CLARION — Chris Cavallari was a one-man show for Coudersport as the Falcons soared to a 48-21 win over Curwensville Saturday evening at Clarion University of Pa.\’s Memorial Stadium to give the Falcons their second District 9 Class A title in as many years.
Cavallari ran for 100 yards, caught a pass for 17 yards, threw for 22 more and scored three touchdowns as the Falcons dominated the Golden Tide from the opening kickoff to final buzzer in the highest-scoring D9 Class A title game ever. Coudersport (13-0) will play West Middlesex at Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The elusive Falcons running back set the record for yards in a single season by hitting the century mark on 22 carries. He now has 1,746 yards on the season.
While the third time wasn\’t the charm for the Golden Tide – as Curwensville dropped its third decision to the district champions this season – District 9 all-time leading rusher Nick Sipes added to his totals, despite falling short of reaching two more milestones in a storied career. Sipes finished with 84 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown. He finishes his career with 5,963 yards. For the season, the senior back amassed 1,987 yards, falling 13 yards shy of reaching 2,000. He also fell 37 yards short of reaching 6,000 yards for his career. Coudersport held Sipes to under 100-yards for the first time in 36 games.
Traditionally, Curwensville has started slowly against Coudersport. Saturday\’s championship tile was no different.
The Falcons jumped out to a 12-0 first-quarter lead with a pair of touchdowns coming 1:07 apart near the end of the opening quarter. Coudersport quarterback Justen Kinder hit Sam Decker with a 21-yard scoring strike with 2:21 showing on the clock to cap a 13-play, 80 yard drive. After failing to convert the two-point conversion, the Falcons defense went to work on Curwensville.
Coudersport crowded the box with as many as 10 players at times to prevent Sipes from gaining any ground. The Falcons defense swarmed Curwensville\’s feature back each time he touched the ball. After holding Sipes to a single yard on first-and-10 at the Golden Tide 31, Sipes failed to connect with wideout Jesse Hoover on a halfback pass, setting up third down. Quarterback Shawn Sopic, who completed 7 of 14 passes for 105 yards, threw the first of three interceptions in the game.
Coudersport\’s Brett Whitman stepped in front of Sopic\’s pass and galloped 55 yards through the now Curwensville defense for the score. Whitman made a pair of nice cutbacks inside the 20-yard line by eluding Sipes at the 17 and then deking a pair of Golden Tide defenders inside the 5-yard line to get into the end zone.
The Golden Tide were looking to make a game of it and jumped right back in with a 12-play, 68 yard drive to cut the deficit to six, 12-6, with 8:06 left in the first half. Sipes managed the bulk of the yards as he gained 30 yards on the drive, and capping it with a 9-yard touchdown run. Sopic kept the drive alive by completing a pair passes of 10 yards to Evan Olson and 14 yards to Brandon McDonald.
From that point on it was all Coudersport.
The Falcons took a 26-6 lead into the locker room as Kyle Gee and Cavallari scored on 1-yard touchdowns runs in the final minutes of the half. Coudersport came out with two quick scores in the third quarter to put the game out of Curwensville\’s reach. Cavallari scored on a 5-yard run and Gee added another short scoring run as the Coudersport lead swelled to 40-6 with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter.
Sopic connected with Hoover for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 4:34 left as the Tide cut into Coudersport\’s lead, 40-14, with Sopic running into the end zone to convert the two-point conversion.
Cavallari added a 2-yard run with 1:04 left in the third to cap Coudersport\’s scoring as the Falcons held an insurmountable 48-14 lead as Kinder outran a Curwensville defender to get into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Golden Tide added a late score as Matt Holland ran 51 yards untouched for the score to set the final.
COUDERSPORT 48, CURWENSVILLE 21
Score by Quarter
Curwensville 0 6 8 7 – 21
Coudersport 12 14 22 0 – 48
CD – Sam Decker 21 pass from Justen Kinder (Boomer Wetzel pass failed), 2:21
CD – Brett Whitman 55 interception return (Wetzel pass failed), 1:14
CV – Nick Sipes 9 run (Sipes kick failed), 8:06
CD – Kyle Gee 1 run (Wetzel run), 2:50
CD – Chris Cavallari 1 run (Wetzel pass failed), 0:52
CD – Cavallari 5 run (Kinder pass failed), 8:40
CD – Gee 1 run (Blair Heimel pass from Kinder), 5:57
CV – Jesse Hoover 4 pass from Shawn Sopic (Sopic run), 4:34
CD – Cavallari 2 run (Kinder run), 1:04
CV – Matt Holland 51 run (Sipes kick), 7:15