Clarion Keeps Lock Haven Winless With 49-6 WinWritten by: William Albright on Sunday, October 10th, 2010
By BILL ALBRIGHT
LOCK HAVEN — When Clarion and Lock Haven met in the season finale in 2007, both teams were looking for their initial win as they entered the contest with identical 0-10 records.
Although slightly different circumstances, when the two teams met Saturday night at Hubert Jack Stadium, the scenario was somewhat the same.
Meeting in mid-season, the two teams were again winless at 0-5. Hoping to snap a long losing streak that spanned the last 26 games, the Bald Eagles saw that streak move to 27 games as the were ambushed by the Clarion Golden Eagles to the tune of 49-6.
“It was going to come down to which team executed in all three phases,” said LHU head coach John Klacik. “They (Clarion) came out and executed in all three phases and we didn’t and as a result, they jumped on us. Before you knew it, it was 28-0 and then you are scrambling just to try and find out a way to get the troops to rally a little bit.”
As for his team’s lack of scoring, Klacik said he doesn’t even really look at points or the lack of. It simply comes to down execution.
“It still comes down to us executing the base things. It is not some magic potion,” he said. “We had some things open, but we didn’t hit the open guys and do the right things there and when you don’t execute your base stuff, it is going to be hard to score. It all comes down to reading coverage’s, getting to the right spots and delivering the ball when it is supposed to be delivered.”
As for watching his team win its first game of the season, Clarion head coach Jay Foster said it was a relief to get the monkey off their backs.
“We thought we were better than 0-5, but the record is what it is,” said Foster. “We just haven’t been able to catch a break this season for whatever reason, but tonight it all came together.”
The Golden eagles set the tone for the game on the opening kickoff as Andrew Paronish returned the opening kickoff to the Lock Haven 33.
On the first play from scrimmage, Clarion quarterback Ben Fiscus, making his varsity debut, ripped up the middle for the 33 yards and the score. Robert Mamula’s PAT made it 7-0 Clarion with only 18 seconds off the clock.
Holding the Bald Eagles to a three-and-out, Clarion’s Jay Pettina blocked the LHU punt on the Bald Eagle 19.
From there, it only took Clarion five plays to hit the scoreboard again as Alonso Hoggard ripped up the middle for the final 10 yards and the score. Mamula made it 14-0.
Although they picked up a pair of first downs, the Bald Eagles again had problems keeping the chains moving as the Golden Eagles took over at midfield.
On the strength of Hoggard’s legs and Fiscus’s arm, Clarion moved the 50 yards on five plays, the final seven for the score on a 7-yard scoring aerial from Fiscus to tight end Anthony Becoate. Mamula made it 3-for-3 in conversions, and with four minutes left in the period, the rout was on at Clarion 21, Lock Haven 0.
As for picking up the win, the Golden Eagles played all three phases of the game and played them well.
“In the first two games, I wasn’t sold that we were coming to play and that we were trying to live off last year,“ said Foster. “Since the second ball game when we played Bloom and for the last four weeks, we have played pretty good football. We just haven’t been able to win a game.”
Pacing the Golden Eagle offense were Fiscus and wideeout Jacques Robinson.
Fiscus was a perfect 16-for-16 for 187 yards and four touchdowns through the airways while also using his legs to rack up another 78 yards overland good for one score. The 16-for-16 effort by Fiscus is the first time in Clarion football history that has happened.
“I didn’t even know that I completed all of my passes,” said Fiscus. “Everything was there and the guys made a couple of great catches early. I am just really excited because I am out there on the field, playing the game with a lot of good players who are making good plays.”
Fiscus’s numbers illustrate his ability to keep teams off balance because if you play the pass, he’ll run and if you concentrate on stopping his running ability, it opens up the passing lanes.
“I like to utilize my running because I feel that is my strong point,” Fiscus said. “I am working hard on my throwing, trying to get better in that area every day. If I can get both of those going, we have a lot of other guys who contribute and when that happens, it makes us tough to stop.”
“If you face any quarterback who can do both (pass and run), you have to make him one-dimensional if you are going to beat him,” said Klacik. “We didn’t stop his running which allowed his passing to hurt us. If you can make quarterbacks like him one-dimensional, you can usually slow them down. He is a real talented guy, but I also think we helped him a little bit.”
Robinson was Fiscus’s favorite target, the senior hauling in seven balls for 84 yards and one score. With his seventh reception, Robinson became the all-time leading receiver in Clarion history.
“Yeah, it feels great (to be the leading receiver) and then to get this win and the monkey off our back, it even makes it better,” said Robinson. “It is an honor for me to get the record and a lot of my success goes to our quarterback (Ben Fiscus). As a team, we just started slow. It is hurting us now because we know it is a long shot for the playoffs.”
The Bald Eagles avoided a shutout when with 3:17 remaining in the game when quarterback Jarryd Burkett hit Jay Hartman for a 39-yard scoring pass. The conversion attempt was no good and as time ran out, Clarion walked off the field with a 49-6 win, its first of the season.
Burkett finished the game by completing 13 of 24 attempts for 134 yards and the one score, Hartman on the receiving end of four balls for 66 yards and one TD.
Defensively, the Bald Eagles were led by Nick Gounaris and Ryan Good with seven tackles apiece. Six of Gounaris’s stops were solo shots, while James Wilbern also chipped in with seven stops.
The Bald Eagles return to the Jack Stadium turf Saturday when they host Gannon University in LHU Homecoming 2010. Kick off for that game is set for high noon.
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