RIDGWAY – The Curwensville Golden Tide high school football team broke a two game losing streak Friday night in Ridgway, beating the Elkers, 26-20.
What looked like a walk to an easy victory for the Golden Tide turned into a real dog fight as the Elkers refused to go quietly into the cool, crisp autumn night.
The Tide scored the first three touchdowns of the important battle for District 9 “A” playoff positioning to take a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Sophomore running back, Nick Stewart, went 54 yards for the Tide’s first score, and with the missed extra point Curwensville was out in front 6-0 with 8:04 left in the first quarter.
At the 1:02 point of the first 12 minutes Stewart scored again. This time it was a four yard scamper; and then Stewart scored on the two point conversion attempt on a pass from quarterback Jake Terry to put the Tide in front 14-0 going into the second quarter.
Terry hooked up with wide receiver Quamone Newkirk on a 23 yard touchdown pass with 6:15 remaining before halftime. The Tide’s two point conversion attempt failed, but the visitors were still comfortably out in front 20-0.
Something, or someone, at that point got the Elkers’ attention, and suddenly it was game on.
Ridgway put its first points on the board with 1:00 left until the break on a 10 yard run by sophomore quarterback Johnny Mitchell. Aaron Hinton tacked on the extra point making it 20-7 at the half in favor of the Tide.
Curwensville received the second half kick-off but couldn’t mount a drive as the Ridgway defense stood tall.
Mitchell, escaping what looked like a certain sack, then threw a 51 yard touchdown toss to Josh Raubenstrauch with 9:05 to go in the third frame. The extra point attempt was blocked but the Elkers were alive and well, trailing just 20-13 with plenty of football left to play.
And you guessed it. Ridgway tied things up, 20-20, with 1:47 left in the third quarter on a three yard run by Neil MacDonald and the extra point by Hinton.
In what was perhaps the biggest play of the game Stewart returned the ensuing kickoff for Curwensville some 75 yards to the Elkers 22 yard line that put the life back into the stunned Tide squad.
The Tide would score the winning touchdown with 1:08 left in the third, just 39 seconds after Ridgway had tied the battle, on Stewart’s third TD of the game, a two yard run. The two point conversion attempt failed but the Tide went ahead 26-20. Stewart finished the night with 153 yards on 26 carries.
The fourth quarter went scoreless as the Tide upped its record to 6-3, keeping their hopes alive for a top four seed and potential home playoff game.
Ridgway now has its work cut out for them to make the playoffs, falling to 4-5 on the season.
The final regular season game of 2015 for Curwensville will be a road trip to Blairsville with kick-off slated for 7 pm.
Blairsville dropped to 2-7 on the year, losing Friday night to United, 23-7.
Listen to the Curwensville at Blairsville game Friday night on WOKW-FM, 102.9, with the pre-game show starting at 6:45 pm.
CURWENSVILLE 14 6 6 0 26
RIDGWAY 0 7 13 0 20
CURW 8:04 Nick Stewart 54 yard run
PAT failed 6 0
CURW 1:02 Stewart 4 yard run
Jake Terry to Stewart pass – two point conversion 14 0
CURW 6:15 Terry 23 yard pass to Quamone Newkirk
Two point conversion attempt failed 20 0
RIDG 1:00 Johnny Mitchell 10 yard run
Aaron Hinton PAT 20 7
RIDG 9:05 Mitchell 51 yard pass to Josh Raubenstrauch
PAT failed 20 13
RIDG 1:47 Neil MacDonald 3 yard run
Hinton PAT 20 20
CURW 1:08 Stewart 2 yard run
Two point conversion attempt failed 26 20
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|09/04||PORT ALLEGANY||55 – 22||1 – 0|
|09/11||@ Otto-Eldred||58 – 20||2 – 0|
|09/18||COUDERSPORT||35 – 0||3 – 0|
|09/25||@ Cameron County||50 – 28||4 – 0|
|10/03||@ Elk County Catholic||8 – 12||4 – 1|
|10/09||REDBANK VALLEY||44 – 30||5 – 1|
|10/16||@ Kane||6 – 35||5 – 2|
|10/23||BROCKWAY||14 – 24||5 – 3|
|10/30||@ Ridgway||26 – 20||6 – 3|