CATHCART SETS D9 TOUCHDOWN RECORD WHILE RUSHING FOR 255 YARDS TO LEAD CLARION PAST UNION
|By Chris Rossetti
RIMERSBURG –Clarion’s Kyle Cathcart ran for 255 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries to lead the Bobcats to a 33-0 win over Union in a KSAC football match-up Monday night at Union. The game was originally scheduled for last Friday but was postponed to Monday because of last week’s tragedies.
"I can’t say enough about my offensive line," Cathcart said. "I mention them every week, but I need to do something for them. I need to buy them dinner or do something else for them. They are just blowing people off the ball. I am really proud of them for figuring out what Union was doing and adjusting."
With the three touchdowns, Cathcart set the District 9 career touchdown mark. He now has 58 career touchdowns one more than the previous record of 57 set by Brockway’s Aaron Cantafio (See related story).
"It’s just a record," Cathcart said. "The important thing is we won the game."
While Clarion was eventually able to pull away, the game was a lot closer than the Bobcats had expected in the first half.
An inspired Union squad played Clarion to a 0-0 tie at the end of the first quarter before Clarion was able to score twice in the second quarter to take a 12-0 halftime lead.
"We came out flat," Cathcart said. "It was pretty evident in the first half."
The Bobcats then turned up the pressure in the second half outscoring Union 15-0 in the third quarter and 6-0 in the fourth quarter to get the win.
"We came out strong in the second half," Cathcart said. "I was really proud of the guys for that."
Clarion’s offense racked up 466 total yards of offense while holding Union to just 52. Clarion rushed for 296 yards and maybe more surprisingly threw for 171 while holding the Golden Knights to 20 yards rushing and 32 yards passing. Clarion also racked up 22 first downs to Union’s five, but penalties slowed the Bobcats. They committed 17 infractions for 146 yards while Union was penalized nine times for 80 yards.
"There were some that were just blatant," Clarion head coach Larry Wiser said. "I don’t know what else to say."
Clarion’s offensive line deserves a lot of credit for opening the holes for Cathcart and protecting Bevevino.
"We have gelled very well as a line," senior tackle Josh Wolff said. "The first week was a little shaky, but then we came back and we are getting better. We are just going to put it all together."
Some of Clarion’s first-half offensive problems seem to stem from the Bobcats throwing the ball on nearly half their plays. Clarion threw the ball 16 times while running it 23. Bobcat senior quarterback Ben Bevevino struggled at times in the opening half connecting on 4-of-14 passes for 75 yards while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. Cathcart also had trouble getting things going in the opening half, although he did finish the half with 104 yards and a touchdown of 16 carries.
"We were just trying to open the play book up," Cathcart said. "We know we can run the ball, but we need to get the ball outside and see what our receivers can do. It is all preparation for the rest of the season."
The passing game is something Clarion has been working on for a while now.
"We’ve been planning on throwing all week," Bevevino said. "We’ve been noticing that every team has been putting at least nine people in the box against us. We knew that we had to open it up."
In the second half, the Bobcats switched some things up allowing Bevevino to throw shorter passes helping him complete 5-of-9 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.
"In the first half we were trying to throw the ball long because we always normally throw the ball long," Bevevino said. "But we saw that their corners were playing off 10 yards and flying back on the passes, so tried to throw some hooks and quick slants on them."
Cathcart also found more room in the second half rushing 11 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns.
The game started off with neither team being able to move the football. Both teams had four first-quarter possessions but both came up empty each time with Clarion managing only three first downs and Union one, on a Clarion penalty.
In the second quarter, Clarion got on the board first but not before throwing a scare in to themselves.
Union’s Seth Stewart had booted a 26-yard punt to the Clarion 13-yard line that Bevevino tried to field. The ball, though, squired through Bevevino’s hands, and Union’s Andy Paulden batted the ball toward the Clarion end zone. Bevevino and Paulden raced for the ball with Bevevino falling on it at the Clarion 3-yard line.
With 97 yards to go to pay dirt, Clarion didn’t seem fazed at all. In fact the Bobcats traveled the long distance in only four plays.
On the first play of the drive Cathcart broke loose for 56 yards to the Union 42-yard line and a 15-yard personal foul on the Golden Knights moved the ball to the Union 23-yard line.
Following a holding penalty on Clarion, and a 6-yard run by Bevevino, Bevevino found Joel McNeil with a 27-yard scoring pass that gave Clarion a 6-0 lead with 8:44 left in the opening half.
On Union’s ensuing drive, McNeil came up big on defense recovering a Seth Stewart fumble at the Union 41-yard line with 6:22 left in the half.
This time it took Clarion 11 plays to cover the 41 yards with Cathcart scoring his first touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run with 1:48 left giving Clarion a 12-0 lead.
The big plays of the drive were a 15-yard screen pass to Cathcart on fourth-and-9 from the Union 40 and an 11-yard pass from Bevevino to Jason Reed that moved the ball to the Union 22.
Clarion had another chance to score late in the first half when the Bobcats moved the ball to the Union 16-yard line only to see the drive stall on a delay of game penalty and a 21-yard intentional grounding call against Bevevino.
Coming out of the locker room, Clarion had the ball to start the second half but went three and out.
But on Union’s ensuing possession, Greg Larson broke free and tipped a Brian Lipps pass. Marty Fisher intercepted the tipped ball and returned it from the Union 44 to the Union 30 where Clarion took over.
After a 5-yard penalty pushed the ball back to the 35-yard line, Cathcart tied the District 9 scoring mark when he dashed in from 35 yards out giving Clarion a 20-0 lead with 10:10 left in the third quarter.
Union had a chance to get back in the game when a controversial fumble call gave the Golden Knights the ball at the Clarion 43-yard line with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
On the fumble, Bevevino went back to pass and as he passed the ball it was batted backward by Union’s Devin Davis with the Golden Knights falling on the ball. From both sidelines, it appeared as though the ball was clearly going forward, and the Clarion coaching staff argued vigorously to no avail.
The Bobcat’s defense seemed rattled a bit by the call allowing Union to move to the Clarion 24-yard line. But then the defense stood tall forcing an incomplete pass by Lipps on fourth-and-10 from the 29-yard line giving Clarion the ball back.
Clarion then put the game away by going 71 yards on four plays taking 2:04 off the clock.
The touchdown was scored when Jason Reed hauled in a 30-yard pass from Bevevino with 1:05 left in the third quarter. The big play of the drive was a 36-yard run by Cathcart that moved the ball into Union territory at the 35-yard line.
The Bobcats then got the ball back with 11:46 to play at their own 43-yard line following a 34-yard punt by Stewart.
This time it took six plays for Clarion to score.
Cathcart once again scored the touchdown, breaking the District 9 record on a 7-yard run with 9:21 left in the game.
The big plays of the drive were a 17-yard pass from Bevevino to Reed and a 15-yard run by Cathcart.
The score gave Clarion a 33-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Union fumbled the ball with Clarion recovering it allowing the Bobcats to eat up almost six more minutes before giving the ball back to Union one last time.
Clarion doesn’t have much time to savor the win, as the Bobcats have to travel to Karns City Friday night for a game against the 3-0 Gremlins. The winner of that game will take a huge step toward the KSAC crown. Clarion brings a 21-game regular season win streak into the game, and the Bobcats have won the last two meeting with Karns City. Despite all that, Clarion enters the game as the underdog with only three days to prepare for the Gremlins.
"We won’t do anything different," Wiser said. "We have what we need on Karns City. They are a good football team, and it is going to be a challenge."
Senior captain Cathcart doesn’t think the short turnaround will effect the Bobcats too much.
"I think it will have some effect," Cathcart said. "As far as mental preparation goes, I don’t think we will have a problem. Physically we might be a little beat up, but so are they from what I hear. So I think that could work in either team’s favor. How we deal with the pressure is important. It can be motivation or it could hurt us. I don’t know how we will deal with it."
Clarion 0 12 15 6 33
Union 0 0 0 0 0
Score By Quarters
C – Joel McNeil 27 pass from Ben Bevevino (Jon Byers kick blocked) 8:44
C – Kyle Cathcart 5 run (Bevevino pass failed) 1:48
C – Cathcart 35 run (Jason Reed pass from Bevevino) 10:10
C – Reed 30 pass from Bevevino (Byers kick) 1:05
C – Cathcart 7 run (Byers kick no good) 9:21
First Downs 22 5
Rushes-Yards 48-296 25-20
Passing Yards 171 32
Passes: Comp-Att-Int 10-24-2 5-21-2
Total Yardage 466 52
Punts-Average 3-33.7 7-33.9
Fumbles-lost 4-1 2-2
Penalties-Yards 17-146 9-80
Rushing – Clarion: Kyle Cathcart 27-255, 3 TD, Matt Watterson 4-26, Ben Bevevino 3-6, Adam Divins 5-17, Jason Reed 1-6, Dave Larson 2-(-6), Dustin Shaffer 1-4, Andy Craig 2-(-9), Team 3-(-3). Union: James Myers 3-(-10), Brian Lipps 6-3, Brandon Allen 2 (-18), Seth Stewart 7-38, Garrett Conaway 1-(-2), Korey Hawk 1-0, Vaughn Norbert 2-(-2), Jamie Hughes 1-0, Jeremy Lipps 1-4, Adam Milanovich 1-7.
Passing – Clarion: Ben Bevevino 9-for-23, 162 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT, Andy Craig 1-for-1 9 yds. Union: Brian Lipps 5-for-20, 32 yds, 2 INT, Vaughn Norbert 0-for-1, 0 yds.
Receiving – Clarion: Joel McNeil 1-27 1 TD, Kyle Cathcart 1-15, Jason Reed 3-58 1 TD, Will Lewis 4-62, Nate Cyphert 1-9. Union: Jonny McKinney 1-7, Vaughn Norbert 2-9, James Myers 1-(-3), Seth Stewart 1-19.
Punting – Clarion: Kyle Cathcart 3-101 (33.7). Union: Seth Stewart 7-237 (33.9)
Punt Returns – Clarion: Ben Bevevino 1-0. Union: Seth Stewart 1-37
Kick Returns – Clarion: Will Lewis 1-20. Union: James Myers 3-53, Seth Stewart 2-30.
Interceptions – Clarion: Ben Bevevino, Marty Fisher. Union: Mike Flick, James Myers.