CURWENSVILLE – It was another big showdown for the Curwensville Golden Tide football team Friday night on the Tide’s home field, Riverside Stadium, against the visiting Elkers of Ridgway.
Both squads entered the battle with the same 5-1 records, and both tied for second place in the Southern Division of the Allegheny Mountain League.
And what a game it was, with different scoring plays that one doesn’t see a lot of in high school football.
Also, don‘t forget the Tide defense that came up with key stops and timely turnovers that enabled the Curwensville squad to come out on top 14-11.
It all started with 2:44 to go in the first quarter when the snap on a Curwensville punt, deep in Tide territory, went over punter Avery Francisco’s head. Francisco fell on the loose ball in the Tide’s end zone giving Ridgway a 2-0 lead moving into the second quarter.
Nick Stewart put the Golden Tide in the lead at 7-2 with a five yard touchdown run at the 6:31 point of the second and Madison Weber’s added the point after kick.
The Elkers regained the lead 8-7 on a 10 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Johnny Mitchell to Neil MacDonald with 20 seconds left to play in the first half. The Ridgway attempt for the two point conversion failed.
Curwensville muffed the ensuing kick-off that was recovered deep in Tide territory by Ridgway.
The Golden Tide defense stiffened, forcing the Elkers to attempt a 39 yard field goal by senior kicker Aaron Hinton; who delivered right down the middle that gave Ridgway an 11-7 intermission edge as time expired.
The winning score, and the last of the game, came with 8:26 to play in the third frame when Ridgway attempted a 22 yard field goal by Hinton.
Curwensville junior Cole Bressler darted through the line and blocked the Hinton attempt.
A perfect hop into the arms of a charging Stewart was all the Tide needed as Stewart went virtually untouched for an 88 yard touchdown return on the block.
Weber was good once again with the point after that set the final score at 14-11 in favor of the Golden Tide.
The Tide defense got three more turnovers before the end of the battle as Bressler picked off a Mitchell pass deep in the Curwensville red zone with 4:02 left in the third.
In the fourth quarter Ridgway fumbled at the Tide 24 yard line which was recovered by Matt Carter, a Curwensville senior, and then Josh Terry, another senior, picked of a Mitchell pass at the Tide 13 yard line with 2:22 to go in the hard fought contest.
The Tide’s Devan Barrett had a first half interception, giving him a team high four picks on the year.
Curwensville take its final road trip of the 2017 regular season on Friday, traveling to St. Mary’s to play the Crusaders of Elk County Catholic (ECC). Kick-off is set for 7 pm.
ECC, now 2-5, lost to Brockway (6-1) on Friday night 49-12.
Unbeaten Kane (7-0) remained perfect, and holds the AML-South lead, knocking off Bradford (5-2) 54-26.
As always, listen to the Curwensville-Elk County Catholic game on WOKW-FM, 102.9, with the pre-game show starting at 6:45 pm.
RIDGWAY 2 9 0 0 11
CURWENSVILLE 0 7 7 0 14
RIDGWAY 2:44 Avery Francisco downed in end zone for safety 0 2
CURW 6:31 Nick Stewart 5 yard run, Madison Weber PAT 7 2
RIDGWAY :28 Johnny Mitchell 10 yard pass to Neil MacDonald, Two point conversion attempt failed 7 8
RIDGWAY :00 Aaron Hinton 39 yard field goal 7 11
CURW 8:26 Stewart 88 yard touchdown return on blocked field goal attempt
Weber PAT 14 11
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|08/25||@ Cameron County||38 – 8||1 – 0|
|09/01||@ Smethport||48 – 0||2 – 0|
|09/08||SHEFFIELD||56 – 8||3 – 0|
|09/15||@ Port Allegany||56 – 13||4 – 0|
|09/22||@ Kane||0 – 57||4 – 1|
|09/29||BROCKWAY||15 – 13||5 – 1|
|10/06||RIDGWAY||14 – 11||6 – 1|
|10/13||@ Elk County Catholic|