Tide get off to slow start in loss to Rovers|
Saturday, October 6, 2012
By Chris Wechtenhiser For The Progress
BROCKWAY - Football fans got their money's worth and then some Friday night in Brockway, as the host Rovers knocked off Curwensville in a wild 56-34 affair at Frank Varischetti Field to seize control of the Allegheny Mountain League South Division race.
The Rovers came out guns a blazing, scoring on their first five possessions to stun the Golden Tide faithful and take a 35-0 lead just 15:33 into the game.
However, Curwensville, capitalizing on two Rover turnovers in the second quarter, stormed back in the next 10 minutes of action. The Golden Tide ripped off 28 unanswered points of its own to get within a touchdown at 35-28 in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
Junior tailback Zach Tibbens helped jump-start the Tide's comeback bid, scoring three of the those four touchdowns. Tibbens finished the night with 22 carries for 166 yards and four scores.
The teams then traded touchdown drives before the Rovers scored twice in the fourth quarter to cement their victory. Brockway scored on eight of its 12 possessions, with two of the non-scoring possessions being one-play kneel-downs to end the first and second halves.
With the win, Brockway (6-0, 3-0 AML South) took control of the South Division over Curwensville (5-1, 2-1) and Elk County Catholic (5-1, 2-1), which lost 17-14 to Kane Friday.
"I am happy with the way we came back, not happy with the way we started the football game," said Curwensville head coach Andy Evanko. "I don't know how, why or whatever, but we always seem to come up here and be flat for the first quarter and a half, and by then the hole is so darn big you can't dig out of it.
"We just have to answer the bell when the bell rings. We're going to work on that this week, and when we hear ‘ding, ding,' we're going to come out with our gloves up instead of leading with our face.
"Brockway played a great game though. They blocked well, tackled well and did a nice job. Our kids are resilient though and kept fighting. We're a bunch of brawlers and tried to hang in there, but we ended up way short tonight."
Brockway's early offensive onslaught was aided by the Golden Tide failing on two separate fourth down plays in their own territory, turning the ball over at the 39- and 44-yard lines in the first quarter.
Rovers quarterback Alec Shaffer-Doan tossed touchdown passes to Anthony Benson (22 yards), Jacob Perrin (46 yards) and Chad Melillo (20 yards) in the opening surge, while Melillo and Kyle Titler had TD runs of two and one yards, respectively.
Shaffer-Doan completed 9 of 13 passes for 186 yards, four TDs and one interception, while Melillo carried the ball 26 times for 164 yards and two scores while adding two catches for 54 yards and the one TD.
Curwensville started its comeback try after Melillo's 20-yard TD grab, putting together an 8-play, 76-yard scoring drive. Alex Olson jump-started the drive with runs of 18, then 37 yards to help the Tide overcome a holding penalty. Tibbens scored from four yards out two plays later, and Spencer Smeal's extra point made it 35-7.
It appeared Brockway would have great field position on the ensuing kickoff, as Benson returned the ball out near midfield. However, he fumbled battling for extra yards, and the Tide's Kyle Johns recovered it at the Rover 48.
Curwensville needed just four plays to hit paydirt, as Tibbens ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-3 play. Olson's 2-point run made it 35-15.
The Golden Tide defense came up with a huge play when Travis Lansberry picked off a Shaffer-Doan pass that bounced off the hands of Perrin. Lansberry's return gave Curwensville the ball at the Brockway 45 before another holding penalty pushed back the Tide.
Olson promptly got the Tide into the red zone with a 45-yard rumble. Olson had nine carries for 112 yards in the first half but didn't have a carry in the second half.
Jordan Russell capped the drive four plays later when he made a sliding grab in the end zone for a 5-yard score on fourth-and-3 with seven seconds left in the half. Smeal's kick made it 35-22 at the break.
Curwensville got the second half kickoff and quickly overcame a third holding penalty when Hunter McCracken hit Austin Jacobson for 35 yards one play after Tibbens and Russell just missed connecting on a halfback pass play.
Tibbens broke off a 23-yard TD run on the next play, but Smeal's kick was wide right to keep it a seven-point game (35-28).
Another nice return by Benson, this one 38 yards, gave Brockway the ball at the Tide 47, and the Rovers promptly put together an eight-play scoring drive. All eight plays were on the ground, with Melillo finishing things off with a two-yard plunge. Philip Esposito booted one of eight PATs to give the Rovers a 14-point lead.
Curwensville answered right back with a quick seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Tibbens and Brad Coudriet each had 12-yard runs to start the drive, but it was a huge 35-yard grab by Coudriet on fourth-and-6 near midfield that extended it.
Tibbens then punctuated the drive with a 12-yard score, running over one defender and dragging another into the end zone.
Russell just missed getting into the end zone on a fake extra point as the Tide trailed by eight (42-34) with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
That's as close as the Tide got as Brockway put the game away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Curwensville hosts Ridgway (1-5) Friday night.
Score By Quarters
Curwensville 0 22 12 0-34
Brockway 21 14 7 14-56
B-Benson 22 pass from Shaffer-Doan, (Esposito kick), 8:45.
B-Melillo 2 run, (Esposito kick), 4:24.
B-Titler 1 run, (Esposito kick), 0:06
B-Perrin 46 pass from Shaffer-Doan, (Esposito kick), 11:39.
B-Melillo 20 pass from Shaffer-Doan, (Esposito kick), 8:27.
C-Tibbens 4 run, (Smeal kick), 4:58.
C-Tibbens 41 run, (Olson run), 3:01.
C-Russell 5 pass from McCracken, (Smeal kick), 0:07.
C-Tibbens 23 run, (kick failed), 10:25.
B-Melillo 2 run, (Esposito kick), 7:29.
C-Tibbens 12 run, (run failed), 4:55.
B-Perrin 4 pass from Shaffer-Doan, (Esposito kick), 10:03.
B-Titler 2 run, (Esposito kick), 5:41.
Total First Downs 19 18
Rushes-Yards 47-318 43-253
Comp-Att-Int 6-16-1 9-13-1
Passing Yards 87 186
Total Plays-Yards 63-405 56-439
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Punts-Avg 2-31 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-50 5-34
Curwensville-Tibbens 22-166, Olson 9-112, Greslick 9-26, Coudriet 3-18, Russell 1-19, Team 1-(-3), McCracken 2-(-20).
Brockway-Melillo 26-164, Benson 5-50, Titler 7-30, Shaffer-Doan 2-11, Perrin 1-0, Team 2-(2).
Curwensville-McCracken 6-of-14, 87 yds., TD, Int.; Tibbens 0-of-2.
Brockway-Shaffer-Doan 9-of-13, 186 yds., 4 TDs, Int.
Curwensville-Jacobson 1-35, Coudriet 1-35, Russell 3-14, J.B. Stiles 1-3.
Brockway-Perrin 3-68, Benson 3-58, Melillo 2-54, Isabella 1-6.