Rapp Helps Clarion Stay Unbeaten; Bobcats Hold Off Redbank Valley
But Friday night, the Redbank Valley Bulldogs changed all that and nearly knocked off their county rivals before the hosts held on for a 28-20 win at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium.
Last year in Clarion, the Bulldogs beat Clarion 34-10 to win the Small School Division of the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference.
Friday’s game had no such meaning since it was announced earlier this week that Clarion is in the KSAC Large School Division and not the Small School as most were led to believe.
But the result did keep the ‘Cats perfect at 6-0 and in the hunt for the Large School title. They will play at Karns City next week with the title on the line. That game will be broadcast on ExploreRadio.
While the defeat dropped the Bulldogs to .500 at 3-3, they are still in good position for a Class A playoff berth. And the rally they staged to nearly tie the game had to leave them encouraged as they move forward.
The game seemed to be headed to a possible mercy rule finish when Colton Rapp dashed 23 yards for a touchdown with 6:42 left in the first half. Archer Mills’ kick made it 21-0.
But the Bulldogs slashed the lead to seven points, 21-14, by halftime with two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the half – one from Curtis Mohney and one from Clint Thurston 20 seconds before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bulldogs were poised to knot the game at 21-21 when Brock Barrett scored on a 10-yard TD catch from Kahle with 11:03 left on a fourth-down play.
But Thurston, who played a good game and had his first two PAT kicks, slid his third just under the crossbar and Clarion held a one-point lead. A Bobcat player appeared to get a hand on the ball.
Later in the fourth, the ’Cats got a big score when Rapp scored on a 50-yard run with 1:38 left. Mills’ kick made it 28-20.
Then, it was junior defensive end Tom Wurster who capped a great game when he sacked Bulldogs quarterback Keaton Kahle on fourth down with 48 seconds left to seal the win.
Wurster had three sacks and his 70-yard interception return of a Kahle pass on third-and-goal midway through the second quarter set up Rapp’s second TD to make it 21-0.
“That was a first,” Wurster said of his interception. “I had never done that before and it was really, really tiring, let me tell ya. Now I know what the running backs and receivers go through every time they get the ball.”
Wurster’s long interception return was one of many for the Cats. Redbank did well at times, slowing the Clarion offense, but the Cats had seven plays of at least 21 yards. Their touchdowns were on plays of 30, 35, 23 and 50 yards.
Those seven big plays accounted for 238 yards of the 385 Clarion gained.
After both teams traded punts, Clarion used two of those chunk plays to take a 7-0 lead. Ty Burford caught a 42-yard pass from senior quarterback Spencer Miller to the Bulldogs 30, then Rapp ripped off a 30-yard TD.
That trio made most of the big plays for Clarion. Rapp finished with 168 yards rushing on 23 carries and three TDs.
Miller hit 8 of 15 passes for 135 yards, one TD and one interception. Burford snagged three passes for 117 yards with one TD.
Miller and Burford connected for a 35-yard TD to make it 14-0 with 9:36 left in the half.
Then it was time for Wurster to make a big play.
The Bulldogs had figured a chink in the Clarion armor and led by Colten Mohney, drove to the Cats 8. Mohney, who finished with 148 yards on just 11 carries, had 45 yards on three totes while Kahle uncorked a 21-yarder to take Redbank to the 8.
But Wurster had enough and he sacked Kahle for a loss back to the 15. Kahle missed on a pass, then Bulldogs head coach Ed Wasilowski called timeout.
But Wurster blew up whatever Redbank had when he reached up and snagged a Kahle throw and took it 70 yards to the Redbank 20.
The scintillating play led to Rapp’s 23-yard TD run to make it 21-0.
Things looked bleak for the Bulldogs, but they picked themselves up and drove 75 yards on 12 plays with Curtis Mohney went in from two yards out with 1:49 left in the half.
The Bulldogs played tough defense and used their timeouts well to give themselves another scoring chance.
A short punt left Redbank with the ball at the Clarion 38 with 1:17 left. On second down, Barrett’s end around was good for 19 yards, then he caught a 17-yard pass to the 2.
A few plays later, Thurston scored and his kick made it 21-14.
The Bulldogs are at St. Marys next week, Friday, Oct. 14, then finish the regular season with a pair of home games against Punxsy and Moniteau.
CLARION 28, REDBANK VALLEY 20
Score by Quarters
Redbank 0 14 0 6 – 20
Clarion 7 14 0 7 – 28
C – Colton Rapp 30 run (Archer Mills kick), 5:54.
C – Ty Burford 35 pass from Spencer Miller (Mills kick), 9:36.
C – Rapp 23 run (Mills kick), 6:42.
R – Curtis Mohney 2 run (Clint Thurston kick), 1:49.
R – Clint Thurston 1 run (Thurston kick), 0:20.
R – Brock Barrett 10 pass from Keaton Kahle (kick failed), 11:03.
C – Rapp 50 run (Mills kick), 1:38.
First Downs 17 16
Rushes-Yards 43-266 42-250
Comp-Att-Int 4-15-1 8-15-1
Passing Yards 35 135
Total Plays-Yards 58-301 57-385
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Punts-Avg. 4-35 3-41.6
Penalties-Yards 2-9 7-36
Rushing – Redbank Valley: Colten Mohney 11-148, Curtis Mohney 9-33, Keaton Kahle 10-(-3), Clint Thurston 11-70, Brock Barrett 1-13, Chase Wiles 1-5. Clarion: Colton Rapp 23-168, Mike McCloskey 6-20, Spencer Miller 7-15, Ryley McMaster 4-45, Logan Minich 1-1, Kyle Patterson 1-1.
Passing – Redbank Valley: Keaton Kahle 4 of 15, 35 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int. Clarion: Spencer Miller 8 of 15, 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.
Receiving – Redbank Valley: Jared Kespeheler 1-1, Brock Barrett 3-34. Clarion: Ty Burford 3-114, Ryley McMaster 2-4, Mike McCloskey 1-5, Tom Wurster 2-12.
Interceptions – Redbank Valley: Colten Mohney. Clarion: Tom Wurster.
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