Curwensville downs AML rival Coudersport, 34-26|
Saturday, September 01, 2012
By Chris Wechtenhiser For The Progress
COUDERSPORT - The Curwensville football team opened its season in thrilling fashion Friday night, knocking off Allegheny Mountain League nemesis Coudersport, 34-26, at Simcoe Field in the Coudersport Area Recreational Park.
The Golden Tide wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Hunter McCracken hit Jordan Russell for a 45-yard touchdown on the second offensive play of the game.
The teams traded scores after that in the first half until the Falcons found the end zone twice in 1:33 to grab a 20-14 halftime lead.
Curwensville regained the lead midway through the third quarter at 21-20, and it appeared the Tide would take that lead into the final 12 minutes. However, Falcon Caden Whitman ripped off a 96-yard touchdown run as time expired in the third to put Coudy ahead by five (26-21).
Big plays plagued the Tide throughout the game as Whitman also scored on a 65-yard run en route to a game-high 237 yards on just 15 carries. Whitman scored three times in the game. Coudy also scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass one play after intercepting McCracken in the second quarter.
Coudersport ending up outgaining Curwensville 404-396, but the Golden Tide defense came up big when it needed to the most in the fourth quarter. The Tide forced five turnovers in the game, with three coming on successive Coudy drives in the final five minutes after Curwensville grabbed a 34-26 lead.
The defense also forced a turnover on downs earlier in the period to help the Tide beat the Falcons for just the fourth time in 17 meetings since Curwensville joined the AML. All four wins have come in Coudy, with the last victory occurring in 2008.
Curwensville featured a two-headed monster at running back on the night as both senior Josh Greslick and junior Zach Tibbens went over the century mark. Tibbens, playing in his first varsity game, carried the ball 19 times for 134 yards and two scores. Greslick posted 123 yards on 23 carries.
McCracken went 5-of-9, with Russell hauling in all five balls for 91. Kicker Spencer Smeal went 4-for-4 on extra points.
"That was just a great high school football game, played by what I think are two pretty good football teams," said Golden Tide head coach Andy Evanko. "We made some mistakes, and they broke that one off for 96 yards, and screen passes go pretty far.
"We made some mistakes on defense, but our kids played hard and showed a lot of desire. The guys came up big (at the end) and showed a lot of guts.
"Offensively, I can't say enough about our line. Ricky Magnuson, Jason Bloom, Kyle Bloom, Philip McCracken, Brad Stubbs and Spencer Smeal what a night those guys had along with Brad Coudriet leading blocking. And Josh Greslick and Zach Tibbens - that was the first time they played to that degree in a varsity game and did exceptional. The big plays came from Hunter (McCracken) and Jordan Russell (in the passing game)."
After McCracken hit Russell for the quick score to open the game, the senior signal-caller stymied the Falcons' first drive when he picked off a pass in the end zone.
Coudy did find the end zone on its next drive when Whitman scored from five yards out to complete a seven-play, 49-yard drive following a Tide punt. The Falcons' 2-point run failed.
Curwensville countered with a methodical 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
Greslick and Tibbens jump-started the drive with runs of 12 and 15 yards, respectively. Five straight runs by Greslick for 29 yards got the Tide into the red zone, and Tibbens scored his first varsity touchdown two plays later from five yards out early in the second quarter. Smeal's kick made it 14-6.
Coudy answered right back with a score, as Zach Elenchin hauled in a middle screen and raced 40 yards to paydirt with 5:59 left in the half to pull the Falcons within two at 14-12.
Whitman picked off McCracken on the ensuing drive, then promptly ripped off a 65-yard scoring run. Ethan Hite's 2-point run made it 20-14 Falcons at the half as Coudy stopped the Tide on downs in the red zone just before the break.
Curwensville's defense made a big play early in the third quarter when Jake B. Stiles pounced on a fumbled snap by Hite at the Tide 40. Stiles had two fumble recoveries in the game.
McCracken and Russell then hooked up on passes of 11 and 18 yards, with the latter coming on fourth-and-6 at the Falcons' 35. Fullback Brad Coudriet scored from 17 yards out four plays later, and Smeal's kick made it 21-20 Tide.
Whitman's 96-yard scamper at the end of the quarter was set up by the Falcons defense, which stopped the Tide on downs at the Coudy 4-yard line.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Tide, however, as they got a 1-yard plunge from Alex Olson and a 40-yard touchdown by Tibbens to set the eventual final at 34-26.
The Tide defense did the rest to preserve the victory.
Curwensville (1-0) hosts Cameron County on Friday.
Score By Quarters
Curwensville 7 7 7 13-34
Coudersport 6 14 6 0-26
CU-Russell 45 pass from H. McCracken (Smeal kick), 11:07.
CO-Whitman 5 run (run failed), 3:48.
CU-Tibbens 5 run (Smeal kick), 10:49.
CO-Elenchin 40 pass from Hite (run failed), 5:59.
CO-Whitman 65 run (Hite run), 4:26.
CU-B. Coudriet 17 run (Smeal kick), 5:38.
CO-Whitman 96 run (run failed), 0:00.
CU-Olson 1 run (run failed), 7:15.
CU-Tibbens 40 run (Smeal kick), 4:59.
Total First Downs 20 12
Rushes-Yards 56-305 35-314
Comp-Att-Int 5-9-1 5-6-1
Passing Yards 91 90
Total Plays-Yards 65-396 41-404
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 5-4
Punts-Avg 1-21 0-0
Penalties-Yards 4-30 2-15
Curwensville-Tibbens 19-134, Greslick 23-123, B. Coudriet 9-43, Olson 2-5, H. McCracken 1-2, Team 2-(-2).
Coudersport-Whitman 15-237, Freeman 12-81, Elenchin 3-5, Hite 4-(-8), Team 1-(-1).
Curwensville-H. McCracken 5-of-9, 91 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.
Coudersport-Hite 5-of-5, 90 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.
Coudersport-Whitman 2-26, Elenchin 1-40, Hershey 1-15, Freeman 1-9.