Brookville's big plays too much for Wildcats

The Raiders had four big plays in their win over Central Clarion

By Ryan S. Pugh

CLARION NEWS Sports Editor

CLARION TWP.

Coming into its conference game with visiting Brookville, the Central Clarion football team was looking to put a complete game together but unfortunately for the Wildcats it didn't happen against the Raiders Friday night (Sept. 17) at Clarion-Limestone.

The biggest issue for Central Clarion came on defense as the Wildcats' inability to prevent big plays by Brookville hurt Central Clarion's chances.

"I told the guys that we won three-fourths of the plays on defense and it was that fourth play that seemed to bite us every time," Eggleton said. "We have to limit that."

The Raiders scored on plays of 40, 31, 51 and 61 yards while Brookville defensive end Hunter Smith returned an interception for a touchdown.

"That's kind of what we have done this year," Brookville head coach Scott Park said referring to the big play. "We have some really good skill people and they can make a lot of things happen."

The Wildcats (0-3 overall, 0-2 District 9 Large School) came into the game missing three offensive linemen and their fullback due to a variety of reasons and the missing pieces from the offense had an effect on the Central Clarion running game as the Wildcats gained just 48 yards on the ground.

"We had a lot of guys playing out of position and we had a lot of guys missing and I thought we really played hard," Eggleton said. "I thought we really played hard. I thought we responded in the second half and came out and played as a team."

Another member of Central Clarion's offensive line, Cole Wrhen, was injured late in the first half. He was apparently knocked unconscious briefly. Wrhen had to be taken from the field via ambulance. According to Eggleton, transporting Wrhen via ambulance was a precautionary measure.

"We're just praying for him that he is OK and he makes a quick recovery," Eggleton said.

The Central Clarion defense seemed up to the task of taking down the Raiders as the Wildcats forced a Brookville three-and-out on the Raiders first possession.

The Wildcats' offense responded by moving from its own 46 to the Brookville 32. The Wildcats benefitted from a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty which moved Central Clarion into Brookville territory. Central Clarion quarterback Jase Ferguson also connected with Christian Simko for a 12-yard pass completion on a third-and-10.

The Wildcats' drive would end abruptly when Ferguson unleashed a pass to the end zone that was intercepted by the Raiders' Brayden Kunselman inside the Brookville 5. Kunselman returned the pick to the Brookville 39.

The Wildcats' rush defense stymied the Raiders on the first two plays of the ensuing possession with Central Clarion dropping Jackson Zimmerman for a 2-yard loss on first down while surrendering just one yard to Raiders' quarterback Charlie Krug on second down.

On the following play, Krug fired a strike to Truman Sharp for a 31-yard gain which put the Raiders at the Central Clarion 40. Krug followed with a strike to Kunselman in the left flat. Kunselman eluded a tackle and raced to the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown.

Krug completed 18-of-22 passes for 246 yards and three scores.

The Raiders' Logan Oakes missed the extra-point kick but Brookville held a 6-0 lead with 5:44.

The Wildcats were saddled with bad field position on the following drive when Breckin Rex misplayed Oakes' kickoff and the ball rolled out of bounds at the Central Clarion 8.

Rex got the Wildcats out of the field position predicament when he took a draw handoff for a 12-yard gain on a third-and-12 giving Central Clarion a first down at the Wildcat 18.

Rex finished as Central Clarion's leading rusher gaining 36 yards on 11 carries before being sidelined with an apparent foot injury in the second half.

"It seems like we're pounding our head against the wall to get our running game to go," Eggleton said. "Breckin ran hard while he was in there before his injury."

However, Central Clarion couldn't keep the momentum going as the Wildcats were forced to punt four plays after Rex's first down scamper.

The Raiders responded with a sustained 11-play, 57-yard drive which was capped by a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Tate Lindermuth.

Krug had a 26-yard run on the drive while also completing 5-of-6 passes for 28 yards on the drive.

Oakes added the PAT to push the Brookville lead to 13-0 with 9:54 left in the half.

A holding penalty stymied the subsequent Central Clarion drive and the Wildcats were forced to punt after three plays.

Ashton Rex boomed a punt which pinned Brookville at its own 10.

The Raiders (3-0, 3-0) were flagged for a false start on the first play of the drive and Brookville started at its own 5.

Zimmerman got Brookville out of harm's way when he broke off a 16-yard run on third-and-10 putting the Raiders at their own 26. Two plays later, Zimmerman took a middle screen pass from Krug and gained 14 yards on the play. A host of Central Clarion players combined for the tackle on the play including Cole Wrhen. Wrhen had to be attended to on the field and was immobilized until the ambulance was able to arrive. The game was delayed nearly 40 minutes due to the injury.

The Raiders didn't miss a beat after the break as Brookville continued its march with Zimmerman and Krug running for first downs. Zimmerman capped the drive when he broke through a hole in the Wildcats' defensive line and ran 30 yards untouched to the end zone for the score.

Zimmerman had 61 yards on six carries with the one score.

A pair of holding penalties crimped the following Central Clarion drive as the Wildcats faced a first-and-42 at their own 10. After an incompletion, Ferguson attempted to throw a screen pass from his own end zone but the Raiders' Hunter Smith leapt up in the air, snared Ferguson's pass and rumbled into the end zone for the 4-yard interception return.

Oakes added the extra-point to push the Brookville lead to 27-0 with three minutes remaining in the half.

Central Clarion went three-and-out on its following drive and the Raiders responded with a brief two-play scoring drive with Noah Peterson hauling in a pass from Krug and racing to the end zone for the 51-yard score.

Oakes booted the extra-point to stretch the Brookville lead to 33-0 with 41 seconds remaining in the half.

The Wildcats got a boost in the final fleeting seconds as Ferguson connected with Simko for a 57-yard gain which gave Central Clarion a first down at the Brookville 16. Two plays later, Ferguson lofted a pass into the end zone and Simko outleapt a Brookville defender and pulled down the 16-yard TD pass as time expired in the half.

Simko had six receptions for 114 yards and one score.

"That is something we have been expecting from all season and we know that's in him," Eggleton said referring to Simko's performance. "Hopefully that builds from here on out. He is a big play threat."

Charlie Franchino connected on the PAT cutting the Raider lead to 33-7 at halftime.

On their first possession of the second half, the Wildcats attempted to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Brookville 47 but Ferguson's pass attempt fell incomplete and the Wildcats turned the ball over on downs.

The Raiders moved into Clarion territory but a bad snap pushed the Raiders back to their own 39. One play later, Krug hit Miles Bogush in stride with a pass and Bogush outraced the Wildcat defense for a 61-yard TD.

Oakes' extra-point extended the Brookville lead to 40-7.

Central Clarion put together an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 34-yard scoring strike from Ferguson to Ashton Rex.

Ferguson finished the night completing 11-of-25 passes for 163 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Wildcats are scheduled to face St. Marys on the road Friday (Sept. 24).

The Raiders have a showdown with fellow unbeaten Karns City Friday.

"It's going to be our (defensive) front seven against (Karns City's offensive) front five and we are going to see who brings it," Park said.

BROOKVILLE 40, CENTRAL CLARION 14

Brookville 6- 27- 7 -0 40

Central Clarion 0- 7- 0 -7 14

SCORING SUMMARY

First Quarter

B Brayden Kunselman 40 pass from Charlie Krug (kick failed), 5:44

Second quarter

B Tate Lindermuth 1 run (Logan Oakes kick), 9:54

B Jackson Zimmerman 30 run (kick failed), 3:46

B Hunter Smith 4 interception return (Oakes kick), 3:00

B Noah Peterson 51 pass from Krug (Oakes kick), :41

CC Christian Simko 16 pass from Jase Ferguson (Charlie Franchino kick), :00

Third Quarter

B Kunselman 61 pass from Krug (Oakes kick), 6:53

Fourth Quarter

CC Ashton Rex 34 pass from Ferguson (Franchino kick), 5:50

TEAM TOTALS (Brookville; Central Clarion)

First Downs: 15; 8

Rushes-Yards: 30-111; 23-48

Passing Yards: 263; 163

Comp-Att-Int: 22-27-0; 11-25-3

Total Yards: 374; 211

Penalties-Yards: 4-30; 6-50

Fumbles-Lost: 3-0; 0-0

INDIVIDUAL STATS

Rushing Brookville, Charlie Krug 5-42, Jackson Zimmerman 6-61, Tate Lindermuth 6-17, Joe Shields 11-26, Miles Bogush 1-(-18), Team 1-(-20). Central Clarion, Breckin Rex 11-36, Ryan Hummell 3-18, Jase Ferguson 2-(-13), Ashton Rex 4-9, Braylon Beckwith 2-(-1), Brady Quinn 1-(-1).

Passing Brookville, Charlie Krug 18-22-0 246, Miles Bogush 4-5-0 17. Central Clarion, Jase Ferguson 11-25-3 163.

Receiving Brookville, Tate Lindermuth 3-23, Truman Sharp 5-44, Brayden Kunselman 2-101, Carson Weaver 3-17, Noah Peterson 5-61, Jackson Zimmerman 2-15, Braiden Davis 1-3, Austin Colgan 1-(-1). Central Clarion, Christian Simko 6-114, Ashton Rex 3-37, Breckin Rex 1-11, Ryan Hummell 1-1.

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