BALD EAGLE TOWNSHIP — The date is only September 23 for tonight’s Central Mountain’s game at Clearfield but with the early start this year, the contest will mark the end of the first half of the 10-game season.
The Wildcats will go to the Bison home field at Hyde coming off their first win, a come-from-behind 24-21 thriller over Bellefonte. Clearfield meanwhile is what they always are under veteran coach Tim Janocko. After an opening game 30-20 loss at DuBois, Clearfield (3-1) has won three in a row, most recently a 35-21 victory at Huntingdon.
The Bison historically are good offensively and this year is no exception. They are led by the backfield tandem of sophomore quarterback Isaac Rumery (5-11, 181) and tailback Seth Caldwell (sr, 5-7, 174). Caldwell has put up just over a hundred yards a game rushing, Rumery checking in with 203 yards per game passing. Both average over five yards per rush as Clearfield as always puts plenty of points on the board, averaging more than 25 per game, the high the 35 last week in the win over Huntingdon, the Bison down 21-14 after three periods before scoring the game’s final 21 points for the win. Caldwell and Rumery ran for better than a combined 150 yards in the second half against the Bearcats.
Central Mountain’s matchup with Clearfield will be the first in several years and the Wildcats should go west on Interstate 80 with some renewed confidence after the exciting win over Bellefonte (2-2).
Wildcat first year coach Jim Renninger will likely win his share of games at Central Mountain but you can bet he’ll never forget the first one: the pulsating 24-21 triumph over rival Bellefonte.
It was a back-and-forth game that went to the final play before the Wildcats could nail down the wild win, breaking a 10-game losing streak, including an 0-3 start this year. For Bellefonte it was a heartbreaking loss, the Red Raiders rallying from a 17-0 deficit to dominate the second half and take a 21-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Then after an exchange of punts and Bellefonte’s ball-control offense controlling the line of scrimmage, the Wildcat defense came up with a huge fourth down stop on their own 39, linebacker Mahlik Houtz stopping the Raiders’ Dexter Galishaw just short of a first down with just 3:25 remaining.
From their own 38 Central Mountain moved to the Bellefonte 45 yard line to set up what proved to be the game-winning play. Senior quarterback Justin Neff dropped back and then took off, found the right sideline in front of the Wildcat bench and darted his way to the go-ahead score, diving into the end zone; after Austyn Carson’s extra point Central Mountain was back on top 24-21.
Central Mountain has yet to play a team with a losing record. So far the first five Wildcat opponents are a cumulative 14-6. The final five are a collective 8-12. After Clearfield it is Mifflinburg (1-3), Shikellamy (1-3), Selinsgrove (2-2), Hollidaysburg (1-3) and Jersey Shore (3-1).
The record-online will offer live audio/video stream of the game and will also broadcast audio on WBPZ AM 1230 with John Lipez and Tom Elling offering up the call to bring you all the action. The stream will go live approximately 15 minutes before kickoff.