Clarion rips off 51 unanswered points in win over Bradford
By Steve Smail
For the CLARION NEWS
Clarion might have gotten off to a sluggish start against visiting Bradford but in the end it didn't matter as the Bobcats reeled off 51 unanswered points in a 51-6 rout of the Owls in Clarion's Homecoming at Clarion University's Memorial Field on Friday night (Oct. 11).
Bradford (1-7 overall) took the opening kickoff and needed just five plays to get on the scoreboard. Three rushing attempts netted minus six yards, but Caleb Nuzzo completed two passes for 83 yards to Jonah Rowry including a 54 yard catch and run for the opening touchdown.
Nuzzo's two-point conversion pass attempt failed keeping the Owls' lead at 6-0 with 9:38 remaining in the opening quarter.
Clarion (7-1) responded with a five-play drive of its own capped with a Cal German to Cutter Boggess 21-yard touchdown pass.
Beau Verdill made the PAT kick to give Clarion the lead 7-6 with 6:45 to play.
After forcing a punt, Clarion took over at its own 40 and needed just one play to strike again as German found Ethan Burford on a 60-yard pass play for a score.
Verdill added another PAT for a 14-6 lead with 4:42 to play.
On the ensuing Bradford possession, the Bobcats' Ben Smith intercepted a Nuzzo pass at the Owl 13 and returned it 12 yards to the Bradford 1. Smith lined up in the backfield on Clarion's next offensive play and plowed into the end zone for the 1-yard TD.
Verdill made his third PAT for a 21-6 Clarion lead after one quarter.
"We came back and had a lot better focused and controlled practice this week," said Clarion head coach Larry Wiser. "I'm proud of our staff and all of our guys for the way they responded. I thought Mitch Knepp had quite a game out there. He was all over the place and I never saw anyone disrupt an option play like he did."
Burford made an interception near the end of the first quarter and the Bobcats turned it into another score in the second.
Nine plays after the pick, the Bobcat drive stalled at the Owls' 13, but Verdill came out and made a 31-yard field goal to extend the Clarion lead to 24-6 with 10:06 to play in the half.
After a Bradford punt, the Bobcats took over at their own 37. An 11-play Clarion drive ended on a Colton Zacherl 13-yard touchdown run.
Verdill made another PAT kick for a 31-6 lead with 3:47 to play in the first half.
Kaoz Baker recovered a fumble at the Clarion 47 on the following Bradford possession and four plays later, Boggess broke several tackles on the way to a 21-yard touchdown run.
The Verdill extra-point kick put extended the Clarion lead to 38-6 at halftime.
Zacherl led the Clarion ground game with 103 yards on five carries while Boggess added 55 yards on 10 attempts.
"It's great to see that our backs are taking that step forward and producing for us," said Clarion offensive coordinator and assistant coach Davey Eggleton. "When we get to full strength it's going to make us tough to defend."
Zacherl returned the opening kickoff of the second half 51 yards to the Bradford 34.
Five plays later -- one of which was a touchdown pass to Boggess called back due to a penalty -- Zacherl scored on a 20-yard run.
Verdill's kick was blocked keeping the Clarion lead at 44-6 with 10:31 to play in the third.
Following a punt the Bobcats took over at their own 44. Seven plays later German connected with Burford on a 59-yard touchdown pass. The two hooked up earlier in the drive, but it was once again called back due to a penalty. Verdill made the PAT kick for the 51-6 lead with 2:55 remaining in the third.
Burford finished with three catches for 140 yards and two scores. Boggess added six catches for 113 yards.
German completed 11-of-22 passes for 271 yards with three scores and no interceptions.
Nolan Gonzalez paced the Bradford rushing attack with 50 yards on 12 carries. Most of those yards came after Clarion had put in their junior varsity players. Caleb Nuzzo completed 5-of-13 passes for 110 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Jonah Rowry caught three passes for 106 yards.
The two teams combined for 22 penalties for 205 yards. Clarion was flagged 14 times for 140 yards while Bradford committed eight penalties for 65 yards.
Clarion will travel to Brockway Friday (Oct. 18).
CLARION 51, BRADFORD 6
Bradford 6- 0- 0 -0 6
Clarion 21- 17-13 -0 51
B- Jonah Rowry 54 pass from Caleb Nuzzo (pass failed), 9:38
C- Cutter Boggess 21 pass from Cal German (Beau Verdill kick), 6:45
C-Ethan Burford 60 pass from German (Verdill kick), 4:42
C- Ben Smith 1 run (Verdill kcik), 3:09
C- Beau Verdill 31 field goal, 10:06
C- Colton Zacherl 13 run (Verdill kick), 3:47
C- Boggess 24 run (Verdill kick), 1:09
C- Zacherl 20 run (kick blocked), 10:31
C- Burford 59 pass from German (Verdill kick), 2:55
TEAM TOTALS (Bradford; Clarion)
First Downs: 7; 19
Rushes-Yards: 27-37; 29-231
Passing Yards: 110; 271
Comp-Att-Int: 5-13-2; 11-22-0
Total Yards: 147; 502
Penalties-Yards: 8-65; 14-140
Fumbles-Lost: 2-2; 0-0
Rushing Bradford, Nolan Gonzalez 12-50, Derek Sunafrank 10- (-7), Caleb Nuzzo 3-16, Team 2 (-22). Clarion, Cutter Boggess 10-55, Colton Zacherl 5-103, Kyle Bottaro 3-6, Breckin Rex 4-43, Cooper Shall 3-31, Ben Smith 1-1, Team 3-(-8).
Passing Bradford, Caleb Nuzzo 5-13-2 110. Clarion, Cal German 11-22-0 271, Christian Simko 0-1-0 0, Logan Divins 0-1-0 0.
Receiving Bradford, Jonah Rowry 3-106, Derek Sunafrank 1-10, Austen Davis 1-(-6). Clarion, Ethan Burford 3-140, Cutter Boggess 6-113, Christian Simko 1-6, Tim Burchwell 1-12