CURWENSVILLE – After losing its final two regular season games the Curwensville Golden Tide football
team fell to the fifth seed in the upcoming District 9 Class “A” playoffs that begin on Friday night.
And in the quarter final contest, to be played at St. Marys Area High School football field, the Tide will play Elk County Catholic (ECC) at 7 pm. The Crusaders are the four seed.
The two teams opened the 2018 campaign at Riverside Stadium in Curwensville with the Crusaders taking home the victory, 34-14.
Curwensville then finished the regular season with a 6-4 record while Elk County Catholic ended up with a 7-2 mark.
ECC took a 7-0 nothing lead after the first quarter in the first meeting, then made it 14-0 in the second frame before Tide quarterback Noah Von Gunden hit sophomore wide receiver Jake McCracken on a 21 yard scoring toss to make it 14-7 at the half in favor of the Crusaders.
Elk County then scored 20 straight second half points to take a commanding 34-7 edge before the Golden Tide ended the game on a 15 yard scoring run by Blake Passarelli.
Stephen Bobby had three rushing touchdowns for ECC on runs of five, 20 and 41 yards while Crusader quarterback Mason McAllister threw two TDs, one for 30 yards and the other for 18.
Bobby, the focal point of the Crusader offense this year, ended the regular season with 1,177 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns in the nine game season for ECC.
The Tide offense was paced by a rushing game that was led by three seniors.
Blake Passarelli had 759 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns, followed by Cole Bressler who added 553 yards, 8 TDs and a 5.9 yards per carry average .
Adding an additional 316 rushing yards was Avery Francisco, who also found the end zone four times.
Noah Von Gunden, another senior, at the quarterback position, was 48 of 118 attempts while throwing for 679 yards, 6 TDs and five picks.
Von Gunden’s favorite target was sophomore Jake McCracken who hauled in 19 passes for 232 yards and three scores.
Senior Dakota Bloom had 12 receptions accounting for 171 yards.
Defensively, Von Gunden had the most tackles with 72 followed by Francisco and senior Dylan Hipps who each came up with 63.
Francisco and Hipps were tied as the sack leaders for the Golden Tide defense with five and a half while Bressler and Von Gunden each had four interceptions on the season.
The other “A” playoff games are as follows for Friday night: #1 seed Smethport (9-0) at home vs Union/AC Valley (4-6), the 8th seed; Clarion-Limestone (8-2), the 2nd seed, at home against Otto-Eldred (5-5), the 7 seed; and number 3 seeded Redbank Valley (7-3) is home versus Coudersport (5-4), who comes in seeded number 6.
All games are scheduled for a 7 pm kick-off with the winners playing next weekend on neutral fields.
You can listen to the Golden Tide-Crusader playoff game on WOKW-FM, 102, starting at 6:45 pm with the pre-game show.