And then there were two.
The Redbank Valley Bulldogs and Central Clarion Wildcats feature the only 4-0 records in District 9 as the regular season enters the midway point this weekend.
While those two teams eventually clash in Week 10, tests will certainly be coming before that.
This week, the Bulldogs host 1-3 Ridgway in Region 2 while Central Clarion makes its home debut at the C-L Sports Complex when it hosts 2-2 Bradford in a Region 1 matchup.
Game of the week? Let’s go with Port Allegany (3-1) traveling to Brockway (3-1) to face the Rovers on the turf at Varischetti Field.
In other games, it’s three other Region 1 games with Brookville (2-2) hosting DuBois (2-2), St. Marys (3-1) visiting Punxsutawney (2-2) and Karns City (2-2 hosting Moniteau (1-3).
In other Region 2 games, Union/A-C Valley (2-2) visits Kane (0-4) and Keystone (0-4) hosts Smethport (1-3).
Region 3 has one game scheduled as Coudersport (1-3) hosts Cameron County (3-1). The other two games with Region 3 foes are rematches as Sheffield (0-3) visits Bucktail (3-1) and Elk County Catholic (1-3) hosts Otto-Eldred (3-1).
With the Gators visiting the Rovers, it’s a rematch of last year’s District 9 Class 1A final won by the Gators, 21-14, after Port’s 40-7 regular-season win over the Rovers. Much of the Gators’ skill positions were lost to graduation — only senior Peyton Stiles caught a short pass and had a 37-yard run in the final — while the Rovers return somewhat intact although they lost receivers Alex Carlson and Matt Pyne, and running back Carter Hickman to graduation as well.
While the Rovers look to rebound from last week’s 12-7 loss at Union/A-C Valley, the Gators have breezed to two blowout wins over Smethport (55-0) and Cameron County (37-0) last week after their 57-6 loss at Central Clarion in Week 2.
The Gators are averaging 350 yards of offense per game with quarterback Nick Wilfong (20-for-32, 442 yards, 4 TDs, 2 Ints.), running backs Stiles (57-408, 7 TDs; 6-133, 1 TD receiving) and Aiden Bliss (45-426, 7 TDs; 7-147 receiving), and receiver Tristan Kiser (7-162, 3 TDs) leading the way.
Brockway averages 428 yards per game with a fairly balanced attack with quarterback Brayden Fox (54-for-90, 782 yards, 5 TDs, 4 Ints.), running back Jendy Cuello (83-473, 4 TDs), and receiver Blake Pisarcik (19-410, 4 TDs) leading the way. Senior receiver Mathew Brubaker (10-171, 1 TD) missed last week’s game.
The Gators and Rovers matchup starts a series of key Region 2 games. Union/A-C Valley hosts Redbank Valley next week and travels to Port Allegany in Week 7. Redbank Valley hosts Port Allegany Week 8 and visits Brockway Week 9 prior to their showdown with Central Clarion.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of this week’s schedule:
Bradford (2-2) at Central Clarion (4-0), at C-L
The Wildcats are piling up big numbers, averaging 55 points and 433 yards per game and giving up just 46 points in their four wins.
Wildcats junior quarterback Jase Ferguson (46-for-67, 878 yards, 15 TDs, 1 Int.) leads the way. He’s also the leading rusher (40-352, 2 TDs). Other top rushers are Noah Naser (25-167, 4 TDs) and Noah Harrison (22-117, 1 TD). Ferguson’s top receiving targets are Dawson Smail (13-270, 4 TDs) and Mason Burford (11-204, 4 TDs) along with Brady Quinn (7-178, 2 TDs).
Junior quarterback Talan Reese (61-for-89, 682 yards, 6 TDs) leads the Bradford offense with his top receiving targets Jake Franz (16-292, 4 TDs) and Adam Ward (10-168, 1 TD). The Owls won two straight games over Coudersport and Otto-Eldred to end a 30-game losing streak before last week’s 25-6 loss to DuBois.
DuBois (2-2) at Brookville (2-2)
The Raiders host the Beavers on Homecoming, looking to win their third straight game after opening 0-2. DuBois ended its two-game losing streak with last week’s 25-6 win over Bradford.
Brookville averages 334 yards per game — 211 passing and 123 rushing — with quarterback Charlie Krug (40-for-70, 539 yards, 8 TDs, 1 Int.) back after missing the Raiders’ Week 3 win over Keystone. He threw five TD passes to five different receivers in last week’s win at Moniteau. Krug’s top receiving targets are Hayden Freeman (15-195, 2 TDs), Jack Pete (13-304, 4 TDs) and Sam Krug (9-221, 3 TDs). Tony Ceriani (39-234, 1 TD) is Raiders’ the leading rusher.
The Beavers have re-formatted themselves after losing starting quarterback Trey Wingard to an injury in Week 2’s loss to Brockway. Garret Nissel (64-336, 4 TDs) is the team’s top rusher with junior Danny Dixon (39-219, 1 TD) also getting carries. Both went over 100 yards in last week’s win over Bradford.
Senior Landon Schrock (21-for-44, 209 yards, 4 Ints.) is the new quarterback while the top receiving targets continue to be Kaden Clark (12-165, 1 TD) and Carter Vos (10-158, 1 TD). Linebacker Carter Wilson (28 tackles) is the team’s top tackler.
St. Marys (3-1) at Punxsutawney (2-2)
After losses to two straight unbeaten teams including Central Clarion last week, the Chucks host a St. Marys team coming off its first loss in last week’s 30-7 loss at home to Karns City.
The Chucks average 437 yards of offense, over 260 rushing per game led by Landon Martz (79-641, 7 TDs) and Griffin White (24-201, 1 TD). Sophomore quarterback Maddox Hetrick (44-for-65, 633 yards, 6 TDs, 2 Ints.) runs the offense with Zach Presloid (13-271, 2 TDs), Noah Weaver (11-207, 2 TDs) and Beau Thomas (17-165, 2 TDs) his top receiving targets.
Dutch senior Matthew Davis (78-769, 10 TDs) closes in on a 1,000-yard rushing season while quarterback Cameron Coudriet (29-for-55, 379 yards, 3 TDs, 1 Int.) triggers the passing game with Ben Reynolds (8-176, 1 TD) his top receiver.
Moniteau (1-3) at Karns City (2-2)
The Gremlins look to make it three in a row against the Warriors after putting up their third 30-plus point effort of the season in a 30-7 win at St. Marys. The past two 30-point games were wins, the first was a season-opening 41-36 loss to DuBois.
The Gremlins have also rushed for over 200 yards in two of three games — the contests mentioned above — as Hunter Scherer (43-306, 4 TDs) and Luke Cramer (41-178, 4 TDs) lead the running game. Freshman quarterback Cole Johnston (9-for-18, 142 yards, 2 TDs, 2 Ints.) leads the passing game with Taite Beighley (13-173) the team’s top receiver.
Moniteau has given up 40 or more points in its last two losses to Cameron County and Brookville last week. Warriors quarterback Trent Beachem threw for 177 yards and three TDs last week in the loss to the Raiders, one of them to Ashton Grossman who caught five passes for 71 yards.
The Gremlins have won five straight meetings since Moniteau’s last win in 2018 and 12 of the last 13 matchups with their Butler County rivals since the Warriors swept them in two games in 2011.
Ridgway (1-3) at Redbank Valley (4-0)
The Bulldogs host the Elkers, who are coming off their first win in a 26-14 win over winless Kane.
Redbank Valley averages 49.5 points and 467 yards per game. Quarterback Braylon Wagner (59-for-78, 1,104 yards, 14 TDs, 2 Ints.) triggers the offense. He’s also second on the team in rushing (25-181, 5 TDs). Drew Byers is coming off his career-high rushing game, 157 last week at Keystone, and leads the team (52-291, 4 TDs).
Wagner’s top receiving targets are Mason Clouse (20-449, 7 TDs), Ashton Kahle (18-312, 2 TDs), Ashton George (9-193, 4 TDs) and Rylan Rupp (8-124, 1 TD).
Ridgway quarterback Cam Larkin has thrown for 343 yards, completing 35 of 64 passes. Ricky Delhunty (27-91, 2 TDs) was the team’s top rushing going into the Kane game, but Larkin has a team-high 68 rushing attempts for 186 yards. Brock Kudrick (13-162) is the top pass-catcher.
Union/A-C Valley (2-2) at Kane (0-4)
The Falcon Knights head north after their big win over unbeaten Brockway last week to take on the winless Wolves.
Quarterback Brody Dittman (52-for-86, 596 yards, 3 TDs, 6 Ints.), running backs Logan Skibinski (25-160, 2 TDs) and last week’s Jim Kelly D9 Player of the Week Owen Bish (22-137), and receivers Trey Fleming (20-242, 2 TDs), Zach Cooper (5-114, 1 TD) and Bish (5-114, 1 TD) lead the offense.
The Wolves, 26-14 losers to Ridgway last week, have been outscored 179-27 this season. quarterback Kyle Zook completed 14 of 27 passes for 139 yards, running for a 5-yard score and throwing a 43-yard TD pass to Dan Anderson, who caught seven passes for 104 yards.
Reese Bechakas ran for 59 yards on 13 carries.
Smethport (1-3) at Keystone (0-4)
The Panthers host the Hubbers looking for their first win of the season as Smethport tries to make it their second straight win after beating Coudersport 33-26. In Week 1, Keystone lost 36-0 at Coudersport.
Running backs Rayce Weaver (66-281, 2 TDs), Jacob Henry (25-177) and Eli Nellis (30-176, 2 TDs) lead the Panthers offense. Weaver and Dom Corcetti have combined to throw for 295 yards with two TDs and nine interceptions. Drew Slaugenhaupt (5-114) and Drew Keth (7-100, 1 TDs) are the leading receivers.
For Smethport, Jonah Ganoe ran for three TDs and 103 yards and Ryan Mason had over 100 yards receiving and rushing. Jack Sherry threw for 141 yards and two TDs. The win ended the Hubbers’ 10-game regular-season losing streak.
Cameron County (3-1) at Coudersport (1-3)
The only matchup that counts in the Region 3 standings has the Red Raiders traveling to play the Falcons, looking to rebound from their first loss last week to Port Allegany.
The Red Raiders were limited to a season-low 150 yards last week. For the season, they’re averaging 250 yards per game. Quarterback Maddox Baughman (26-for-53, 340 yards, 2 TDs; 37-168, 2 TDs rushing) and running back Malakai Zucal (70-270, 3 TDs; 8-162 receiving).
Coudersport is coming off last week’s 33-26 loss to Smethport. Falcons quarterback Gavyn Ayers threw for 108 yards and two TDs while John Wright ran for another TD and threw for another. Danny Vanvladricksen caught six passes for 142 yards with two TDs.
Sheffield (0-3) at Bucktail (3-1)
The first time these teams met in Week 1, it was the Bucks winning at Sheffield 46-26 as they led 32-0 by halftime. Braylon Fantaski ran for 125 yards on 11 carries with three TDs and Brody Pentz scored two TDs, one of them a 85-yard kick return.
For Sheffield, Colby Barr threw for 294 yards and three TDs. Dylan Harwick caught five passes for 130 yards with two TDs.
Otto-Eldred (3-1) at Elk Co. Catholic (1-3)
The first time these teams met in Week 1, the host Terrors pulled away in the second half by scoring 19 unanswered points in a 35-22 win. Shane Magee threw for 199 yards and two TDs, both to Manning Splain, and Hunter App ran for 172 yards on 30 carries with four TDs. Splain caught eight passes for 145 yards.
For ECC, Charlie Geci threw for three TDs and 164 yards, two TDs going to Frankie Smith.
Huntingdon (1-3) at Clearfield (3-1)
The Bison host the Bearcats looking for three straight wins against a Huntingdon team that’s coming off a 53-20 loss at Bishop Guilfoyle. Both teams have played Philipsburg-Osceola, the Bearcats losing to the Mountain 35-7 in Week 1 and the Bison routed the Mounties 44-7 in Week 3.
Quarterback Will Domico (46-for-83, 667 yards, 4 TDs, 2 Ints.; 31-148, 5 TDs), running backs Carter Chamberlain (38-281, 5 TDs) and Brady Collins (30-195), and receiver Carter Freeland (18-322, 2 TDs) lead the Bison offense.
Claysburg-Kimmel (1-3) at Curwensville (1-3)
The Golden Tide look to build off last week’s first win of the season in a 54-13 rout of Southern Huntingdon against the one-win Bulldogs team that lost 27-6 to Juniata Valley last week.
Quarterback Tyler Dunn (47-for-93, 660 yards, 5 TDs, 6 Ints.; 39-207, 4 TDs rushing), running back Braden Holland (58-274, 4 TDs) and receiver Hunter Tkacik (14-184, 2 TDs) lead the Tide offense.