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


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 6- 27- 7 -0 40

Central Clarion 0- 7- 0 -7 14


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


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.

EAST STROUDSBURG The Golden Eagle volleyball team claimed the third Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) championship in program history on Saturday afternoon, defeating top-seeded Gannon 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-17) at East Stroudsburg's Koehler Fieldhouse. It is the Golden Eagles' fi…

MECHANICHSBURG - To win a state title is special in itself but to win two in a row puts a team in rarified air.

CLARION - Redbank Valley's bid for a second-straight District 9 Class A title was at a crossroads late in the Bulldogs' title tilt with Union/A-C Valley as Redbank Valley was tied at 21-21 with the Falcon Knights and faced a fourth-and-11 at the Union/A-C Valley 21 but the Bulldogs' Tate Min…

SLIPPERY ROCK - For about a half an hour Tuesday night (Nov. 16), the Clarion Area High School volleyball team looked like they were in serious trouble as WPIAL champ Bishop Canevin went on a 9-3 run to take a 20-14 lead in Game One of the PIAA Class A semifinals but in the end, the Bobcats …

SLIPPERY ROCK - You'll have to excuse the Clarion Area High School volleyball team if they weren't awed by the PIAA quarterfinal stage on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 13) at Slippery Rock Area High School but the Bobcats have been here before.

RIMERSBURG - For three-straight years, the Union/A-C Valley football team was close to breaking into the playoff win column but the Falcon Knights always seemed to fall short.

KNOX - Familiarity plays a significant role when it comes to a team's comfort on a playoff stage which is what likely aided the Keystone High School volleyball team in their District 9 Class 2A semifinal against Karns City.

CLARION - Clarion is headed back to the District 9 Class A championship game and the PIAA playoffs after a convincing 3-0 sweep of rival Clarion-Limestone Tuesday night, Nov. 2, at Clarion High School.

WEST SUNBURY - On a night when it was hard to tell who was who due to the amount of mud caked to players' jerseys, three Keystone players stood out Friday night (Oct. 29) on a sloppy field at Moniteau.

CLARION TWP. - There was no shortage of excitement in the early going of the Clarion-Limestone boys' soccer playoff game with visiting Elk County Catholic, unfortunately for the Lions most of the early fireworks came from the Crusaders.

RIMERSBURG - Years from now, when someone looks at the score from Friday night's District 9 Small School showdown between Redbank Valley and Union/A-C Valley they'll think it was one-sided blowout but those in attendance at Vidunas Stadium on that rainy Friday night will attest it wasn't qui…

Wow, what a weekend of racing to complete the 2021 season. Lernerville Speedway held their Steel City Stampede which featured 10 different divisions plus a 100-lap Enduro. The event took place over three days as Thursday night was practice for all drivers in all the divisions.

NEW BETHLEHEM - If there has been one constant in the District 9 Small School field over the past six weeks, it has been the Redbank Valley football team beating the stuffing out of all comers.

It's chaos

CLARION - Central Clarion freshman Jase Ferguson had a big night as he threw for three TDs to help the Wildcats overcome five lost fumbles on the way to a 33-14 victory over Ridgway at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium Oct. 8.

KNOX - If there is one thing that can be said about the 2021 edition of Union/A-C Valley football team is the Falcon Knights are a resilient bunch.

CLARION - Football coaches repeatedly say there are no such things as "moral victories" but that doesn't mean a team can't learn and grow from a loss.

We have been experiencing some beautiful fall temperatures in the past couple of weeks and these temperatures help the race car drivers that have to put on those triple layer fire suits and helmets. Local tracks are also starting to host special events and winding down their respective 2021 …

BRADFORD - The Clarion golfing trio of Kameron Kerle, McKayla Kerle and Devon Lauer each broke 85 to lead the Bobcats to the District 9 Class 2A boys' golf team title at the Pennhills Club in Bradford.

RIMERSBURG - It’s quite an accomplishment when a high school football team can pack an entire game’s worth of offensive and defensive stats into one half of football but Union/A-C Valley did just such a thing Friday night.

Fall is officially here. I love this time of the year when the weather turns cooler and the leaves change colors.

Summer is quickly coming to a close and like anything summer related auto racing is slowing down somewhat but there was still racing to be had.

COVID-19 keeps rearing its ugly head and with every shake of its noggin there seems to be another high school football game canceled.