Garner, OL pave way for Dragons’ win
ROARING SPRING — At 6-feet-5 and 241 pounds, Central tight end/defensive tackle Austin Garner is an imposing figure on the football field.
Clearfield found that out Friday night.
Running behind Garner and the left side of its offensive line, Central rolled up 352 yards on the ground and pounded Clearfield, 42-14 in a key Mountain League game at the Roaring Spring Athletic Field.
Besides Garner, the Scarlet Dragons got good offensive surge from Tyler Vollkommer (6-0, 299) and Dominik Emerick (5-11, 239).
Clearfield, behind the passing of Isaac Rumery, started quickly and had a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter. However, once Central got rolling, the Bison couldn’t stop the Scarlet Dragons.
Central overcame Clearfield’s fast start and riding Noah Muthler’s three first-quarter TD rushes led 21-14 after the first quarter. It was 35-14 by halftime and QB Muthler had four TDs — all on the ground.
“Central has a great team,” Clearfield coach Tim Janocko said. “Watching them on film, I thought they might be as good as they were last year.”
Clearfield advanced to the PIAA Class 3A state semifinals last season, despite a regular-season loss to 4A Clearfield.
After dropping its season opener at Hollidaysburg, Central has stormed back to pound Tyrone and Clearfield.
“It didn’t look good at the beginning,” Central coach Dave Baker said of Clearfield’s early success. “We finally started covering some people, and we got more pressure.
“We have a lot of good players,” Baker said, “but we still have a way to go and have things the way we’d like to have them.”
On its first offensive possession, Clearfield filled the air with passes, finally scoring on a 9-yard completion from Rumery to Taye Lynch. Central answered quickly, however, as Muthler faked a pitch and rambled 47 yards on a keeper.
The Bison recovered and needed only four plays to cover 70 yards and regain the lead. Rumery hit Michel Heichel with two passes for 67 yards before turning the corner from the 3 to make it 14-7.
That was it, though, for Clearfield as Central got its ground game rolling and rolled over the Bison.
Muthler scored on two short runs — 6 and 1 — to give Central a 21-14 lead after the first quarter. A fourth Muthler TD — this one from the 3 — made it 28-14 and Trystan Detwiler’s 35-yard dash in the final minute pushed the Scarlet Dragons’ lead to 35-14 at the half. Detwiler finished with 165 yards on 16 carries.
Jared Smith’s 18-yard run and Tarald Masdol’s sixth PAT hiked the Central advantage to 42-14 midway through the third quarter before Central called off the dogs.
After Rumery’s early success, the Clearfield QB was under constant pressure from the Central defense led by tackle Garner and linebackers Jared Smith and Ben Kurtz.
“That 44 (Garner) is a heck of a player,” Janocko said. “He gave us fits all night. We tried some things to combat him, but he was great and we couldn’t handle him.
“We had momentum early and lost it,” Janocko said. “It happens in big games sometimes. But, the season’s young. We’re still 2-1 and we’ve got a young team. We’ll go back to work Monday.”
Central visits Penns Valley next Friday while Clearfield hosts Huntingdon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Clearfield 14 0 0 0 — 14
Central 21 14 7 0 — 42
Cl–Lynch 19 pass from Rumery (Sorbera kick), 9:03.
C–Muthler 47 run (Masdol kick), 6:43.
Cl–Rumery 3 run (Sorbera kick), 5:04.
C–Muthler 6 run (Masdol kick), 2:48.
C–Muthler 1 run (Masdol kick), 0:46.
C–Muthler 3 run (Masdol kick), 6:58.
C–Detwiler 35 run (Masdol kick), 0:50.
C–J. Smith 18 run (Masdol kick), 5:05.
RUSHING: Clearfield–Zattoni 6-30, Pelton 4-15, Bender 2-1, McGonigal 1-(-2), Rumery 15-(-35). Central–Detwiler 16-165, Muthler 7-80, J. Smith 9-64, Karstetter 4-28, McConahy 6-23, Hoover 2-2, Bolatto 1-(-10).
PASSING: Clearfield–Rumery 13-23-1-184. Central–Muthler 2-2-0-14, Kitt 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING: Clearfield–Heichel 5-101, McGonigal 3-41, Lynch 2-18, Lezzer 2-11, Graham 1-13. Central–Karstetter 1-14, Detwiler 1-0.
TEAM STATISTICS Cl C
First downs 13 19
Rushes-yards 28-9 45-352
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 13-23-1 2-4-0
Yards passing 184 14
Total yards 193 366
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-46 2-15
Punts-avg. 5-29 2-35