Curwensville Bounces Back Into Win Column With 55-6 Clubbing of Ridgway
CURWENSVILLE – After falling to Brockway last week, the Curwensville Area High School football team looked to bounce back into the win column on Friday night. The effort was successful for the Golden Tide as they bounced Ridgway 55-6 in an Alleghany Mountain League – South Division clash.
In the first half of Friday night’s contest, the Tide drove the ball five times and cashed in on each possession. Defensively, Curwensville lined up to face the Elkers six times in the first 24 minutes and turned them away with two interceptions, two fourth down stops, a fumble recovery and a forced punt. Curwensville junior Kyle Johns pulled in the two interceptions while Josh Greslick forced and recovered the fumble to stop a deep Ridgway threat in the first half.
“Kyle (Johns) had a big night,” said Curwensville head coach Andy Evanko. “He was out there doing his job well, keeping everybody in front of him and making good things happen.”
In their first drive of the contest, Greslick carried the load five times for 39 yards including the 5-yard jaunt for the first score of the game. After an off-side call on the extra-point attempt, Greslick was called to find the goal line again to give the hosts an 8-0 lead. Greslick followed his offensive show with his defensive take-away just moments later at the 10-yard line of Curwensville. A roughing the kicker penalty aided the Elkers to retain the ball and the fumble recovery came at the end of a 25-yard pass play that halted the guests.
On Curwensville’s second possession, Greslick took a well deserved break and left the running duties to the capable Zach Tibbens. A holding call on the first play put the ball back at the eight, but a 12-yard pass play from Hunter McCracken to Jordan Russell set Tibbens up from the 20-yard line. The Tide Junior carried just three more times to cover the 80 yards for the team’s second touchdown. The big play coming on a 65-yard rumble to the Ridgway 4-yard line. Spencer Smeal added the PAT kick for a 15-0 advantage.
“The offensive line did a fantastic job all night long, and Brad Coudriet was devastating as the lead blocker,” said Evanko. “We responded well to the disappointing finish last week. We just need to cut down on the penalties that are killing us. However, even when we made a mistake tonight, we buckled down on the next play and made it work to recover from the loss.”
Ridgway threatened again on its next series and had a 33-yard TD pass called back due to an ineligible receiver down field. That led to the defense forcing negative yards and took over on downs to get the ball back at their own 40 as the first quarter ran out.
The second quarter proved to be business as usual as Greslick scored on an 8-yard run, Coudriet stepped in from 1-yard out and McCracken found Austin Jacobson on a 25-yard catch and carry route. It was the first time McCracken threw for a touchdown to anyone other than Jordan on the season. McCracken didn’t attempt a pass after the score put his team ahead 36-0 at the half.
Curwensville was set to receive the second half kick-off with the game already moving into the 35-point mercy rule when things got worse for the Elkers. Russell pulled in the kick at the 14-yard line and looked as if he was corralled when he bounced to the sideline and scampered 86-yards for the touchdown that took just :15 off of the running clock.
To make matters even worse for the visitors, Curwensville needed just one play from scrimmage after a punt put the ball on the Curwensville 39-yard line. Tibbens found a wide open field and wasn’t touched en route to a 61-yard scoring run to push the lead to 49-0 with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter.
The Golden Tide defense forced another punt and moved the ball another 70 yards for their final score. Sophomoore Kyle Billings covered the final 19 yards for the score to post a 55-0 lead. Curwensville was able to score on each of its first eight possessions of the night to overwhelmingly put the game out of reach.
“We wanted to get back to the team we really are. We’re a physical football squad, and there’s something about this team that I just love,” said Evanko. ” We have great senior leadership. Nothing gets them down, and they keep working to be the best team they can be.”
The Elkers were able to manage a score at the 7:18 mark of the fourth quarter as Zac McKnight scampered in from 14 yards out. However, the kick was blocked by Jake Lancaster to keep the score at 55-6.
Tibbens finished the game with 176 yards rushing on 10 carries with two touchdowns for Curwensville. Greslick added 119 yards on 11 attempts with a couple of scores as well. McCracken piled up 143 yards (all in the first half) on an 8-of-9 effort with one touchdown pass. The Golden Tide piled up 561 yards of total offense while the defense held the Elkers to 159 yards of combined offense.
The Golden Tide will be back in action next Friday night against Elk County Catholic. The Crusaders will look to upset Brockway at St. Marys High School Saturday night. An ECC win would put Curwensville back in the race for the AML-South title as these three teams would all have one loss in the league.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Ridgway – 0 0 0 6 – 6
Curwensville – 15 21 19 0 – 55
Curwensville: 5-yard run by Gresslick (Greslick run), 7:39.
Curwensville: 4-yard run by Tibbens (Smeal kick), 3:59.
Curwensville: 8-yard run by Greslick (Smeal kick), 10:03.
Curwensville: 1-yard run by Coudriet (McCracken run ), 5:29.
Curwensville: 25-yard pass from McCracken to Jacobson (kick failed), 1:19.
Curwensville: 86-yard kick-off return by Russell (kick failed), 11:45
Curwensville: 61-yard run by Tibbens (Smeal kick), 8:49.
Curwensville: 19-yard run by Billings (run failed), 1:02.
Ridgway: 19-yard run by McKnight (kick failed), 7:18.
Ridgway / Curwensville
FIRST DOWNS: 9 /18
RUSH YARDS: 88/418
PASS YARDS: 71 / 143
TOTAL YARDS: 159 / 561
PENALTIES: 4 / 7
PENALTY YARDS: 13 / 82
COMP/ATT/TD/INT: 5-17-0-2/ 8-9-1-0
FUMBLES: 1 / 2
FUMBLES LOST: 1 /0
RIDGWAY: McKnight – 10 carries, 40 yards, TD; MacDonald – 6 carries, 17 yards; S. Delhunty – 5 carries, 28 yards; Stark – 1 carry, (-3) yards; Wickett – 3 carries, 1 yard; Lineberger – 2 carries, 5 yards; TOTALS: 31 carries, 88 yards, TD.
CURWENSVILLE: Greslick – 11 carries, 119 yards, 2 TD’s; Tibbens – 10 carries, 176 yards, 2 TD’s; Coudriet – 3 carries, 9 yards, TD; Olsen – 3 carries, 56 yards; Russell – 1 carry, 9 yards; Billings – 6 carries, 35 yards, TD; Lancaster – 4 carries, 17 yards; Lansberry – 1 carry, (-2) yards; Team – 1 carry, (-1) yard; Totals: 40 carries, 418 yards; 6 TD’s.
RIDGWAY: MacDonald – 17 attempts, 5 completions, 71 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT’s.
CURWENSVILLE: McCracken – 9 attempts, 8 completions, 143 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.
RIDGWAY: Wickett – 1 reception, 12 yards; McKnight – 2 receptions, 30 yards; Himes - 1 – reception, 31 yards; C. Delhunty – 1 reception, (-2) yards; TOTALS: 5 receptions, 71 yards, 0 TD.
CURWENSVILLE: Russell – 5 receptions, 90 yards; Coudriet – 1 reception 14 yards; Jacobson – 1 reception, 28 yards, TD; Olson – 1 reception, 11 yards; TOTALS: 8 receptions, 143 yards, TD.