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Week 4 football: Five unbeatens remain in District 9

Cameron County quarterback Maddox Baughman helps lead his team into a Week 4 non-region matchup at home against Port Allegany Friday night. The 3-0 Red Raiders are off to their best start in 14 years. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick's work here
   

Six District 9 League unbeaten teams, five of them D9 schools, head into Week 4 looking to keep perfect records intact.

In Region 1, it’s Central Clarion back on the road against Punxsutawney (2-1) while St. Marys tries to make it 4-0 with a home matchup with Karns City (1-2). In Region 2, the Redbank Valley Bulldogs look to continue their perfect run with a rare Saturday noon game at Keystone (0-3) while Brockway travels to Rimersburg to play Union/A-C Valley (1-2).

Both Cameron County and District 4’s Bucktail take unbeaten records into Friday night as the Red Raiders host defending D9 Class 1A champion Port Allegany (2-1) in a non-region game and the Bucks travel to Otto-Eldred (2-1) for a Region 3 matchup.

In other games in Region 1, DuBois (1-2) hosts Bradford (2-1) while Brookville (1-2) travels to Moniteau (1-2). Friday’s other Region 2 game has Ridgway visiting Kane with both teams seeking their first wins.

               

Friday’s other non-region game has Smethport (0-3) hosting Coudersport (1-2).

Saturday’s other game is a Region 3 matchup with Sheffield (0-2) hosting Elk County Catholic (0-3).

Curwensville (0-3) and Clearfield (2-1) are both on the road in District 6 territory, the Golden Tide traveling to Orbisonia Southern Huntingdon (0-3) while the Bison head to Bellefonte (0-3).

In Emporium, the Red Raiders are off to their best start in 14 years as they started that season with nine straight wins. They’ll try to beat the Gators for the first time since 2016 and end a seven-game losing streak to the Gators, who beat them 46-0 last year.

The Red Raiders are led by quarterback Maddox Baughman (17-for-44, 299 yards, 2 TDs, 0 ints.) and running back Malakai Zucal (60-237, 3 TDs), who is also Baughman’s top receiving target with four catches for 129 yards.

   

Cameron has beaten Union/ACV (20-19), Smethport (14-0) and Moniteau (40-26) while the Gators have wins over Ridgway (40-0) and Smethport (55-0) last week with a Week 2 loss to unbeaten Central Clarion (57-6).

Quarterback Nate Wilfong (14-for-24, 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.), and running backs Aiden Bliss (36-338, 6 TDs) and Peyton Stiles (47-326, 6 TDs) lead the attack. Bliss (6-136, 1 TD) is Wilfong’s leading receiver.

The Region 1 showdown has unbeaten Central Clarion traveling to Jack LaMarca Stadium to face the Chucks who gave the unbeaten Bulldogs a challenge until Redbank Valley pulled away in the second half for a 50-27 win.

So far, it’s been somewhat easy-peasy for the Wildcats who have outscored foes 178-33, including last week’s 72-0 rout of Union/A-C Valley. 

The Wildcats average 422 yards of offense. Quarterback Jase Ferguson (31-for-45, 11 TDs, 1 Int.; team-high 255 yards rushing with two TDs), running back Noah Naser (22-153, 4 TDs), and receivers Brady Quinn (7-178, 2 TDs), Mason Burford (9-158, 3 TDs) and Dawson Smail (8-153, 3 TDs) lead the offense.

The Chucks have sophomore Maddox Hetrick (36-for-50, 547 yards, 5 TDs, 2 Ints.) off to a good start while running back Logan Martz (51-459, 6 TDs), and receivers Zach Presloid (12-254, 1 TD), Noah Weaver (9-178, 2 TDs) and Beau Thomas (16-163, 2 TDs) have put up solid numbers out of the gate.

Here’s a closer look at the other games:

Region 1

Bradford (2-1) at DuBois (2-1)

The Beavers have beaten the Owls seven straight games, badly, including last year’s 49-20 win. Prior to that, they’d outscored the Owls 308-13 in the previous five matchups. Bradford’s last win over DuBois came in a 54-26 rout of its own in 2010.

                           

While the Beavers lost their second straight game last week at Northern Bedford (30-14), the Owls won  their second straight after a 30-game losing straight in a 35-12 win at home over Otto-Eldred.

Beavers quarterback Landon Schrock was 10-for-25 for 76 yards and three interceptions in his starting debut after the team lost Trey Wingard for the season with an injury. The Beavers had Danny Dixon and Garret Nissel combine for 20 carries for 104 yards rushing to lead the running game. For the season, Nissel has 41 carries for 198 yards and a TD while Dixon has rushed 27 times for 109 yards and a TD. Kaden Clark (12-165, 1 TD) and Carter Vos (9-148, 1 TD) are the top receivers.

For Bradford, quarterback Talen Reese (47-for-66, 581 yards, 5 TDs, 0 interception) leads the offense. Jake Franz (13-265, 3 TDs) and Aaron Ward (10-168, 1 TD) are the top receivers while Jordan Thompson (41-165, 1 TD) is the leading rusher.

Karns City (1-2) at St. Marys (3-0)

The Dutch look to keep their unbeaten season going and a 4-0 start for the first time since going 5-0 to start the COVID season of 2020. After beating Kane 55-7 last week, the Dutch face a Gremlins squad coming off its first win, 35-14, at Ridgway.

St. Marys is led by standout running back Matthew Davis, who leads the district in rushing with 711 yards on just 68 carries with 10 TDs. Quarterback Cameron Coudriet (16-for-61, 234 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int.) and Ben Reynolds (5-102, 1 TD) lead the passing game.

The Gremlins’ Hunter Scherer (27-198, 1 TD) and Luke Cramer (26-109, 4 TDs) power the running game.

Brookville (1-2) at Moniteau (1-2)

The Raiders have beaten the Warriors six straight times dating back to a 37-14 loss at West Sunbury in 2016. They’re looking to make it two straight wins after last week’s first win in a 42-20 rout of Keystone.

Last week, the Raiders used Easton Belfiore at quarterback and he threw for over 200 yards and four TDs with a rushing score with starter Charlie Krug out. Krug (25-for-40, 342 yards, 3 TDs, 0 Ints.) started in the first two games. 

   

Tony Ceriani (22-106) leads the team in rushing. The leading receivers are Jack Pete (8-231, 4 TDs), Sam Krug (5-154, 2 TDs) and Hayden Freeman (9-103).

The Warriors are coming off a 40-26 loss to unbeaten Cameron County. Leading the offense is quarterback Trent Beachem (20-for-47 356 yards, 7 TDs, 3 Ints.), running backs Logan Campbell (33-188, 2 TDs) and Kole Scott (25-144), and Ashton Grossman (4-132, 2 TDs) and Campbell (8-114, 2 TDs) the leading pass-catchers.

Region 2

Redbank Valley (3-0) at Keystone (0-3), Saturday, noon

The Bulldogs will take the morning trip to Knox flying high after three wins that have seen them pile up 52 points and 475 yards of offense per game with sophomore quarterback Braylon Wagner leading the way.

Wagner (50-for-63, 947 yards, 12 TDs, 1 Int.) is coming off his Jim Kelly Player of the Week Performance in last week’s 50-27 win over Punxsutawney. He completed 22 of 24 passes for 396 yards with six touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown.

Kelly’s best game as a pro? Well since you asked, with the Bills … 

— Sept. 8, 1991: Kelly completed 31 of 43 passes for 363 yards with a career-high six TD passes in a 42-34 win over the Steelers.

— Sept. 13, 1992: Threw for a career-high 403 yards and three TDs and outdueled 49ers quarterback Steve Young in a 34-31 win.

With the Gamblers:

— Feb. 24, 1985: Threw for 574 yards, completing 35 of 54 passes with five touchdowns in the Gamblers’ 34-33 win over the Los Angeles Express and quarterback Steve Young.

Wagner’s top receiving targets are Mason Clouse (17-341, 6 TDs) along with Ashton Kahle (14-271, 2 TDs), Ashton George (8-188, 3 TDs) and Rylan Rupp (7-121, 1 TD). Drew Byers (40-234, 2 TDs) leads the Bulldogs in rushing.

Keystone is coming off a 42-20 loss at Brookville where it scored two touchdowns after the running clock was moving in the fourth quarter. Rayce Weaver (45-221) and Eli Nellis (17-118, 1 TD) are the leading rushers. Weaver (5-for-14, 94 yards, 2 Ints.) and freshman Dom Corcetti (8-for-22, 94 yards, 1 TD, 6 Ints.) have seen time at quarterback.

Brockway (3-0) at Union/A-C Valley (1-2)

The Rovers travel to Vidunas Stadium looking for a 4-0 start for the first time since 2018. They’ve lost three of four to the Falcon Knights since they started playing in 2020, including a 26-20 loss last year.

Rovers quarterback Brayden Fox (37-for-61, 620 yards, 3 TDs) and running back Jendy Cuello (59-378, 4 TDs), along with receivers Blake Pisarcik (19-410, 4 TDs) and Mathew Brubaker (10-171, 1 TD) lead the offense.

For the Falcon Knights, it’s quarterback Brody Dittman (40-for-65, 380 yards, 2 TDs, 4 Ints.), running backs Logan Skibinski (21-161, 2 TDs) and Owen Bish (19-125, 1 TD), and receiver Zach Cooper (9-60).

Ridgway (0-3) at Kane (0-3)

The first of two games featuring teams looking for first wins, the Elkers head to the turf in Kane looking to notch their first win after scoring four touchdowns in their first three games. They’re coming off a 35-14 loss to Karns City while Kane, with just one score this year, has been outscored 129-6 including a 30-0 loss to St. Marys last week.

Up-to-date statistics are not available on Max Preps.

Region 3

Bucktail (3-0) at Otto-Eldred (2-1)

The Bucks are 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and it’s not known when the last 4-0 start happened. The Bucks play the Terrors, who beat Elk County Catholic 35-22 in the season-opener. The Bucks beat the Crusaders 42-16 last week.

Up-to-date statistics are not available on Max Preps.

Elk Co. Catholic (0-3) at Sheffield (0-2), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

The Wolverines had their home game with Montrose last Saturday canceled because of weather while the Crusaders lost 42-16 at Bucktail.

Sheffield lost 46-26 to Bucktail in Week 1 while losing 67-27 to Otto-Eldred in Week 2. ECC lost 35-22 to Otto in its opener. 

Up-to-date statistics are not available on Max Preps.

Non-Region

Coudersport (1-2) at Smethport (0-3)

The Hubbers have been outscored 140-7, their lone touchdown on a first-quarter interception return by Owen Rounsville against Redbank Valley in the season-opener.

The Falcons beat Keystone 36-0 in their opener and lost to Bradford (34-12) and Brockway (49-6) since then.

Up-to-date statistics are not available on Max Preps.

Other

Clearfield (2-1) at Bellefonte (0-3)

The Bison head to Bellefonte, which has been outscored 132-12 so far in losses to three teams that are a combined 8-1 — Central-Martinsburg, Chestnut Ridge and Bishop Guilfoyle.

Quarterback Will Domico (35-for-61, 552 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int.), running backs Carter Chamberlain (25-191, 5) and Brady Collins (23-179), and receiver Carter Freeland (15-257, 2 TDs) lead the Bison.

Curwensville (0-3) at Southern Huntingdon (0-3)

The Tide or Rockets will end their winless start to the season. The Rockets had last week’s game moved to Monday when they were routed 54-0 by Moshannon Valley.

Quarterback Tyler Dunn (40-for-79, 498 yards, 3 TDs, 6 Ints.) also leads the team in rushing (31-158, 1 TD).

The Rockets have gained 161 yards in three games, 219 yards of it from the passing of quarterback Cohen Snyder.

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