Clarion Hosts East Stroudsburg Saturday Night on Family Day

EYT Media


Published September 27, 2012 4:20 am
Clarion Hosts East Stroudsburg Saturday Night on Family Day

Photo courtesy Clarion UniversityCLARION, Pa. – Clarion’s football team returns home this Saturday, September 29, to host East Stroudsburg at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6pm for a game that will also serve as the “Family Day” contest.All the game action between Clarion and East Stroudsburg can be heard on the Golden Eagle radio  network, which includes WCCR-FM, 92.7 in Clarion and WKQW-FM, 96.3 in Oil City, as well as on the internet at with Mike Kalinowski providing the play by play and Joe Lodanosky offering color commentary.

The game will also be produced for TV by the Sportsfever Television Network with Jon Schaeffer and Jeff O’Connor providing the play by play and color commentary. The game will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 3 on ROOT Sports starting at 5pm, Thursday Oct. 4 at 8pm on the Comcast Network and Sunday, Sept. 30 at 4:30pm on Blue Ridge Cable.



Clarion head coach Jay Foster, in his seventh season leading the Golden Eagles, has his team off to a 2-2 start to the 2012 season. The Golden Eagles are coming off an exciting 13-7 win at Gannon last Saturday which evened Clarion’s PSAC-West record at 1-1. Clarion opened the year with a thrilling7-0 win over WVIAC foe Fairmont State. A game televised live on ROOT Sports on Thursday, August 30, Clarion took a 7-0 lead in the third quarter when junior qb Ben Fiscus hit freshman Mark Nicholas on a 27-yard td pass. The defense went on to pitch a shutout – including a goal line stand in the final 30-seconds – to post the victory. The Golden Eagles had eight turnovers in game 2 in its 46-26 loss at LIU-Post, despite outgaining the Pioneers in total offense 538-375. Clarion then dropped a hard-fought 22-14 decision at Mercyhurst in the PSAC-West opener for both schools before the win last week at Gannon.

The Golden Eagles were 3-8 in 2011 and posted a 2-5 mark in the rugged PSAC-Western Division. The Golden Eagles won three of their final six games, including wins over Lock Haven (54-6), Gannon (28-21) and Millersville (34-20). Other close losses include a 42-38 setback in the final seconds against Mercyhurst after leading 38-14 in the third quarter, and close losses to Fairmont State (31-17) and Edinboro (21-10).

The 2010 Eagles were 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the rugged PSAC-West, while the 2009 squad was 8-3 overall, 6-1 in the West and earned an 8th place ranking in the NCAA D-II East Region final poll. Coach Foster was named the 2009 PSAC-West “Coach of the Year”. Foster enters the game with a career record of 21-49.


Veteran ESU head coach Denny Douds is in his 39th year as head coach of the Warrior program and his 47th overall with East Stroudsburg. The Clarion game will be his 401st as a head coach. He has a career record at ESU of 234-163-3 and has the second most wins of any active coach in NCAA Division II.

The Warriors are 2-1 to start the 2012 season with a year opening 31-0 win over Lock Haven, then a 63-21 loss to Shippensburg and last week’s 59-27 win over Cheyney.

Douds has led ESU to 9 PSAC –East titles (1975, 76, 78, 80, 82, 83, 91, 2002, 2003), three PSAC titles (1975, 78, 82) and one tie with Shippensburg in 1976. ESU has been to the NCAA Playoffs 5 times under Douds including 2009, 08, 05, 04 and 1991.


East Stroudsburg and Clarion have played some important games in their history, twice playing each other for the PSAC championship. East Stroudsburg won the first meeting in 1978 by a 49-4 margin in the PSAC title game. In 1983 the two teams played again for the PSAC Championship and Clarion won that game 27-14. That game was the first PSAC “State Game” held at a neutral site — Hershey. The games, which are always exciting, saw Clarion win 37-34 in 1986 and 25-3 in 1987. The Warriors have won seven straight games in the series including 37-33 in 2000, 33-27 in 2001, 31-21 in 2003, 38-24 in 2004, 56-0 in 2005, 49-28 in 2008 and 45-31 in 2009.


The Clarion offense is averaging 346 yards of total offense per game including 186 rushing yards and 160 passing yards per game in 2012.


Junior signal caller Ben Fiscus (Jr. Indiana) will lead Clarion’s offense. Fiscus has rushed for 283 yards and 2 td’s (record 88 yd td run at LIU-Post), while completing 53 of 105 passes for 640 yards and 6 td’s. Since earning the starting qb spot midway through 2010 Fiscus has rushed for 1,602 yards (12th at Clarion) and 13 td’s on 339 attempts. Next up on the list is Steve Nolan (1,807 yards – 1971-74). He has now passed for 2,339 career yards (215 of 438) and 18 td’s.  In 2011 Ben was Clarion’s leading rusher and ranked 10th in the PSAC in rushing with 737 yards and 5 td’s on 155 attempts (10 games). He also hit on 100 of 207 passes for 1,148 yards and 5 td’s. He rushed for 204 yards and 2 td’s against Lock Haven. The backup is Anthony Omogrosso (So. Beaver Falls).


Ready to catch passes from Fiscus will be junior Jon Reid (Stafford, Va.), Anthony Becoate (Sr. McKeesport), Mark Nicholas (Fr. Export/Franklin Regional), Nick Perry (Fr. Bumpass, Va.) and Aaron Barlow (Sr. Ambridge).

Reid leads the team with 18 catches for 311 yards and 2 td’s, and also led the team in 2011 with 24 grabs for 281 yards and 2 td’s. Reid caught 9 aerials for 212 yards against LIU-Post. The 212 yards tied for third most in a single game with Tom Kurts who had 212 vs Shippensburg in 1967. Becoate has 2 catches for 23 yards while clutching 13 aerials for 186 yards and 1 td last year and now has career totals of 30 catches, 412 yards, 4 td’s. Nicholas and Perry are true freshmen. Nicholas has 4 catches for 39 yards and 3 td’s, while Perry has 8 grabs for 74 yards and 1 td and Barlow 8 receptions, 61 yards.

Also expected to see action are Enrico Canello (Fr. Pgh – Keystone Oaks), Caleb Mancini (So. Beaver Falls/Blackhawk), Garrett Sigler (Fr. Ford City), along with tight ends Rob Irwin (Jr. Bellefonte), Mike Deitrick (So. Upper St. Clair) and Evan Mastele (Jr. Pgh – North Catholic).


Former safety turned running back Bobby Thomas (So. Reading/Exeter Twp.), has had a very successful debut in 2012. Thomas leads the team with 92 rushes for 413 yards and 1 td (Ranks #6 in PSAC at 103.2) while also catching 5 passes for 47 yards. Thomas rushed for 158 yards and 1 td at LIU-Post. Last year at safety he posted 38 tackles and 1 tfl as a red-shirt freshman. He will be backed up by Travis Day (Fr. Hempfield),  Chris Liberto (Fr. Springdale) and Cameron Dixon (So. Elizabeth Forward).


The “O” line has three talented starters returning in captain and tackle Mike Felker (6-4, 280, Jr. Gibsonia/Pine Richland), guard Andrew Vercelli (Sr. Gibsonia/Deer Lakes) and center Terrance Perfilio (Jr. Farrell). Felker in his third season as a starter and 2010 PSAC-West selection, while Vercelli was a PSAC-West choice in 2011. Perfilio had several starts at center a year ago and is a 2-year letterwinner. Also starting up front are Ryan Barrick (So. Easton) at tackle and Eli Rupert (Sr. Indiana-Apollo Ridge) at the other guard spot. Also seeing time will be Tyler Edwards (So. Ambridge) at tackle, Shane Cress (Fr. Mars) and Matt Kundick (So. Beaver) at guards and Andrew Moore (Jr. Brashear) and Cameron Cress (Fr. Mars) at center.


The Golden Eagles return 8 starters from last year’s unit, as well as some quality young players to provide quality overall depth for 2012. Clarion is ranked #3 in Total Defense in the PSAC yielding 299.8 yards per game including 147.8 rushing and 152 passing yards.


Clarion’s defensive line has been strong in the first four games. Paving the way up front are Adam Bostick (Jr. Lititz), Jacob Heintz (So. Pine-Richland), Sean Motley (Sr. West Mifflin), Matt Shuey (So. Johnsonburg), Ryan Slack (Sr. Norwin), Julian Howsare (So. Altoona) and Andrew Fragale (Fr. Emporium/Cameron County. Bostick has 6 tackles, 2 tfl’s, 1 pass breakup and 1 interception. Heintz (8 hits, 3 tfl’s), Motley (2 tfl’s, 1 sack), Shuey (9 stops, 2 tfl’s), Slack (3 jolts, 2 tfl), Julian Howsare (15 hits, 3 tfl’s, 2 sacks) and Fragale (12 stops, 3 tfl’s).


The strength of the Clarion defense might well be in its linebacking corps. It doesn’t get much better than Nate Sipes (Sr. Curwensville) and sophomore Brian Palmiere (So. Tarentum/Deer Lakes). Sipes is second on the team with 29 tackles, while Palmiere leads the “D” with 32 tackles and 3 tfl’s. Sipes was an All PSAC-West selection in 2011 leading the team and finishing #3 in the PSAC with 99 tackles. He also chipped in with 4 tfl’s, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 break-ups. Palmiere meanwhile had a strong season as a true freshman posting 43 hits, 5 sacks, 12 tfl’s, 1 fumble recovery and 1 fumble caused in 9 games.

Also expecting to see some time are Jared Davis (Fr. Pgh – Allderdice), Eddie Kurtz (Fr. Avonworth) and Rocco Yauger (Fr. Penn Trafford).


Senior corner Anthony Stimac (East Brady/Karns City) and safety Andrew Paronish (Sr. Hastings/Northern Cambria) lead a quality secondary in 2012. Paronish, the PSAC-West “Defensive Player of the Week” against Fairmont, has 18 tackles, 2 fumbles caused, 1 recovered and an interception. He had 41 stops, 2 tfl’s, 1 fumble recovery and 1 fumble caused in 2011 and has career numbers showing 129 tackles, 3 int’s, 2 tfl’s.

Stimac, a team captain in 2012, is third on the team with 24 hits. He is a three-year starter who holds the Clarion record for longest interception return for a td, which was a 100-yard return at Slippery Rock a year ago. Stimac had 54 hits, 2 int’s, 2 tfl’s and 2 beak-ups in 2012. In his career he has posted 112 tackles and 2 int’s.

Also leading the secondary are transfer Kyle McWreath (So. Washington/Trinity HS),  Mike Zak (Jr. Orchard Park, N.Y.), Peter Rivera (So. Allentown/Bethlehem Catholic), Malik King (Fr. Coraopolis/Cornell), Matt Long (Jr. Pgh – North Catholic), Tyler Tucker (So. Westside, Tx.) and Kwaku Asamoah (Fr. Indiana). Zak has 8 tackles, 1 tfl and 1 fumble caused, with Long collecting 16 jolts, 4 tfl’s and 2 break-ups. McWreath has 15 stops and 3 tfl’s, King 8 hits and 2 break-ups and Asamoah 3 tackles.


The Clarion special teams will be anchored again by punter Nathan Conway (Jr. Lock Haven/Central Mountain), who will also double as the Clarion placekicker in 2012.

Conway, in his third year as the starter (2009, 2011) at punter, is averaging 35.0 yards per punt. Last year he averaged 35.2 yards per punt, but the average was a bit deceiving – pointed out coach Foster. Conway booted 16 punts inside the 20, and had 14 punts fair caught.  He averaged 37.9 yards per punt as a freshman in 2009.


The Warrior offense is averaging a whopping 446 yards of offense and 36.3 points per contest in 2012. ESU is getting 163.3 rushing yards and 282.7 passing yards per game.

Calling the signals will be junior qb Nate Daniels, who has completed 30 of 54 passes for 563 yards and 6 td’s. His QB Rating of 168.7 is the third highest in the PSAC.

Top receivers include Dusty Reed (15 catches, 249 yards, 1 td), Jordan Hallman (9 grabs, 270 yards, 4 td’s), Robert Bleiler (8 receptions, 151 yards, 1 td).

The running game is strong with Eric Deery (235 yards, 2 td’s, 34 carries) and Kendrick Willliams (204, yards, 2 td’s, 31 carries) sharing the load.


The Warriors are giving up 403.3 yards of total offense per game including only 87.7 rushing yards and 315.7 passing yards per game. The rushing defense is #2 in the PSAC – going against Clarion’s rushing attack which is ranked #5 in the PSAC (186)

The ESU defense is led up front by tackles Bryan Thomson (13 hits, 1.5 tfl’s) and Sam Hull (7 tackles) and ends Sam Trunzo (9 stops, 1 tfl), Tarik Haddad (8 stops, 1 tfl) and Waverly Harris (7 hits, 1 sack).

The linebacking corps is strong with Cody Simcox (17 stops) and Don Kinney Jr. (13 jolts, 3.5 tfl’s) leading on the inside and Darius Jackson (20 tackles, 3 tf’s, 1 int) and Mike Kinney (14 hits) on the outside.

The team’s top tackler is free safety Anthony Singlar (29 stops, 1 int), with corners Brandon Phillips (9 tackles) and Teron Dobbs (5 jolts) at the corners.


CLARION – ESU SERIES – ESU LEADS 8-3 — In the 1983 PSAC title game at Hershey, Clarion rallied in the fourth quarter for its 27-14 win … Clarion led 10-0 on a 1-yard run from Elton Brown and a 23-yard field goal from Eric Fairbanks… ESU took a 14-10 lead in the third on a 44-yard punt return from Chris Gerhard… With two qb’s (Pat Carbol & Kevin Hanlon knocked out during the game) Dave Lammers came on and tossed an 85-yard td pass to All-American Terry McFetridge with 11:02 left in the game, and a 50-yard td pass to Bob Green with 5:18 left to seal the win… Eric Fairbanks added a 24-yard field goal to round out the scoring… Clarion had 344 yards in that game including 157 rushing and 187 passing … All-American Elton Brown had 140 yards and 1 td on 30 carries … Lammers was 3 of 7 passing for 142 yards and 2 td’s… McFetridge caught 3 for 103 yards and 1 td and Green had 2 grabs for 56 yards and 1 td… ESU had -16 yards rushing and 100 yards passing for a total offense of 84 yards … QB Andy Baranek (2 of 2, 11 yards) was hurt in the first quarter and did not return … Charlie Diskin was 11 of 24 passing for 89 yards … Clarion’s “D” had a PSAC Championship record 13 qb sacks in that game for a -95 yards … John Hughes and Jon Haslett had 4 sacks each, Kevin Ewing had 2 sacks.

In 2009 ESU won 45-31 at Eiler-Martin Stadium – ESU outgained clarion 415-399 … Clarion led 7-0 on Tyler Huether to Matt Foradora 23-yard td pass … ESU led 28-14 at halftime … clarion rallied to within 28-21 on an Alfonso Hoggard 5-yard run – and within 35-24 early in the fourth on a 45-yard field goal from robert Mamula – but ESU pulled away to win late … Huether was 19 of 33 for 307 yards and 3 td’s … Matt Ward, Jacques Robinson and Foradora caught td passes … ESU qb Matt Marshall hit 23 of 29 passes for 316 yards and 3 td’s … In 2008 ESU won 49-28 … ESU led 35-7 at halftime and never looked back … Clarion outgained ESU 460-458 … Nick Sipes rushed for 115 and Eddie Emmanuel rushed for 105 … QB Gino Rometo hit on 22 of 35 for 238 yards and 1 td … Jacques Robinson grabbed 7 passes for 94 yards … ESU’s Tim Roken was 24 for 33 passing for 420 yards and 5 td’s … Sam Shuman caught 9 for 141 and 2 td’s, Drew Stem 7 for 132 … IN 2004 Clarion lost at ESU 38-24, but the game was really in doubt until the final minutes… Clarion jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the second quarter… Dando’s 1-yard run, Kyle Snoke’s 43-yard field goal and Marcus Lowe’s 71-yard run had the Eagles in front… ESU narrowed it to 17-14 at halftime on a Carfagno 1-yard run… ESU tied the game, then took a 24-17 lead on a 23-yard pass from Terwilliger to Culver… Clarion tied the game early in the fourth 24-24 on a Dando 1-yard run… Lucas scored the go-ahead td with 7:04 left on a 27-yard jaunt… He iced the game with 1:48 left on a 39-yard run… Clarion had 330 yards of offense…. Marcus Lowe 119 rushing yards, 1 td … Dando 18 of 30 for 160 yards … ESU 507 yards … Lucas 156 rushing yards and 2 td’s … Terwilliger 15 of 28 for 219 yards and 2 td’s … Clarion opened the 2003 season against ESU at Memorial Stadium in the first night game … ESU defeated Clarion 31-21… Clarion rushed for 241 yards including 84 from Frantz Charles and 48 from Felton Woulard, both qb’s … Carfagno rushed for 99 yards, while Terwilliger, in his first college game, hit 11 of 28 passes for 188 yards and 3 td’s… In 2001 at Stroudsburg High School, ESU scored with 1:53 remaining on a 16-yard A. Castiglioni run to win 33-27.

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