CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville Area High School football team will look to keep its season perfect on Friday night at Riverside Stadium. The Golden Tide (3-0) will host Otto-Eldred (0-3) in a 7:00 p.m. kick-off.
Curwensville put together another complete game last week with a 35-6 win over Port Allegany while the Terrors were blanked by Johnsonburg 31-0. The Tide defense was only seconds away from recording a shutout over the Gators as their only score came with no time left on the clock. Otto-Eldred, meanwhile, has scored just twice on the season – both in week two as part of a 56-16 loss to Elk County Catholic.
“Otto-Eldred has good size and is with a new coach,” said Tide head coach Andy Evanko not taking anything for granted. “Every week they seem to come up with a new wrinkle in their game plan that no one has seen yet, so you’re never sure of what you’ll see. We have to be prepared or it could be a tough week.”
Week three’s shutout for the Terrors didn’t leave them with any notable stats, but on the year senior quarterback Noah Colebert has completed 11 of 16 passes for 58 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Sharing the signal-calling duties for the team is Clay Pinner who is two for three for 35 total yards with no scores or picks.
Pinner, a junior, also handles some of the rushing duties and has run the ball 16 times for 72 yards and two TD’s (the only two scores on the year). Senior Mike Martin, however, has toted the ball 20 more times that Pinner for a total of 105 yards and has converted both extra-point tries on the ground for Otto.
Contributing as a double threat on the offense is senior wide-out Jake Knapp who has run the ball for 22 yards on five carries and has five catches to date for 59 yards.
“Colebert gave us fits last year as a sophomore,” Evanko recollected. The Pinner kid is a good athlete who can hurt you and Knapp is an excellent receiver. We have to be able to contain those guys to be successful.”
Last week against Port Allegany, scouts were treated to a steady dose of Tide junior Alex Holland on the run. Holland carried the ball 26 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns that covered 30 and 22 yards respectively. Holland has now tallied 489 yards on 68 carries and has scored five touchdowns on the ground.
The Golden Tide has run for nearly 800 yards as a team in the first three games. Backing Holland on the ground has been Josh Greslick with 123 yards on 19 carries and Zack Dimmick with 22 carries for 107 yards. Dimmick and sophomore quarterback Hunter McCracken have both scored twice on the ground while Greslick and freshman quarterback Kyle Johns have one touchdown each. Dimmick scored once last week from 13 yards out, and McCracken added a nine-yard run for a touchdown against the Gators.
Through the air, McCracken has thrown for 171 yards, connecting on 11 of 22 attempts for six touchdowns including a 35-yard catch and run to Shane Hoover last week on a fourth down play. Senior Alex Starr shares time running the offense with one scoring pass of 38 yards. Starr has totaled 77 yards on six-of-11 passing. Both quarterbacks have thrown one interception.
Hoover’s TD catch against the Gators was his third of the year among his five total catches for 81 yards. Senior Shae Best also has a trio of scoring grabs on four overall catches totaling 97 yards to lead the team. Starr, Kyle Kyler and Jesse Zorger are also threats in the passing game.
“We’re looking for a good game out of our guys,” Evanko said. “It’s good to be home again where we have the best fans in the world to help get us going.”
Otto Eldred was shut out in game one of the season 41-0 by Kane, and the Tide will surely take pride in keeping them off the scoreboard again this week. Curwensville has averaged 32 points per game in the first three weeks while the strong defense has held opponents to less than 17 points per game.