Johnsonburg Rams (0-8) at Curwensville Golden Tide (6-2) CANCELLED

CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville Area High School football team has been relinquished to the role of spectator this week as Johnsonburg has notified the school that for the second straight week they could not field a team.  Friday night’s game was to be the Golden Tide’s final home game of the regular season.

Due to a lack of active players, the Rams were forced to notify the hosts of the forfeit that will give the Tide a 2-0 victory and move their record to 7-2 on the season.  Last week Brockway was awarded a similar victory from Johnsonburg.

“It’s unfortunate that we don’t get to play this week,” said Curwensville head coach Andy Evanko.  “But I understand where they are coming from.  They simply don’t have enough players to be competitive, and exposing the kids to that kind of atmosphere is not advantageous.”

As a result of the forfeit, the Golden Tide will become Kane’s biggest fans for a night.  Currently, Curwensville and Brockway sit atop the Allegheny Mountain League – South Division with identical 6-2 marks.  The effortless win for the Tide moves them to 7-2 with the Rovers hosting the Wolves on Friday.  If Kane should defeat the Rovers, Curwensville slips into the AML Championship next week.  A Rover win earns them their second straight title shot.

Brockway’s 17-12 win over Curwensville on October 7 gives the Rovers the advantage in a head-to-head tie-breaker.  The championship game will be played at the South division-winner’s home field.

So, with the night off, Tide coaches, players and fans will be free to travel to far off lands, such as, Brockway or perhaps Coudersport.  The Falcons host Port Allegany on Friday for what is billed as the AML – North title game.  Coudersport is undefeated on the season at 8-0, while the Gators are 7-1.  A Falcon win makes the obvious conclusion, but a Port A victory gives them the edge in a head-to-head criteria.  Port’s loss is to an South division opponent – Elk County Catholic (25-19).

The Wolves could also solve another headache for the Tide by defeating Brockway.  Because of the forfeit, athletic director Allen Leigey has been busy trying to set up an alternative game so the Curwensville squad would not be sidelined for what would essentially be three weeks between games.  Hosting the AML title game would relieve that headache.

“We are looking at a lot of different options to add a game to our schedule, but, of course, we hope to be a part of the AML Championship game,” said Evanko.  “Most of the scenarios will depend on how teams finish this week, and we may not know anything until Monday.”

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in missing a game comes from the team itself.  Curwensville senior running back Alex Holland is moving up the charts toward the all-time District IX rushing record – a feat the entire team can take pride in.  Holland went over the 2,000-yard mark for the season last week against Elk County Catholic with a 310-yard night.

Two weeks ago he became only the second back in district history to surpass 5,000 career yards.  Now Holland is chasing Curwensville alum Nick Sipes’ standard of 5,963 yards.  With 2,038 for 2011, Holland currently sits at 5,455 yards.

While the blocking for Holland’s efforts has been getting stronger, juniors Josh Greslick and Brad Coudriet have also helped keep the defenses honest.  Greslick has run the ball 31 times for 182 yards while Coudriet has netted 116 yards on 24 hauls.

Through the air, junior quarterback Hunter McCracken has turned in a respectful 634 yards, completing 40 of 86 passes.  Senior receiver Jesse Zorger has been the prime target with 21 receptions for 390 yards.  Junior Jordan Russell has come on lately to pull in 14 passes for 209 yards.

The fact that the Tide will play again is certain – the District IX Playoffs begin in two weeks.  However, the question of when they play next is still up in th air.  The bigger question of who they will play next will likely depend on what happens somewhere Friday night.

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