CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville Area High School football team will be in uncharted waters this week as they travel to Boalsburg to take on newly formed St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy. The Golden Tide stands at 3-0 after an impressive win over Smethport a week ago while the Wolves fell to Coudersport 38-14 in week three.
The school’s short gridiron history makes the team a bit unpredictable, but St. Joe’s strengths are obvious. The squad is made up of solid athletes with size, speed and skills. What’s left for opponents is to exploit the weaknesses.
“We really don’t know what to expect from them,” shrugged Tide head coach Andy Evanko. “Two weeks ago they came out and threw nearly every down, and last week they tried to establish a running game. We just have to prepare for both and stay focused.”
To further show the tough possibilities the Wolves present for opposing teams, a look at their first game is needed. Against Mercyherst Prep, St. Joe’s used outstanding special team play to post the school’s first victory 46-6. However, in the past two weeks, the Wolves have faltered to Towanda (42-20) and Coudersport.
“They have a strong, tall quarterback who has thrown the ball well when they looked to him,” said Evanko. “The Breon kid has a lot of speed and is dangerous every time he touches the ball. There is size on the line, and Jabco has great hands and quickness.
“The one redeeming factor when playing them is that they have only been together as a team for seven weeks now, and they can be worn down due to limited numbers. Beyond that, we better be ready to play.”
Junior quarterback Philip Fenstermacker threw for nearly 350 yards in the first two games connecting on 26-of-41 passes for six touchdowns and no interceptions. Fenstermacker also ran for 74 yards on 14 carries.
Fellow junior Mike Jabco pulled in 10 of those passes for three scores and 166 yards with Kahsim Buey adding two TD’s on 11 grabs for 163 yards. Sabir Breon carried the ball nine times in those two games for 104 yards and two scores while Buey covered 91 yards on 19 hauls.
While the Wolves have slipped the last two games, the Golden Tide has been hitting its stride. At 3-0, Curwensville may have put its most complete game together last week against Smethport (42-13). The Tide had relied on its defense to secure the first two games, but week three saw the offense put some distance on the scoreboard.
“I can’t express how proud I am of our defense and the way they have played so far this season,” Evanko hailed. “Last week the offense came together and started to make their place on the field. We just have to keep building on that.”
The defense for Curwensville forced six turnovers last week against the Hubbers to help set up the offensive chances. Senior running back Zach Tibbens ran the ball 24 times for 160 yards and four touchdowns. Classmate Alex Olson added two more scores on a 50-yard night on five carries.
Tibbens has scored nine times this season while rumbling 550 yards on 77 carries. Olson has turned in 109 yards on 16 touches with two TD’s.
The defensive squad has collected 14 turnovers in the first three games with seven interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. Jake Stiles and Austin Jacobson have stepped in front of two passes each while Olson leads the team with two recoveries on the ground. Stiles has posted 25 total tackles to pace the squad while Bryce McClure has registered 21 and Jacobson and Kyle Billings have 16 knock downs each.
“We really took some big steps toward becoming a complete team last week,” said Evanko. “We have to stay on track and keep improving. This will be another good test to show our growth.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 in Boalsburg. Fans are reminded that they may want to bring a lawn chair for the game as seating is limited.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|08/30||COUDERSPORT||34 – 26||1 – 0|
|09/06||@ Cameron County||21 – 20||2 – 0|
|09/13||SMETHPORT||42 – 13||3 – 0|
|09/20||@ St. Joe’s Catholic Academy|
|10/19||@ Elk County Catholic|