Coming off a frustrating loss to Juniata in the opener, Penns Valley was hoping to turn things around when it hosted Clearfield.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the defending District 9 Class AAA champion Bison were just too much for them to handle as they dropped a 31-0 decision to fall to 0-2 on the season.
Following the game, Penns Valley head coach Martin Tobias gave his team a big vote of confidence as he told them, “I am not disappointed in you, but I am disappointed for you.”
“They played hard,” said Tobias of his squad. “They did everything to put themselves in a position to give them a chance. I was disappointed for them, not in them.”
On the Clearfield side, head coach Tim Janocko liked the way his players responded to their loss last week.
“The kids did a nice job of bouncing back,” he said. “We worked hard this past week and this is a good Penns Valley team. Their kids played and Marty (Tobias) always has his kids playing hard. We have been on the road for two weeks now so it is going to be nice to get back home next week.”
One area Penns Valley was hoping to improve on from the first game was execution in he red zone. Able to move the ball down the field in the opener, the Rams had more than their share of problems as they moved into Clearfield territory.
“We gave up that one big play on the first touchdown, but we didn’t let them drive the field,” said Tobias. “We gave them good field position in a number of instances and that set them up for short drives which also hurts. Clearfield is always good and that is a good Clearfield team. They come out, play hard and they are gamers. I just felt out kids tried to swing right with them.”
A big thorn in the Rams’ side in their loss to Juniata was their inability to capitalize on opportunities in the red zone. Although they didn’t get that close against the Bison, they still misfired in a couple of instances when they got inside the Clearfield 30-yard line.
“We just need to a better job as coaches to prepare them for those situations so they have confidence to execute,” Tobias said. “As we do a better job of preparing them, that will come.”
The Bison ran 59 offensive plays to 43 for the Rams, and that meant that the Ram defense was on the field more than Tobias would have liked.
“We were just on the field too long,” said Tobias. “They had some drives that they were able to extend on some third down and long plays and fourth down plays. Those are stops you need to get and in some cases tonight, we weren’t able to get them.”
For the Bison, Seth Caldwell was on top of his game as the scatback rushed 25 times for a net of 114 yards and two scores. Add to that a passing attack that netted them 120 yards and it is easy to see why the Bison were able to rack up 205 yards of total offense.
For Penns Valley, consistency on offense was missing from the attack as they only showed 44 yards overland to go along with 72 yards through the airways for a total offense of 116 yards.
The first touchdown and the field goal near the end of the second period were on fourth down plays.
“We had them stopped on those plays, but they rose up and made a play” said Tobias. “Despite the loss, I saw our kids do some good things that we can build on. I sure hope the kids realized that.”
As for Clearfield, penalties killed them in their season-opening loss. In the game with the Rams, they cleaned up that aspect of their game as they were only flagged three times for twenty yards.
“We cleaned that area up quite a bit and I thought we did a good job of that from week one to week two,” Janocko said.
Now 0-2, the Rams will travel to Wingate Friday night to battle the Bald Eagle Area Eagles for the Iron Bell.