CURWENSVILLE – After preparing for the most anticipated game on the schedule a week ago, the Curwensville Area High School football team is set to be part of perhaps the least noticed game in the AML-South this week. The Golden Tide fell to Brockway 41-26 last week in a game that featured two undefeated teams. Friday night, Curwensville will try to get back in the win column as they host win-less Ridgway at Riverside Stadium.
The Elkers have managed just 27 points on the season and have been shut out in half of their games including last week’s 41-0 loss to Johnsonburg. The smallest margin of victory for Ridgway’s opponents has been 26 points – a 26-0 loss to Sheffeild. However, as a team they have shown improvement, and the game has to be decided on the field.
“We can’t take anyone for granted,” warned Andy Evanko, Tide head coach. “We need to be ready to play each week, and this Friday isn’t any different.”
The Elker offense has had to work without their top runner in senior D.J. Skraba. Skraba was back in the line-up last week and ran for 40 yards as did Alex Dickant from the quarterback position. The Elkers totaled just 120 yards against the Rams.
“Early in the season D.J. Skraba was hurt and he came back last week,” noted Evanko. “Ridgway had some huge penalties last week that kept them out of the end zone. Like everyone else, they’re getting better each week and can throw the ball well.”
Perhaps the real struggle for Curwensville this week is to refocus after a disappointing loss. Last week the Golden Tide ran into a Rover squad that found a solid run attack to compliment a top notch passing game. This week, with one loss, the hosts can’t allow emotion to control the game.
“The loss did seem to effect us the first couple of days,” Evanko addmitted.” The guys came out of the funk last night (Tuesday) and had a pretty good practice.
The offense for Curwensville will undoubtedly be ready to get out of the funk as leading rusher Alex Holland was held under 100 yards for the first time all season against Brockway. Holland, a junior, has totaled 1164 yards on the season, but gained just 83 yards on 24 carries last week. The passing attack combining quarterbacks Hunter McCracken and Alex Starr threw for 92 yards on a 9-for-21 night. McCracken has thrown nine touchdowns on the year and tallied 374 yards. Starr has 181 total yards through the air with two TD’s.
Shae Best and Shane Hoover continue to lead the receiving corps. Best has pulled in 10 catches for 258 yards and six scores. Hoover has 12 grabs that includes four scores and 227 yards.
“We have to get back to the fundamentals and focus on some things we let get away from us a bit,” Evanko said. “We have to block better and tackle better. There’s no need to revamp anything, just get better.”
Holland has posted the top count for Tide tackles with 46 total while Jesse Zorger and Zack Dimmick have 26 knock downs each. Shelby McGary has added 24 with Starr, Best and Garrett LaBorde all posting 20 stops.
While the competition on the field doesn’t appear to be that stiff for Curwensville this week, getting back on the winning track will go a long way in building confidence for the remainder of the season.
Curwensville defeated Ridgway 41-8 last year. Kick off is set for 7:00 Friday in Curwensville.