Bison “Ram” through Penns Valley for Homecoming victory – GantNews.com
HYDE – A bit of chill in the air greeted those entering the Bison Sports Complex on Friday evening. A showdown in early September against the Valley Rams Penns would end the early-season homestand, but that contest also had an extra special feeling as it was homecoming week for Clearfield.
The highlight of the halftime festivities was seeing Olivia Bender crowned the 2021 Clearfield Reunion Queen, proudly wearing her crown with a smile extending from ear to ear. But on the field, what was hit was the defense of Penns Valley. It was a real old school football game for the Bison as the offensive line made the lanes and the backfield tallied the yards. The Bison would literally run away with their third straight win, beating the Rams, 53-7.
“We wanted to throw the ball and set the tone. Our offensive line was running and all of our backs were running hard, ”said Bison head coach Tim Janocko.
That was an understatement as the Bison’s offensive would take nearly 400 yards to the ground, with every score of the night coming from the rushed attack.
Clearfield’s opening practice warned the Rams, as the nine-game practice saw only one passing game, and it was incomplete. The remainder of practice saw Mark McGonigal and Jose Alban punish the Penns Valley defense throughout the pitch. Oliver Billotte would finish the drive on a 4th and 2nd, pushing his way into the end zone at 17 meters to open the scoring of the night. Luke Sidorick came out for the extra point, but a bad snap and brutal grip spoiled the timing. The kick looked good, but hit the left upright to leave the score at 6-0.
After forcing a punt Clearfield looked to get things done on the second practice, but the offense was not only brought to a halt quickly, but all behavior on the sideline quickly changed.
Billotte’s second pass of the night went to the right, but it fell into the hands of Miles Brooks, who was covering Karson Kline on the sidelines. The interception would then go the other way, a 42-yard sprint that took a lot of energy off the Clearfield sidelines as the pick-six suddenly tied the game. Jackson Romig scored the extra point, and as the first quarter ended, it was Penns Valley looking for a 7-6 advantage.
Clearfield spat the ball out in his first play of the next practice, his second consecutive turnover, but it was the defense that changed momentum as the Rams failed to convert on the fourth down, giving the ball to the Bison.
Once Clearfield got the ball back after the turnover on the downs, that’s when the goal of the night was to simply hit and hammer the opposition.
Despite Billotte’s first end of the night at Alban, the 10-game drive that followed had a very similar feeling as the Bison bulldozed across the field topped off by Billotte’s second touchdown. A missed two-point conversion left the score at 12-7, but it wasn’t long before Clearfield had another chance to kick the ball to pay for the dirt.
The three-and-out that came from the Rams after the kickoff only got worse as the punt would be hit, going out of bounds on the Ram’s 31-yard line.
Two games later, McGonigal made his way into the end zone for the first time that night. Billotte’s successful two-point run took the score to 20-6 with more than half a quarter to go. Billotte peaked his goal night at the Bison’s next practice with his third touchdown, a two-yard jump, to take the score to 26-7 before entering the locker room.
Defensively, the Bison once again set up a clinic as the Rams couldn’t find any way to get past the top seven. Clearfield kept the Rams under 100 total yards on the night, giving up just six first downs. By comparison, the Bison offense had 25 first downs, racking up 543 total yards for the game.
The rushed clinic continued into the second half as Alban scored his only touchdown midway through the third quarter, finishing another 8-game practice. Billotte would make his biggest pass of the game on the drive, a 58-yard strike to Will Domico to put Clearfield in scoring position. Although he didn’t pitch for a touchdown, the senior quarterback threw for 153 yards.
McGonigal added his second touchdown of the night early in the fourth quarter, closing a night he ran for 170 yards on 19 carries, averaging just under nine yards per carry.
With Clearfield already up 39-7 after McGonigal’s score, Clearfield coaches gave some of the younger ones a playing experience, and it was like everything that happened was the same song, a new singer. The underclassmen showed just how strong they can be as Carter Chamberlain scored his first touchdown of the season with 7:19 left to play, then Cayden Bell added an impressive 40-yard sprint to the end zone with a little more than two minutes to play, establish the final score.
Even with a win, it seemed Janocko wasn’t entirely happy with his team’s performance. He was grateful for the victory, but also immediately looked at what needed to be fixed.
“We had a few turnovers in the first quarter, as well as communication penalties. These are things that we need to clean up, ”he said. “There are things we need to improve on. Later, even next week when we face Tyrone, if we return the ball, we could lose 21-0 very quickly.
“There are things we need to fix, but I thank these kids for putting on their seat belts and getting this victory for the whole team.”
Tyrone (1-2) is the first road game of the 2021 season for Clearfield as they are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. against the Golden Eagles.
SCORE PER QUARTER
Penns Valley 7 0 0 0 – 7
Free field 6 20 6 21 – 53
THE SCORE OF THE BOX
BISON: 17 yards executed by Billotte (Sidorick kicks off vertically), 7:26
RAMS: 42-yard intercept return by Brooks (Romig kick), 4:36
BISON: 5 yards run by Billotte (failed conversion), 9:31
BISON: 6 yard run by McGonigal (Billotte run), 7:44
BISON: 2 yards run by Billotte (failed conversion), 3:32
BISON: 1 yard run by Alban (conversion failure), 6:01
BISON: 2-yard run by McGonigal (kick from Sidorick), 11:23
BISON: 1 yard run by Chamberlain (Sidorick kick), 7:19
BISON: 40 yards per Bell (kick from Sidorick), 2:07
Penns Valley / Clearfield
- First tests: 6/25
- Peak price: 40/390
- Passing yards: 39/153
- Total Yards: 79/543
- Penalties-yards: 2-20 / 5-25
- Turnover: 1/2
- Possession hour: 21: 46/26: 14
Penns Valley: Brungart-7 gate, 9 yards; Watson-7 carries, 7 yards; Ilgen-7 carries, 4 yards; Greene-3 carries, 4 yards; Romig-1 range, 16 yards.
Clearfield: McGonigal-19 carries, 170 yards, 2 TD; Alban-13 carries, 55 yards, TD; Billotte-6 carries, 51 yards, 3 TD; Chamberlain-4 carries, 44 yards, TD; Bell-4 carries, 70 yards, TD.
Penns Valley: Brungart-5 for 12.45 yards, INT; Romig-2 for 8, (-6) yards.
Clearfield: Billotte-9 for 18, 153 yards, INT.
Penns Valley: catches from Brooks-2, 32 yards; Romig-2 catches, 11 yards; Ilgen-1 catch, 3 yards; Kerstetter-1 caught, (-1) yards; Watson-1 caught, (-5) yards.
Clearfield: Kline-3 catches, 51 yards; Paul Cook-2 catches, 23 yards; Alban-2 catches, 22 yards; caught Domico-1, 58 yards; Catch from Freeland-1, 16 yards.