In the final game of their regular season, Clarion will host East Stroudsburg in a PSAC crossover matchup.
After a 4-1 start, the Golden Eagles have dropped five straight, losing their last two games by the same 14-7 score. The most recent defeat came on the road at Mercyhurst. Another team going through struggles, East Stroudsburg sits at 1-9, losers of eight straight with their most recent game a blowout loss to Shippensburg, 48-7.
In a defensive struggle, Clarion took an early 7-0 lead, but Mercyhurst scored 14 unanswered first half points to come away victorious. East Stroudsburg was tied 7-7 with Shippensburg after the 1st quarter before allowing 41 straight in the defeat.
The Clarion offense scores 19.7 points per game and averages 276.8 yards of total offense per contest. Freshman Tanner Jones was six-for-19 in the loss to Mercyhurst for 54 yards, but added the lone touchdown on the ground. Jovante Seard also took snaps in the loss for Clarion, completing five of his ten throws for 43 yards. Mylique McGriff has been strong in the backfield, rushing for 639 yards and seven touchdowns on over four yards per carry. Dana Jackson is the top target for the Clarion offensive attack, catching 27 balls for 459 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns. Marcus McCoy has added 310 receiving yards for the Golden Eagles.
Clarion’s defense has been stout despite the 4-6 record, allowing just over 20 points per game in 2018. Alec Heldreth has lived in the backfield, making 54 total tackles with 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Layne Skundrich is the leading tackler for the Golden Eagles with 86 stops. The defense has forced an outstanding 26 turnovers, intercepting 17 passes. Sam Fareri and Dorian Johnson both have four interceptions this season. Paul Blendinger has added four turnovers, picking off two passes and recovering two fumbles.
The Warriors offense averages 25 points per game, but the scoring hasn’t translated to win/loss success in 2018. ESU has gone back-and-forth at the QB position ping-ponging between Ben Moser and Jake Cirillo. Cirillo got the work against Shippensburg, but had a tough day, completing just five of his 24 throws for 97 yards. Cirillo did add the lone touchdown of the game on the ground. Both Moser and Cirillo are over 1,000 passing yards with at least eight touchdowns each. However, the pair has combined for 18 interceptions. Jaymar Anderson hasn’t played since an injury was suffered against West Chester, D. Robinson ran for 44 yards on 12 carries against Shippensburg and has 349 yards and three scores on the year. Jylil Reeder continues an outstanding year with 50 receptions for 915 yards and six touchdown catches. R.J. Sarajian has added five touchdown receptions.
Defense has been a big issue for the ESU Warriors in 2018, allowing over 500 yards and nearly 40 points per game. The defense has been able to force 15 turnovers, intercepting nine passes, led by four from Billy Inge III. Inge leads the team with 70 tackles as well. Justin Johnson leads the team with ten tackles for loss. Joshua Taylor is the third Warrior with at least 60 tackles and has two picks.
It has been a lost year for East Strousburg prompting an on-field retirement from legendary head coach Denny Douds. It looked to be a promising year upcoming for the Golden Eagles improving off last year’s 1-10 record before falling off in the middle of the season. A win could give them a four-win improvement. East Stroudsburg won the last meeting 48-28 back in 2013.
TIME: Saturday, Nov 10th, 12 p.m.
WATCH LIVE: WHP 21.2 My Network, WPNT 22 The Point, WJAC 6.2 Me TV, ENN+
ANNOUNCERS: Geoff Arnold (play-by-play), Jordan Conigliaro (analyst)