CURWENSVILLE – After suffering their first defeat of the 2013 football season, the Curwensville Area High School squad needed to focus on pass defense as Kane threw for 260 yards in a 42-8 aerial attack. The Golden Tide corrections are crucial for this week’s match-up with pass oriented Brockway coming to town.
The Rovers are riding a two-game losing streak after falling to Kane 35-31 two weeks ago and getting dumped 40-20 by Ridgway last week. The Tide will attempt to make it three losses in a row, but they will have to slow down an offense that averages 282 yards through the air each week while also running for nearly 150 yards per game to balance out the offense.
“”Brockway’s main offensive weapon is the pass, and we just have to get better in coverage and providing pressure,” Tide head coach Andy Evanko said. “It’s about getting better at what we’re doing”
The strong arm to contend with this week is that of Senior Alec Shaffer-Doan who has connected on 118-of-195 pass attempts for 1410 yards through the first five games. Shaffer-Doan has passed for 17 touchdowns with four interceptions. The Rovers have spread the passes out over eight different receivers with Anthony Benson being the main target. Benson, a junior, has 43 receptions to date for 605 yards and 10 scores. Sophomore Anthony Isabella has grabbed 40 balls for 481 yards and six TD’s with Sophomore Mike Martino totals 149 yards on 12 grabs.
Shaffer-Doan also is a pesky runner who leads the team with two scores among his 59 tuck and runs for 358 yards on the ground. Benson and Martino also carry the ball with 259 and 129 yards respectively. Benson has scored four times among his hauls.
“There’s no doubt that we have to put more pressure on the quarterback this week and contain him on his run attempts,” Tide lineman Bryce McClure admitted. “We have to hit hard and play hard on every down and just play smart.”
Curwensville finds themselves tied in the Allegheny Mountain League-South Division with Elk County Catholic at 0-1 while Kane and Ridgway are both unbeaten in the league at 2-0 with Brockway at the bottom at 0-2.
“It is crucial that we win this week; we can’t come off a loss and not expect to bounce back,” mentioned senior running back Zach Tibbens. “We need to work hard all week. You win games by being at practice and getting better and not just on Friday nights.”
The Rovers have had Curwensville’s number recently with four wins over the past three years. Regular season losses in the last three years have kept the Tide out of the AML Championships, and Brockway ousted the Tide 36-29 in the first round of the District IX playoffs last season.
“I’ve had enough of them knocking us out of playoffs over the years,” Tibbens said. “Beating them this week would be some sweet revenge.”
Tibbens continues to lead the Tide offensive ground attack with 130 rushes for 835 yards and 10 touchdowns. Backing his efforts are senior Alex Olson with 28 carries and 164 yards and three scores, Trey McKenzie has 134 yards on 14 carries and two scores and Hunter Johnson with 20 hauls for 115 yards.
Quarterback Kyle Johns has steadily improved over the past few games as he has now completed 14-of-31 attempts for 96 yards. He has thrown no touchdown passes and has been picked off three times to date. Kyle Billings has caught five passes for 38 yards while Tibbens has covered 29 yards pulling in three passes, and Nate Kurtz has three catches for 19 yards.
The defense that has to step up this week has nine interceptions and seven sacks on the season. Jake Stiles leads the tackle stats with 37 and also has three interceptions. McClure stands with 28 knock downs while Austin Jacobson and Billings have 26 and 20 respectively. Johnathan Miller is the only player with multiple sacks while Jacobson and Johns have two INT’s each.
“The final score looked pretty bad last week, but we had a couple of substantial drives at times that could have made things different,” Evanko reminded. “We came up empty because of some mistakes that came back up from earlier this season. We had eliminated the problems, and then they came back. This week we need to come out and play the way we can.”
The Golden Tide will be honoring the seniors and their parents at Friday’s game with kick-off set for 7:00.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|08/30||COUDERSPORT||34 – 26||1 – 0|
|09/06||@ Cameron County||21 – 20||2 – 0|
|09/13||SMETHPORT||42 – 13||3 – 0|
|09/20||@ St. Joe’s Catholic Academy||25 – 7||4 – 0|
|09/27||@ Kane||8 – 42||4 – 1|
|10/19||@ Elk County Catholic|