Evanko Earns 100th Win As Golden Tide Coach; Curwensville Dumps Cameron County 46-20
CURWENSVILLE – In a game that featured perhaps the most well-balanced offense in his 13 years of coaching the Curwensville Area High School football team, the focus of the night was on Andy Evanko as he notched his 100th victory as the team’s mentor. The Golden Tide honored their coach with its second straight win of the season to post the milestone with a 46-20 win over Cameron County Friday night.
“What an accomplishment like this does show is that we’ve had a lot of great players come through this program,” Evanko said sharing the spotlight with everyone. “No one could ever do anything like this by themselves. I’ve had great coaches and an administration that is very supportive, and look what the community has always done for our kids. Curwensville is just a fantastic place to live and play football, and I want to thank everyone who has come out to be a part of everything we do here.”
The hometown support group had no complaints in last night’s contest as the offense and defense played solid to stymie the Red Raiders. Offensively, the Golden Tide compiled 469 yards of total offense; while the defense allowed the visitors just five first downs all night and took advantage of four takeaways.
In their opening game in Coudersport last week, the Tide offense scored on their second play from scrimmage. In the home-opener, the offense was one play better than that. Of course it was the defense that set the table as the Red Raiders’ first play from scrimmage resulted in the first turnover. Cameron County quarterback Tucker Britton missed his hand-off and Tide senior Nathan Wriglesworth covered the ball at the Raider 22-yard line.
“The opening turnover was huge,” mentioned Evanko. “To jump out on top like that is an instant game changer that gives a team a boost.”
Six seconds after the fumble, Curwensville quarterback Hunter McCracken delivered a touch pass to the corner of the endzone that Jordan Russell pulled in over the defender for a quick score. A poor snap on the extra point caused a rushed pass by Russell out of the hole and the Tide settled for a 6-0 lead.
The fast score was the first of five receptions that McCracken and Russell would team up on in the game. McCracken found his junior wideout five times for 114 yards and three touchdowns – all in the first half. McCracken ran in a 3-yard score in the second half to give him four scores on the night.
“We have a four-year quarterback in Hunter, and we have to use him,” said Evanko. ”Jordan has great hands and we felt we could get him the ball. Hunter found him open and, we just had to take advantage of the situation. The offense is getting more comfortable with each other every week, and we’re distributing the ball to everyone. We want to try to move it all around the place to keep everyone guessing at where we’re coming from next.”
That guessing game was made harder for the Raiders as the strong air attack was complimented by the running game. Josh Greslick scampered for 161 yards on 16 carries which included a 50-yard score while Zach Tibbens found the endzone twice on the ground as he totaled 143 yards in his 16 carries.
Cameron County was able to put little pressure on the home team as the Tide scored three times in the first quarter to set the tone for the game. Tibbens covered a 20-yard scoring run and McCracken and Russell connected on a 65-yard strike to set the mark at 18-0 after the first 12 minutes.
In the second quarter, the Raiders took advantage of a Tide miscue on a punt return that set the visitors up on the Curwensville 17-yard-line. Four plays later, quarterback Tucker Britton found Devin Mason in the back of the endzone to make the score 18-6.
“I guess in every game when you play pretty well you always come out with things to work on,” Evanko analyzed. “We had a few turnovers that we have to keep control of, but they didn’t distract us from turning in a pretty good game.”
Greslick’s 50-yard jaunt on the second play of the ensuing drive took everyone’s mind off the turnover and shot holes in the Red Raiders’ thoughts of comeback. Cameron County was able to get to within 14 points when Britton ran an 18-yard score in at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter, but Russell and McCracken hooked up one last time before half with a 16-yard pass play. Brad Coudriet ran in the two-point conversion to give the Tide a 32-12 halftime edge.
The second half found the Tide ready to flex their muscles again with a seven play, 73-yard drive that was capped with a 16-yard run and score from Tibbens, who also ran in the PAT. McCracken’s three-yard dive was the first play of the fourth quarter for a 46-12 advantage that allowed the younger squad to get some Friday night experience.
“We went back to the ground game in the second half to keep the clock moving,” Evanko said. “That’s what we’re used to. That’s what we do, and the line pushed us down the field to help us control the ball.”
Cameron County would add the final score of the game as Eric Spehalski came on to throw a 13-yard pass to Hunter Prosper. Spehalski swept to the left for the 2-point conversion and the 46-20 final.
The Golden Tide tallied 318 yards in the first half of Friday night’s contest, and the balanced offense was evident even more at intermission. Greslick and Tibbens had identical stats after 24 minutes with 10 carries and 102 yards each on the ground. At the half, McCracken and Russell were already sharing their five receptions for 114 yards and three scores.
“That’s nice to hear,” Evanko said of the balanced effort. “It’s good when you shoot for something in practice and it translates on the field at game time.”
The Golden Tide will be back at Riverside stadium next Friday. The contest will mark Homecoming for 2012 when Smethport invades Curwensville. The Hubbers (1-1) defeated Johnsonburg 36-20 Friday night.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Cameron County - 0 12 0 8 – 20
Curwensville – 18 14 8 6 – 46
Curwensville: 22-yard pass from McCracken to Russell (run failed), 11:41.
Curwensville: 20-yard run by Tibbens (oass failed), 3:43.
Curwensville: 65-yard pass from McCracken to Russell (kick failed), 1:04.
Cameron County: 6-yard pass from Britton to Mason (pass failed), 8:56.
Curwensville: 50-yard run by Greslick (kick blocked), 7:59.
Cameron County: 18-yard run by Britton (kick failed), 4:07.
Curwensville:16-yard pass from McCracken to Russell (Coudriet run), 00:41.
Curwensville: 16-yard run by Tibbens (Tibbens run), 7:58.
Curwensville: 3-yard run by McCracken (run failed), 11:53.
Cameron County: 13-yard pass by Spehalski to Prosper (Spehalski run), 5:49.
Cameron County / Curwensville
FIRST DOWNS: 5 /16
RUSH YARDS: 107 / 355
PASS YARDS: 22 / 114
TOTAL YARDS: 129 / 469
PENALTIES: 3 / 3
PENALTY YARDS: 23 / 24
COMP/ATT/TD/INT: 3-11-2-1/ 5-9-3-0
FUMBLES: 4 / 3
FUMBLES LOST: 3 / 2
CAMERON COUNTY: Britton -9 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD; Olivett-5 carries, 18 yards; Horning-1 carry, 2 yards; Garrigan-2 carries (-2) yards; Lathrop-2 carries, (-1) yard; Setzer-7 carries, 18 yards; Spehalski-3 carries, 7 yards.; Woloshun-2 carries, 11 yards; Cokely-1 carry, 7 yards; TOTALS: 32 carries, 107 yards, 1 TD’s.
CURWENSVILLE: Greslick-16 carries, 161 yards, 1 TD; Tibbens-16 carries, 143 yards, 2 TD’s; Coudriet-3 carries, 6 yards; Olsen-5 carries, 48 yards; McCracken-1 carry, 3 yards, TD; Billings-7 carries, 8 yards; Lansberry-1 carry, 13 yards; Team-1 carry, (-27) yards; Totals: 50 carries, 355 yards; 4 TD’s.
CAMERON COUNTY: Britton-9 attempts, 2 completions, 9 yard, TD; Spehalski-2 attempts, 1 completion, 13 yards, TD.
CURWENSVILLE: McCracken - 8 attempts, 5 completions, 114 yards, 3 TD’s; Lansberry-1 attempt, o completions.
CAMERON COUNTY: Armstrong-1 reception, 3 yards; Mason-1 reception, 6 yards, TD; Prosper-1 reception, 13 yards, TD.
CURWENSVILLE: Russell- 5 receptions, 114 yards, 3 TD’s.