CURWENSVILLE – More satisfaction from revenge and a trip to the District 9 Class “A” title game is on the line for the Curwensville Area High School football team Friday night in Bradford as the Golden Tide battle unbeaten Smethport in the semi-finals.
Last Friday night’s version of the “Michigan Revenge Tour” started with Curwensville (7-4) crunching Elk County Catholic, 26-0, in the quarter-final round. The Crusaders had defeated the Tide in game one of the 2018 season 34-14.
Smethport (10-0) also pitched a shutout in its quarter-final game, also last Friday, 28-0 over Union/AC Valley.
Now comes another chance at revenge for Curwensville, this time against the Hubbers who beat the Golden Tide 20-7 earlier this year in Curwensville at Riverside Stadium.
In that game the Hubbers jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Smethport running back Blake Kinner was the first to find the end zone that night on a 41 yard first quarter romp to pay dirt.
In the second quarter, Hubber quarterback Grant Ogden threw a touchdown pass of three yards to Braedon Johnson to give the visitors from Smethport a 14-0 edge with 10:20 to play before the half.
The Golden Tide responded a little over four minutes later on a Cole Bressler 35 yard run as freshman kicker Jacob Mullins tacked on the extra point to make it 14-7 at the half, Smethport.
Only one score took place in the second 24 minutes of action as the Hubbers padded its lead to 20-7 in the third quarter on a Noah Lent four yard run. The PAT was blocked and the Smethport defense did the rest, shutting out the Golden Tide in the second half to preserve the victory.
Entering Friday night’s battle with the Hubbers, Curwensville still utilizes an effective ground game led by seniors Blake Passarelli and Cole Bressler. Passarelli leads the team with 795 yards and seven TD’s while Bressler checks in with 714 on the ground and a team leading 11 touchdowns.
Another senior running back for the Tide who has helped out in spots is Avery Francisco with 337 rushing yards and three scores.
Senior quarterback Noah Von Gunden has 55 completions on 131 attempts for 809 yards through the air with six passing touchdowns.
Sophomore Jake McCracken has been the favorite target for Von Gunden with 24 receptions and 328 receiving yards along with three trips to the end zone.
Dakota Bloom, a senior, has grabbed 12 Von Gunden tosses for 171 yards.
Von Gunden leads the Tide in overall tackles with 77 followed by Bressler and Dylan Hipps, another senior, each with 74 stops.
Hipps has picked up 6.5 sacks with Francisco registering another 5.5.
In the team interception category Von Gunden has six picks and Bressler four.
Curwensville has a duel threat in the kicking game with freshman Jacob Mullins making good on 15 of 20 in the extra point department and connecting on three of four field goal attempts with his long being 37 yards.
Senior Madison Weber has proved to be another good option in kicking extra points, making eight of 10 on the season.
Blake Kinner, a Smethport senior running back, makes the Hubber offense come alive with a total of 1,082
rushing yards and 13 touchdowns with a capable back up in sophomore Nathan Hollowell who chips in with 685 yards on the ground and nine scores.
Senior quarterback for Smethport, Grant Ognen, is 57 of 113 through the air for 797 yards and 10 touchdowns while throwing only three picks.
Ognen’s favorite target through the air is senior Alex Sanderson with 26 receptions, good for 357 yards and four touchdowns.
Bryant Johnson has 18 catches accounting for 251 yards. The junior wide out has also found the end zone five times.
In the other Friday night semi-final game it will be Clarion-Limestone (9-2) going up against Coudersport (6-4) at Brockway, also at 7 pm. During the regular season Clarion-Limestone knocked off Coudersport, 34-22.
Kinner leads the Hubbers defense with 68 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
It should be noted that Smethport likes to get after the opposing quarterback, as it has amassed a grand total of 29 sacks through the season thus far.
Sophomore Logan Christie tops the Hubbers defense with three interceptions.
Listen to the Curwensville-Smethport game on WOKW-FM, 102.9, with the pre-game show beginning at 6:45 pm.