss to Juniata.  Penns Valley allowed over 36 points per game.

WEEK 3 – @ Central – 19-8 W

The Scarlet Dragons enter this weekend as the top overall seed in District 6 AA and will face Forest Hills Friday night.  Clearfield was Central’s only loss, and the 9-1 Dragons have outscored opponents this year by an average of 43-11.  Removing its loss to the Bison, Central has averaged 46.8 points per game in its nine wins.

WEEK 4 – vs. Huntingdon – 50-23 W

The Bearcats enter the playoffs at 6-4 and will take on Tyrone this weekend in the first round of the D6 AA playoffs.  Huntingdon is 4-2 since its loss to Clearfield on September 25th, and senior running back Jon Wagner has rushed for over 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns this year.

WEEK 5 – @ Brockway – 28-7 W

At 8-2, the Rovers will face Elk County Catholic in the first round of the D9 A playoffs Friday night.  Brockway’s two losses came to Clearfield and Kane (21-14) in consecutive weeks.  They are allowing just over 11 points per game in 2015.

WEEK 6 – @ Bellefonte – 42-7 W

Bellefonte wrapped up its second-straight 3-7 season last week with a 43-7 win over rival Bald Eagle Area.  The Red Raiders went 3-0 against Centre County teams and 0-7 against all others.

WEEK 7 – vs. Tyrone – 34-17 W

Tyrone finished in third place in the Mountain League at 8-2, losing only to league champion Clearfield and 9-1 Central.  The Golden Eagles will host Huntingdon Friday night in the first round of the D6 AA playoffs and are on a three-game winning streak, including one over AAAA Central Mountain.

WEEK 8 – vs. Bald Eagle Area – 49-12 W

The Eagles finished 1-9, defeating only winless P-O by a 14-0 score.  Offense was a big problem for Bald Eagle Area, as they averaged only 7.9 points per game.  They also allowed 40 or more points six times.

WEEK 9 – @ Philipsburg-Osceola – 56-17 W

P-O ended its second-straight winless campaign with a 42-0 loss to Bellwood-Antis last week.  Over the past three seasons, the Mounties are just 1-29.  In 2015, they were outscored by a total of 415-58.

WEEK 10 – vs. Punxsutawney (D9 AAA Championship) – 56-8 W

Despite being just 3-6 in the regular season, the Chucks entered the D9 AAA playoffs and were hammered by the Bison last week.  Punxsy beat Moniteau, Brookville and A-C Valley this season for its only wins.  In their two season-ending games, the Chucks were outscored by Karns City and Clearfield by a combined score of 118-14.

NOTES

  • Counting last week’s win over Punxsutawney in the District 9 AAA championship game, Clearfield is now 24-23 all-time in playoff games.
  • The Bison now have at least 9 wins in 7 of its past 8 seasons.  A win Friday would give Clearfield its sixth 10 win season during that span and 12th overall.
  • Trojans quarterback Jeremy Updyke has passed for over 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns this season.  For his career, Updyke has thrown for 5,233 yards and 52 touchdowns.
  • Many of Updyke’s passes are thrown to junior Exree Loe, who has caught 46 passes for 904 yards and 8 touchdowns this season.
  • Johnstown and Clearfield have no common opponents, but the Trojans have played the Subregional’s second-seeded team, Somerset.  The Eagles edged Johnstown by a score of 12-7 on October 2nd.
  • The Trojans have lost three of their last four games, but many games have been close.  Three of Johnstown’s five losses have come by a combined 10 points and another loss came to defending Class A state champion Bishop Guilfoyle.  Last week’s 21-18 loss to Cambria Heights assured Johnstown the 4th seed in the Subregional; a win would’ve moved them up to the 3rd seed.
  • With 2,226 career passing yards, Bison quarterback Cody Spaid is just 70 yards behind Jeff Kavelak (1984-86) for 11th in program history.  Kavelak graduated as Clearfield’s all-time leader in passing yards.
  • The Bison have six players who have rushed for at least 100 yards this season.
  • Seth Caldwell’s 3,088 career rushing yards put him just 32 yards behind Isiah Morgan (2006-08) for fourth all-time.  With 529 career carries, Caldwell is already just 57 behind Christian Lezzer’s school record of 586.
  • Junior Matt Collins extended his own school record to 144 tackles this season in last week’s win.  Senior Christian Rumery now has 107, marking just the second time since 1993 that two Bison have had over 100 tackles in the same season.  Beau Swales (115) and Robbie Myers (107) did so in 2011.
  • Johnstown’s all-time record is 644-405-56.  The Bison currently stand at 565-461-38.
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