Bellefonte (2-3) at Clearfield (5-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Coaches: B Duffy Besch, third season; C Tim Janocko, 28th season
Last meeting: Clearfield 44, Bellefonte 0, last season
Key players: C Christian Lezzer, QB/RB/WR/LB; B Nick Leiter, WR
The skinny: For the past two weeks Bellefonte has seen close halftime contests turn into third-quarter catastrophes. Last week, Bellefonte led Tyrone 10-6 at halftime only to be dusted 48-10. In fact, Bellefonte has been outscored 78-0 in the second halves of itslast two games, forcing head coach Duffy Besch to dedicate practice time to solving the Red Raiders post halftime haplessness.
Weve talked a lot about the concept of finishing drives, plays, series, quarters and halves, Besch said. Weve been able to do some things. When you look at how weve been able to compete, weve been in games, had leads at halftime. We tried to do some different things in practice this week to create that competition level. For some teams the third can be a grind for some reason. Hopefully were able to learn from whats been going on and be able to move forward.
This week, the Raiders will have to face one of the best athletes in the state, Clearfields quarterback, running back, wide receiver and linebacker -- Christian Lezzer. Last season, Lezzer rushed for 118 yards and caught three passes for 74 yards en route to a 44-0 rout of Bellefonte.
I think its a lot like Von Walker at Central Mountain, Besch said. As much as you want to contain him you cant let the whole team beat you. When you have players like this many coaches say the key is to stop them. I say theres no way to stop them because theyre good football players. ... The key with any team like Clearfield is when the whole team gets going its a snowball effect. We have to limit their big plays. They do thrive on big plays. We got to get them in situations like third and longs. Play a solid game in all phases and you can be there at the end.
The Red Raiders were unable to contain Walker in Week 3 as he rushed for 362 yards on 16 carries and six touchdowns. If they are to stay in this weeks game they will have to find a way to slow Lezzer and figure out how to get over their second half swoons.
Weve gotta get over a hump, thats kinda where we are, said Besch. We are halfway through the season and can hopefully start to make that climb over that hump. Its a good opportunity for us to go play a very tough and solid team to see where we are as a football team. Those are the challenges we play for were excited about the opportunity and we want to prove that we are making our strides and moving forward.