With just three regular season games left on the schedule, every game is crucial for playoff qualification and positioning.
All Progressland teams are still in the postseason hunt, but the path to get there is much easier for some.
Clearfield, which is Progressland’s lone remaining unbeaten team at 7-0, has already clinched the Mountain League title and a spot in the District 9 class 3A Championship. The only thing that remains to be determined is whether the Bison, who travel to Huntingdon this week, is the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.
Also looking pretty solid for a postseason berth are Curwensville and Glendale. Both are 4-3 heading into this week’s games.
Curwensville is currently fifth in the D-9 class A standings with 500 points, but the Tide are a full 100 points behind No. 4 seed Union. The Top 4 seeds host a quarterfinal playoff game. The Golden Tide travel to Southern Huntingdon, which is also in the thick of its respective playoff race. Southern is sixth in the D-6 class 2A standings.
Glendale is fifth in D-6 class A, but the Vikings will not be able to gain any ground this week as it had to cancel its game at Juniata Valley due to low numbers. Glendale finished last week’s 15-12 win over Mo Valley with just 14 healthy players. While the Vikings will likely fall after this week’s games, they are still in pretty good shape since the Top 12 qualify.
West Branch and Mo Valley are both 2-5, but still in the playoff chase in D-6 class A at 10th and 11th, respectively.
The Warriors host Blacklick Valley, which is 13th in D-6 class A, while the Knights welcome Tussey Mountain to CNB Bank Stadium.
Philipsburg-Osceola is on the outside looking in in District 6 class 3A. The Mounties are 12th in the standings with 220 points, but a win over visiting Tyrone would propel them into the conversation to make the Top 8. Penns Valley is the No. 8 seed heading into the week with 370 points.
Here are capsule previews for all five games:
Clearfield (7-0) at Huntingdon (0-7)
ALL-TIME SERIES: Clearfield leads 17-13-1. The Bison have won three straight and 11 of the last 12.
LAST MEETING: Clearfield scored six TDs in the first half, building a 42-0 lead on the way to a 42-14 win last season. Oliver Billotte threw three TD passes for the Bison, while the Clearfield defense intercepted the Bearcats thee times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearfield’s Oliver Billotte, Hayden Kovalick, Mark McGonigal and Nate Natoli. Huntingdon’s Myles Baney, Briar Deline and Daren Harman.
LAST WEEK: CLEARFIELD 30, TRINITY 0: The Bison defense pitched its third straight shutout. Billotte threw for 161 yards and a score and McGonigal led the ground attack with 62 yards and a TD. BELLEFONTE 40, HUNTINGDON 7: The Bearcats allowed 437 yards rushing to the Red Raiders, who scored three times on the ground, twice through the air and on a fumble recovery return. Huntingdon has only scored 33 points all season.
COACH’S KEYS TO THE GAME: “Every game is important down the stretch,” Clearfield head coach Tim Janocko said. “Every game is important for playoff implications. We just want to get better every week and expand on what we’ve been doing al season.”
Curwensville (4-3) at Southern Huntingdon (4-3)
ALL-TIME SERIES: 0-0.
LAST MEETING: This is the first meeting between the programs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Curwensville’s Thad Butler, Dan McGarry, Jake Mulllins and Ty Terry. Southern Huntingdon’s Dawson Booher, Nate Myers and Owen Winter.
LAST WEEK: CURWENSVILLE 24, PURCHASE LINE 22: The Golden Tide scored 17 points in the third quarter to take a 24-8 lead before holding off the Red Dragons, who failed on a 2-point conversion late in the fourth. SOUTHERN HUNTINGDON 21, TUSSEY MOUNTAIN 14: Myers threw for 164 yards and three touchdowns and added 154 yards on the ground in the Rockets’ 7-point victory.
COACH’S KEYS TO THE GAME: Keys defensively are to continue to get better at tackling,” Curwensville head coach Jim Thompson said. “We need to pursue the football with the same urgency we did last week as well. Offensively, we need to eliminate pre-snap penalties and not turn the ball over as much as last week.”
Tussey Mountain (1-5) at Moshannon Valley (2-5)
ALL-TIME SERIES: Mo Valley leads 24-9, but Tussey has won three straight by an average score of 53-9.
LAST MEETING: The Titans amassed 448 yards on the ground and scored eight rushing touchdowns in a 64-6 win last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tussey Mountain’s Aaron Day, Landon Myers and Isaiah Sosak. Mo Valley’s David Honan, Levi Knuth and Connor Williams.
LAST WEEK: SOUTHERN HUNTINGDON 21, TUSSEY MOUNTAIN 14: The Titans had a balanced offensive attack with 150 yards passing and 153 on the ground, but they couldn’t contain Rockets QB Nate Myers, who accounted for 318 total yards in the win. GLENDALE 15, MO VALLEY 12: Knuth rushed for 288 yards and a score, but the Knights were held out of the end zone twice after driving deep into Glendale territory and the Vikings scored the go ahead TD late in the fourth quarter.
COACH’S KEYS TO THE GAME: ”We are putting and emphasis on Red Zone offense this week,” Mo Valley head coach Michael Keith said. “Blocking backs and the O line will be key. We have to put it in the end zone when we get the chance, and continue to play solid defense.”
Tyrone (3-4) at Philipsburg-Osceola (2-5)
ALL-TIME SERIES: Tyrone leads 46-21 and has won 16 in a row.
LAST MEETING: The Golden Eagles edged the Mounties 22-16 in 2019.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tyrone’s Corey Beck, Keegan Gwinn, Brady Ronan and Ashton Walk. Philipsburg-Osceola’s Josiah Kephart, Matt Martin and Dominic Shaw.
LAST WEEK: BALD EAGLE AREA 49, P-O 0; BEA quarterback Carson Nagle threw for 207 yards and four TDs and the Mountie offense only totaled 107 yards in the shutout. TYRONE 28, PENNS VALLEY 18: The Eagles QB rotation of Gwinn and Walk combined to toss three TD passes and the Tyrone defense forced three turnovers in the win.
COACH’S KEYS TO THE GAME: “They spread the ball around in the pass game, we need to read our keys and be in proper coverage,” P-O head coach Jeff Vroman said. “We need to contain the run game. That all begins up front on the line of scrimmage.
Blacklick Valley (1-6) at West Branch (2-5)
ALL-TIME SERIES: 0-0.
LAST MEETING: First meeting between the programs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Blacklick Valley’s Nathan Schilling and Kolten Szymusiak. West Branch’s Tyler Biggans, Billy Bumbarger and Wyatt Schwiderske.
LAST WEEK: CONEMAUGH TOWNSHIP 29, BLACKLICK VALLEY 7: Township QB threw for 168 yards and two scored and ran for 94 yards and another TD in the win. Schilling racked up 22 tackles for Blacklick. BELLWOOD-ANTIS 49, WEST BRANCH 0: The Devils scored on interception and punt returns and limited the Warriors to just 30 yards rushing in the shutout.
COACH’S KEYS TO THE GAME: “We need to get back to establishing the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” West Branch head coach Kevin Hubler said. “Run the ball offensively and be able to stop the run defensively. If we do that, limit our mistakes, we will be fine.”