CURWENSVILLE – One of the few differences in Friday night’s match-up at Riverside Stadium will be the fact that the Curwensville Area High School football team will be wearing black and gold while Kane will be dressed in blue and white. However, depending on the weather, both teams may eventually be covered in brown from a sloppy field.
It’s no secret that the Golden Tide will put the offensive running game into play behind the state’s top rusher Alex Holland. Holland has totaled 969 yards in the first four games of the season to stand 18 yards ahead of Hopewell’s Rushel Shell. Holland’s 105 rushes on the season have also gained him 13 touchdowns.
“It’s pretty nice to have a running back of his (Holland’s) caliber,” noted Tide head coach Andy Evanko. “Alex would be the first one to tell you, though, he hasn’t done it by himself. The offensive line is becoming more of a unit each week. Brad Coudriet is a pretty good lead blocker too and is getting better daily. And Josh Greslick isn’t far behind in the back-up roll.”
Greslick has become more active in the backfield over the last two weeks and has carried the ball 20 times on the season for 118 yards with two scores. Curwensville has used nine other rushers on the season to gain 179 yards and score four times.
If everyone is expecting the Tide to run the ball this week, they will be looking for the Wolves to do the same. Kane has shown three quality backs in the early going in the form of juniors Jonah Smith, Sean Rolick and Tyler Burdick. Smith has run the ball 31 times for 201 yards and 2 TD’s while Rolick has gained 140 yards on 13 carries for two scores and Burdick has 19 hauls for 137 and four trips to the end zone.
Rolick is also the team’s leading receiver with 116 yards and two scores on eight receptions. Junior quarterback Sean Jordan has connected on 20-of-39 pass attempts for 248 yards, two interceptions and two TD’s. Jordan is also a running threat – his 10-yard run in overtime last week gave his team a 20-14 win over Smethport. Kane had been winning 14-0 in the fourth quarter.
“They have played in some adverse weather that has hindered their passing game this season,” Evanko said of the Wolves. “It is really hard to prepare for this team. They have a multitude of formations – so many looks to confuse you.”
Curwensville had very little trouble last week defeating Otto-Eldred 60-7. The Tide piled up 546 yards of total offense as Holland ran for 209 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. Gresslick carried the ball seven times for 80 yards and two scores with sophomore Alex Olsen adding 69 yards and a TD on eight rushes. Five other backs gained positive yardage against the Terrors.
“That was fun to see last week,” added Evanko. “When the second squad continued to get the job done against starters, it made everyone look good.”
Like Kane, Curwensville uses the pass to help keep the defense honest at the line. Tide quarterback, Hunter McCracken has been successful on 20-of-45 passes for 411 yards and four scores. Senior Jesse Zorger has pulled in 12 passes for 283 yards and all of the TD’s through the air. Jordan Russell has seven catches on the season for 114 yards.
With both teams having the same record on the season, this AML-South contest becomes very important. Currently, four teams are sitting at 3-1 in the South Division with the possibility of three teams holding the top spot after Friday.
Elk County Catholic, who bumped North Division leader Port Allegany 25-19 last week, hosts winless Johnsonburg this week, and Ridgway welcomes Brockway (2-2) as the South faces off against each other. The only game that will definitely have one of the division leaders fall is the game at Riverside Stadium.
“Each week just gets tougher and tougher,” said Evanko. “Kane has three wins against pretty good teams. They’re well coached, and we have to be ready. The AML-South games are just a little bigger.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.