DUBOIS – The Ridgway Elkers advanced to the District 9 Class A Championship game in high school football on Saturday evening in DuBois, at Mansell Stadium, blanking the Curwensville Golden Tide in semifinal action, 33-0.
It was the second time this season that the Elkers have knocked off and shutout the Golden Tide. In October, in Ridgway, the Tide were stopped 28-0.
Ridgway, the number one seed and now 9-2, will battle the third seeded Elk County Catholic Crusaders (8-3) who won Saturday’s other semifinal game, beating Clarion-Limestone by a score of 39-14. The Lions were the number two seed. That game was also played at Mansell Stadium at 1 pm as part of a District 9 Class A doubleheader.
Ridgway put its first points on the scoreboard with a four yard run by junior Neil MacDonald at the 1:59 mark of the first quarter to go in the lead 7-0 after the Daunte Allegretto successful PAT.
Curwensville punted three times in the first quarter thanks to the tough Elker defensive unit who recorded its seventh shutout of the year.
However, it was still a close battle until Ridgway broke the game wide open halfway through the second quarter.
With 6:27 to play before halftime the Elkers picked up a touchdown on a nine yard scoring toss from junior quarterback Johnny Mitchell to Jacob Zimmerman, another junior.
The extra point attempt was missed, but the Elkers had a double digit edge, 13-0.
Then Ridgway, with its outstanding defense, essentially put the game on ice, scoring twice in the last 1:06 of the second quarter.
Another touchdown pass by Mitchell, this time to MacDonald, with 1:06 left before the break stretched the Elker margin to 19-0. After the 27 yard pass play Ridgway failed on the two point conversion attempt.
Then disaster struck as Curwensville fumbled the ensuing kick-off at its own 34 yard line.
Ridgway wasted little time in making the Tide pay for the miscue with a first down TD pass, 34 yards to MacDonald, with 55 seconds left in the first half. Allegretto was good on the point after kick putting the Elkers comfortably in front 26-0.
It was the second touchdown in just eleven seconds for Ridgway.
There was only one score in the second 24 minutes as Zimmerman ran into the end zone from three yards out with 1:53 left in the third quarter.
Allegretto was once again good on the PAT, giving the Elkers a 33-0 lead.
Ridgway held District 9’s leading rusher Nick Stewart to just 48 yards on 20 carries. Stewart, however, did crack the 2,000 yard mark on the season, ending with 2,032 – fifth on Curwensville’s all-time season rushing list.
Curwensville, led by longtime head coach Andy Evanko, finished the year with a 6-5 record.
Evanko has now coached the Golden Tide for 17 seasons with an impressive overall record of 134-56.
During that time span Curwensville has only missed some form of playoffs in just two seasons, 2003 and 2004.
The Tide have three District 9 titles (2000, 2004 and 2010) plus three Allegheny Mountain League championships (2000, 2004 and 2009).
CURWENSVILLE 0 0 0 0 0
RIDGWAY 7 19 7 0 33
RIDG 1:59 Four Yard run by Neil MacDonald, Daunte Allegretto PAT 7 0
RIDG 6:27 Nine yard pass Johnny Mitchell to Jacob Zimmerman, PAT attempt failed 13 0
RIDG 1:06 27 yard pass Mitchell to MacDonald, Two point conversion attempt failed 19 0
RIDG :55 34 yard pass Mitchell to MacDonald, Allegretto PAT 26 0
RIDG 1:53 Three yard run by Zimmerman, Allegretto PAT 33 0
Final Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|08/26||CAMERON COUNTY||37 – 20||1 – 0|
|09/02||SMETHPORT||41 – 21||2 – 0|
|09/10||@ Sheffield||43 – 0||3 – 0|
|09/16||PORT ALLEGANY||63 – 6||4 – 0|
|09/23||KANE||12- 43||4 – 1|
|09/30||@ Brockway||20 – 56||4 – 2|
|10/07||@ Ridgway||0 – 28||4 – 3|
|10/14||ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC||6 – 23||4 – 4|
|10/21||@ Bradford||37 – 8||5 – 4|
|11/04||District 9 A Quarterfinals|
|11/04||vs. COUDERSPORT||33 – 6||6 – 4|
|11/12||District 9 Semifinals|
|11/12||vs. Ridgway (@ DuBois)||0 – 33||6 – 5|