Clearfield topples Bellefonte to improve to 6-0 on the season
Clearfield quarterback Christian Lezzer, center, plows into the end zone on a 1-yard sneak in the second quarter of the Bison's 49-14 win over Bellefonte Friday at the Bison Sports Complex. Lezzer ran eight times for 152 yards and two touchdowns, completed three of his five pass attempts for 123 yards and three touchdowns and blocked a Bellefonte field goal in the win. (Photo by Rich Murawski)
Saturday, October 6, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - Simply stated, the Clearfield football team put on a show Friday night on Homecoming at the Bison Sports Complex.
The undefeated Bison put up video game-like numbers on offense in a dominant first half, piling up 401 yards on just 20 plays.
The result was a 42-7 halftime lead that produced a running clock in the second half and an eventual 49-14 win over visiting Bellefonte.
"Our offense moved the ball real well tonight," Clearfield head coach Tim Janocko said. "Credit our offensive line. We ran the ball well, and threw the ball well. We spread it around. It was a big night for us. We put a lot of yards up, especially in the first half."
Clearfield nearly had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the first quarter alone as Christian Lezzer collected 131 on just three carries, while Tyler Stratton notched 96 on just three totes.
For the game, Lezzer ran eight times for a game-high 152 yards and two scores, and Stratton added 139 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Lezzer threw the ball just five times in the game, but completed three - all for long touchdowns - for 123 yards.
Trey Jordan was the recipient of two of those passes for 88 yards, while Shawn Lord hauled in the other for a 35-yard score.
"There were times when we seemed to have them contained but ... that's a good football team," Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch said. "They don't rely on one person. They are able to go after you with somebody else."
Displaying its big-play ability all game long, the Bison offense registered 13 plays of 12 yards or more, including touchdowns of 35, 38, 50, 64 and 69.
But the first big play for Clearfield came on special teams.
Bellefonte lined up for a 31-yard field goal attempt after its opening drive stalled at the Clearfield 14.
But Red Raider Tyler Rhoades had no chance to get the kick off as Lezzer almost beat the ball to the holder, blocking it as Rhoades put his foot on it.
The Bison quarterback followed that with a 45-yard jaunt where he weaved his way through several would-be tacklers before lofting a 38-yard scoring strike to Jordan on the next play.
Bellefonte answered with its own big play when Kahsim Buey took a middle screen and scampered untouched for a 69-yard score to knot things at 7-7. Buey was Bellefonte's biggest offensive threat, grabbing two passes for 71 yards and running 12 times for 70.
"They have athletes, and they're going to make plays too," Janocko said. "They blocked us a couple times and had good calls for the defense we were in and made some plays."
But Clearfield responded on the very next play from scrimmage as Lezzer juked his way through the line, bowled over a Bellefonte tackler and ran to open space, racing 69 yards for a score just 22 seconds after Buey had tied the game.
"Christian is a special player," Janocko said. "I think everyone is starting to figure that out. We've known that for quite some time. He's a special player."
Clearfield added another first-quarter score with 1:35 remaining when Stratton slipped through a crease in the Bellefonte line and outran the Red Raider secondary for a 64-yard score.
The Bison ran just eight plays in the first quarter, seven were first downs and three were for scores. The eighth play was a Bellefonte interception.
Clearfield's three first-quarter scoring drives took a total of five plays and covered 198 yards.
"Their offense is very dynamic," Besch said. "I said it all week ... we have to control what they are able to do. We have to come out and make plays.
"This game is about blocking and tackling. We didn't make some of the tackles we needed to make. I think when we sit down and watch film, that is what we are going to see."
Clearfield scored on all three of its second-quarter possessions.
A 7-play, 59-yard drive was capped by a Lezzer 1-yard sneak. A 4-play, 63-yard series ended with a 50-yard Lezzer-to-Jordan connection. And the Bison's final second-quarter possession took just one play - a 35-yard scoring strike from Lezzer to Shawn Lord.
Spencer Herrington's sixth extra point of seven gave Clearfield a 42-7 advantage with 2:50 to go before the half.
The Bison received the second-half kickoff and started at their own 35 after Bellefonte's kickoff bounced out of bounds.
After two Stratton runs collected 10 yards and a first down, Janocko took him and Lezzer out of the game.
But the Bison offense kept on trucking behind a dominant offensive line of Jon Janocko, Hunter Keith, Jacob Verchick, Ben Panebianco, Vince Owens and tight end Lord.
Fullback Seth Ford spent some time as the Bison's feature back on the drive, taking the next seven handoffs from quarterback Tyler Woomer.
Ford recorded 55 yards on those seven carries with the final five giving Clearfield a 49-7 lead with 7:34 to go in the third.
"I was happy with the way he ran the ball," Janocko said of Ford. "He showed some quickness. We like to have that. Last year we had Ryan Hertlein who came in as kind of the put-away back. I think Seth can fill that role."
Bellefonte went 70 yards on its next possession, which culminated with a 5-yard touchdown run from Buey.
During much of the that series and the rest of the game, Janocko substituted freely, giving his starters a much-deserved rest.
"It's huge," he said. "The younger kids get a chance to contribute and a chance to work. They get experience out here.
"And the other thing is at this point in the season, you get a chance to not play your starters four quarters and rest up a little bit and stay healthy. And that's important."
The Bison did not attempt a pass in the second half, and Jordan's streak of 100-yard receiving games came to an end at three. He has 20 catches for 625 yards, good for 31.2 yards per catch. Eleven of Jordan's 20 catches have gone for touchdowns.
"Trey's racking it up," Janocko said. "And he has a knack for getting to the football. He has good moves, and he's a breakaway receiver."
Clearfield takes it's unblemished 6-0 record on the road Friday to face a Tyrone team that has won its last four after an 0-2 start.
"It's going to be a tough place to play," Janocko said. "It's a good team. They started out slow, but now they're 4-2. It's going to be a tough game, but I'll be interested to see how we respond."
EXTRA POINTS: Ausha Shaw was named Homecoming Queen during the halftime show ... Jesus Rosa picked up 35 yards on eight carries ... Jordan recorded his second interception of the season.
Score By Quarters
Bellefonte 7 0 7 0-14
Clearfield 21 21 7 0-49
C-Jordan 38 pass from Lezzer, (Herrington kick), 7:50.
B-Buey 69 pass from Fye, (Rhoades kick), 5:39.
C-Lezzer 69 run, (Herrington kick), 5:17.
C-Stratton 64 run, (Herrington kick), 1:35.
C-Lezzer 1 run, (Herrington kick), 8:58.
C-Jordan 50 pass from Lezzer, (Herrington kick), 4:02.
C-Lord 35 pass from Lezzer, (Herrington kick), 2:50.
C-Ford 5 run, (Herrington kick), 7:34.
B-Buey 5 run, (Rhoades kick), 2:58.
Total First Downs 10 17
Rushes-Yards 29-90 36-393
Comp-Att-Int 15-23-1 3-5-1
Passing Yards 191 123
Total Plays-Yards 52-281 41-516
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Punts-Avg 4-30.8 2-5
Penalties-Yards 4-35 2-15
Bellefonte-Buey 12-70, Kaltenbach 5-11, Fenstermacker 3-5, Breon 5-5, Shope 1-2, Fye 3-(-3).
Clearfield-Lezzer 8-152, Stratton 9-139, Ford 7-55, Rosa 8-35, Woomer 1-12, Williams 2-1, Team 1-(-1).
Bellefonte-Fye 14-of-21, 159 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.; Fenstermacker 1-of-2, 32 yds.
Clearfield-Lezzer 3-of-5, 123 yds., 3 TD, 1 Int.
Bellefonte-Shuey 7-61, Buey 2-71, Deitrich 2-15, Leiter 2-5, Hill 1-32, Green 1-7.
Clearfield-Jordan 2-88, Lord 1-35.