Clearfield holds off late rally by Tyrone, 14-13|
Saturday, October 13, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
TYRONE - If you're a fan of hard-hitting, smash-mouth football, Gray-Veterans Memorial Field was the place to be Friday night, as Clearfield edged out Tyrone 14-13 to move to 7-0 on the season.
Christian Lezzer led the Bison downhill running attack with 154 yards on 34 carries, and also led the air attack with 61 yards. The Bison held Golden Eagles running back James Oliver to 127 yards one week after gaining 343 yards on the ground, including only 26 yards in the first half.
"Coming in and winning is huge for us," said Clearfield head coach Tim Janocko. "You come into a place like this with all of its tradition. They have (good) athletes and a good team. To come out of here with a win, that's huge."
Tyrone took the opening kickoff and couldn't get anything going on the first two runs by Oliver. On third-and-9 at their own 29-yard line, Golden Eagles quarterback Erik Wagner looked for an open receiver, but was sacked by Ben Panebianco for a six-yard loss.
Clearfield got good field position on its opening drive at its own 44-yard line and quickly capitalized.
An 18-yard pass to Trey Jordan got the Bison into Tyrone territory to the 34-yard line. On third-and-8, Lezzer took a direct snap, went through a nice-sized hole on the left, and took it for a 32-yard touchdown run with 7:59 left in the first quarter.
A Spencer Herrington extra point gave the Bison a 7-0 lead.
Tyrone got its second drive started on its own 31-yard line. In what became a trend for the first half, Tyrone couldn't muster any momentum, as the Bison defense swarmed Oliver and the rest of the Golden Eagles into minimal gains.
Wagner gained seven yards on the first play, as the quarterback couldn't find anyone open. An Oliver one-yard run gave Tyrone a third-and-2 opportunity, which was shut down after an attempted wide receiver screen was broken up by Lezzer.
The Bison almost blocked the upcoming punt by Corey Snyder. Snyder was able to arch it over the oncoming Bison defenders, but only managed 16 yards from it.
Clearfield set up shop at the Tyrone 45-yard line, and it looked like the Bison were going to stall out after Lezzer was wrapped up in the backfield by Nicholas Getz on second-and-10. On third-and-15, Lezzer dropped back and hooked up with Shawn Lord over the middle of the field for a 17-yard gain to pick up the first down.
Tyler Woomer then went under center for the Bison, but a botched shotgun snap resulted in a 10-yard loss, creating second-and-20 at their own 47-yard line. The Bison were forced to punt the ball away after a third-and-10 opportunity failed when Lezzer had to scramble away from Golden Eagle defenders, dumping the ball off to Tyler Stratton for a two-yard loss.
Tyrone started the next drive at its own 15-yard line, and once again went three-and-out. Oliver picked up seven yards on the first two carries, and then Wagner threw a pass intended for Hayden Zook on third-and-3. Zook got a hand on the ball, tipping it in the direction of Dylan Graham, who was unable to come up with the interception.
A Snyder punt gave the Bison good field position again at their own 46-yard line.
A neutral zone infraction by Tyrone ended up allowing Clearfield to start the drive in Golden Eagles territory.
Lezzer took another direct snap for a 16-yard gain. After a four-yard Stratton run, Lezzer rolled out to the right on second-and-6 for a 10-yard pickup, getting down to the Tyrone 19-yard line.
Power running by Stratton and Lezzer on five carries for 17 yards set up Clearfield on third-and-goal from the Tyrone 2. From there, Lezzer took it into the end zone on a 2-yard score with 8:38 left in the second quarter. Herrington's extra point gave the Bison a 14-0 lead.
Tyrone got its next possession at its own 23-yard line. After an incomplete pass intended for Snyder, Wagner was able to connect with Zook on a 14-yard pass, which was Tyrone's initial first down of the game. However, that was all Tyrone would get, as it was forced to punt to the Bison once again, pinning the visitors at their own 12-yard line.
After a one-yard loss by Lezzer, Stratton bulldozed over defenders on an 11-yard run to pick up the first down. Lezzer then had two carries for 14 yards to get to the Clearfield 36-yard line before Tyrone defenders turned it up defensively and the Bison were forced to punt.
Tyrone's offensive futility continued, as Lezzer wrapped up Alec Hunter for a two-yard loss at the Tyrone 28. Oliver was able to get eight of the yards back, but an incomplete pass to Hunter had Tyrone punting with 51.7 seconds left in the first half.
Clearfield got the ball back, but couldn't get anything going before taking a 14-0 lead into halftime.
The Bison started out with the pigskin in the second half.
After a seven-yard run by Lezzer and a one-yard pickup by Stratton, Clearfield looked to be stopped on third-and-2 with Lezzer as the ball carrier, but Lezzer was able to keep the legs churning and picked up three yards and the first down.
On the very next play, a bad snap caused Lezzer to be tackled in the backfield by Getz and Jacob Belinda for a nine-yard loss. Lezzer got five of the yards back on the next play to give the Bison third-and-14 from their own 37-yard line.
Lezzer then connected over the middle with Lord once again. However, the Golden Eagles were able to knock the ball loose from Lord, but Clearfield caught a break when Seth Beardsley came up with the ball in the midst of Tyrone defenders.
The first turnover of the game took place four plays later. Clearfield was at the Tyrone 12-yard line on second-and-4 when Lezzer fumbled the quarterback-center exchange. Belinda was able to come up with the ball, giving the Golden Eagles another start at their own 13.
"Turning the ball over in the second half hurt us, but hey, Tyrone's a good football team," said Janocko.
Oliver got his first big run of the game with a 17-yard scamper on first-and-10. Two more Oliver runs had the Golden Eagles at third-and-1 at their 39-yard line. Wagner tried to connect with Zook, but had the pass broken up by Lezzer.
Tyrone lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1, but a false start penalty made the Golden Eagles punt. The penalty might have actually been good for Tyrone, as Snyder ended up getting a 56-yard punt, albeit a decent portion of those yards coming on the roll.
Clearfield started at its own 10-yard line and was able to advance the ball up to the 31 after six runs by Stratton and Lezzer. A big gamble didn't pay off for the Bison on fourth-and-1, as Lezzer fumbled the snap, turning it over on downs to Tyrone at the Clearfield 30.
"We needed a couple yards and we didn't convert," said Janocko.
The short field position for Tyrone gave the Golden Eagle squad momentum, as Oliver busted off his best run of the night with a 21-yard gain to the Bison 6. On first-and-goal, Oliver was only able to come up with three yards, albeit hard-fought yardage.
A miscommunication by Wagner and Oliver on second down had the duo collide in the backfield, with Graham capitalizing for the Bison and dragging down Oliver for a four-yard loss. Oliver got the yardage back, and punched in the first score of the game for Tyrone on a fourth-and-goal run from the 3-yard line with 11:17 left in the game.
Seth Umholtz tacked on the extra point to cut it to 14-7.
Clearfield started out the next drive at its 19-yard line and proceeded to go three-and-out. Lezzer tried hooking up with Jordan on third-and-10, but the pass was broken up by Getz. After the Bison punt, Tyrone continued the momentum and started at its own 40-yard line.
The James Oliver Show kicked into high gear, as the Golden Eagles fed him the ball on eight consecutive carries, picking up three first downs and 35 yards in the process. On first-and-10 from the Bison 25, Wagner rolled out to the right on a bootleg for a 15-yard pickup, giving Tyrone first-and-goal at the 10-yard line.
On third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Oliver cashed in his second score of the game with 3:38 left in the game. Tyrone lined up for the crucial extra point, and it ended up costing the squad a chance at knocking off the undefeated Bison. Umholtz's kick was a line drive, as it went right into the herd of players, setting the score at 14-13 Clearfield.
The Bison got the ball back, and turned over the keys of the offense to Lezzer. Starting from their own 23, Lezzer picked up the first down after two hard-fought runs, as precious time ticked off for Tyrone. The Golden Eagles took their final two timeouts on the next two runs by Lezzer, giving Clearfield fourth-and-2 at their own 42-yard line with 1:16 left in the game.
The Bison and Janocko talked it over as to whether or not they should try to win the game outright or punt and let the defense take it from there.
"When I talked to the kids in the huddle, they said ‘Coach, we can get two yards' , " said Janocko. "If you want to win a championship, you have to be able to get two yards."
Janocko was pleased with the effort by his squad, as it improved to 7-0.
"We played a real solid first half, and we played a real solid second half too," said Janocko. "Our kids fought the whole time, played every play. We played great special teams. We had some big tackles on special teams."
Clearfield travels to Bald Eagle Area on Friday.
Tyrone fell to 4-3 on the year.
Score By Quarters
Clearfield 7 7 0 0-14
Tyrone 0 0 0 13-13
C- Lezzer 32 run, (Herrington kick), 7:59.
C-Lezzer 2 run, (Herrington kick), 8:38.
T-Oliver 3 run, (Umholtz kick), 11:17.
T-Oliver 2 run, (kick failed), 3:38.
Total First Downs 10 7
Rushes-Yards 51-186 32-141
Comp-Att-Int 4-5-0 1-6-0
Passing Yards 61 14
Total Plays-Yards 56-247 38-155
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Punts-Avg 3-33 6-33.5
Penalties-Yards 2-20 2-10
Clearfield-Lezzer 34-154, Stratton 13-53, Woomer 1-(-10), Team 3-(-11).
Tyrone-Oliver 28-127, Wagner 3-16, Hunter 1-(-2).
Clearfield-Lezzer 4-of-5, 61 yds.
Tyrone-Wagner 1-of-6, 14 yds.
Clearfield-Lord 2-45, Jordan 1-18, Stratton 1-(-2).