COUDERSPORT – When the clock showed all zeros, it was the Golden Tide celebrating victory. Coach Andy Evanko joined his team as they raised their helmets as winners after beating the Coudersport Falcons 28-21.
“I feel absolutely fantastic. Those kids deserve everything they’ve accomplished so far this year,” said Evanko after the game.
Quarterback David Kalgren managed 159 yards on eight passes, three of them for touchdowns, while Ben McGary led in rushing, with 78 yards on nine carries including one touchdown. Jesse Hoover caught two of Kalgren’s touchdown passes, with Andrew Starr accounting for the third.
Coudersport was not to be outdone on offense, as quarterback Jordan Barnett was perfect on the night, completing all four of his passes for 93 yards including a touchdown. Brett Whitman also saw time at quarterback, completing five of eight passes for 101 yards. Whitman also was the leading rusher for the Falcons with 42 yards on seven carries including one touchdown.
The Golden Tide struck first taking the opening kickoff to the 47-yard line. Kalgren led a six-play, 53 yard drive which concluded with his first touchdown of the game on a 41-yard strike to Starr. A missed extra point gave Curwensville the early 6-0 lead. Coudersport answered right back by going 81 yards on four plays, capped off with a 67-yard pass from Barrett to Whitman for the score. The point after gave the Falcons the 7-6 lead.
After a muffed Curwensville punt, it was the defense that stood tall as they kept Coudersport from converting a fourth-down run by Tim Thomas. Curwensville could not capitalize on the opportunity after an 11-play, 59 yard drive stalled out giving the ball back to the Falcons.
Curwensville then made their first mistake of the game as Kalgren threw his only interception right into the hands of Eric Babcock. Two plays later, Tim Thomas scored the second Coudersport touchdown, giving a 14-6 lead for the Falcons. Curwensville managed to close the gap before halftime as Kalgren threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Hoover with five seconds remaining. A missed two-point conversion left Coudersport with a slim 14-12 lead at the break.
After a Coudersport three and out, Curwensville took possession at their own 41 following the punt. At that point, the momentum seemed to sway in the favor of the Golden Tide. On 3rd and 10, Kalgren passed again to Hoover, only to have the ball batted away, but the ball came right back to him and he took the pass 49 yards to the end zone.
“Hoover made a heck of a play there staying with the ball,” said Evanko.
The two point conversion was successful as Jed Greslick took in the score, giving the lead back to the Tide, 20-14.
The Falcons answered back, as the kickoff was returned to the Curwensville 43. Five plays later, Whitman scored his second touchdown of the game, this time on a three-yard run. The point after made the score 21-20 in favor of the Falcons.
After the kickoff, Curwensville got the ball at the 35, and at that point, the Tide went back to fundamentals. After a 13 play drive, consisting entirely of runs to wear down the defense, Ben McGary capped off the time-consuming drive with a two-yard plunge into the end zone. The two-point conversion gave the Tide a touchdown lead with ten minutes left in the game. Both teams exchanged possessions, but it was Coudersport who had the opportunity to tie or win the game. Starting at their own 30, the Falcons pushed the Tide back to their own 22, leaving just over two minutes on the clock.
On 3rd and 2, Whitman threw deep on the sidelines, only to have Kalgren pick the ball off at the six-yard line, practically assuring that the Golden Tide would stay unbeaten.
Curwensville (3-0) returns home next Friday night to take on the Cameron County Red Raiders, while Coudersport (2-1) must rebound on the road against the Ridgway Elkers.
Rushing 236 120
Passing 158 217
Total Yards 394 337
Interceptions 1 2
Fumbles/lost 0/0 1/1
First Downs 17 9
Penalties/Yards 3/15 4/30
Time of Possession 29:00 19:00
TIDE: Greslick-21 carries, 73 Yards; McGary-9 carries, 78 yards, TD; Kalgren-3 carries, 72 yards
FALCONS: Thomas-10 carries, 30 yards, TD; Whitman-7 carries, 42 yards, TD; Buckler-5 carries, 32 yards
TIDE: Kalgren-8 of 17, 159 yards, 3 TD, INT
FALCONS: Barnett-4 of 4, 93 yards, TD; Whitman-5 of 8, 101 yards, 2 INT; Babcock-0 of 2, 0 yards
TIDE: Hoover-3 catches, 59 yards, 2 TD; Starr-3 catches, 47 yards, TD
FALCONS: Minor-3 catches, 94 yards; Thomas-2 catches, 24 yards; Whitman-1 catch, 67 yards, TD
TIDE: 41-yard touchdown pass from Kalgren to Starr (kick failed)
FALCONS: 67-yard touchdown pass from Barnett to Whitman (kick successful)
FALCONS: 8-yard touchdown run by Thomas (kick successful)
TIDE: 10-yard touchdown pass from Kalgren to Hoover (2-point conversion failed)
TIDE: 49-yard touchdown pass from Kalgren to Hoover (2-point conversion successful)
FALCONS: 3-yard touchdown run by Whitman (kick successful)
TIDE: 2-yard touchdown run by McGary (2-point conversion successful)