COMMODORE – When you turn the ball over five times, have numerous penalties with some on touchdown plays, you probably shouldn’t expect to come out on top.
But that’s exactly what the Curwensville Golden Tide football team did going up against Purchase Line on the Red Dragons’ home field Friday night, winning 24-22.
Neither team could find the other’s end zone in the first 12 minutes and the only score of the first half came with 3:35 to play before the break when Tide quarterback Danny McGarry hit Ty Terry on a 60 yard touchdown strike. The extra point attempt by Jake Mullins gave Curwensville a 7-0 halftime lead.
Apparently both squads made some worthwhile adjustments at the half as a defensive battle turned into better offense for both squads over the final 24 minutes.
Curwensville received the second half kickoff and promptly marched 80 yards in just 30 seconds to open up a 14-0 edge as senior running back Thad Butler ran it in from 22 yards out. Again, Mullins booted the PAT.
Purchase Line answered with its first score on the next drive as John Elick tossed a nine yard touchdown pass to Brady Syster with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter. Jayce Brooks ran in the two point conversion attempt and suddenly it was ‘game on’ as the Tide held a 14-8 margin.
Mullins, at the 5:48 mark of the third frame, booted a 19 yard field goal that upped the Golden Tide lead to 17-8.
Just about one minute later, with 4:59 to go in the third, it looked like the Tide had perhaps put the game away as sophomore Jarrett Anderson jumped on a fumble in the end zone by the Red Dragons for a defensive score which was followed by another successful PAT attempt by Mullins.
After three quarters it was Curwensville out in front 24-8.
The Red Dragons, to its credit, bounced back with two scores in the fourth.
Elick ran nine yards for a score with just 6:48 to play which he followed up with a two point conversion attempt that cut the Tide lead to 24-16.
After getting the ball back the Red Dragons scored once again. This time it was Elick finding Jayce Brooks for a 13 yards TD pass that cut the Curwensville lead to 24-22 with just 2:20 to got before the final gun.
Now came the all important Purchase Line two point conversion attempt that, if successful, would knot the game and perhaps send the contest into overtime.
Elick took the snap and rolled to his right on what looked a potential run, pass option. But the Tide defense, as they say, rose to the occasion, smothered Elick which secured the big win for Curwensville.
As mentioned the Tide had five turnovers on the night, three fumbles and two interceptions.
McGarry’s 292 yards passing during the game gave him 1694 on the season, breaking the school record of 1526 set by Jake Terry in 2015.
Jake’s younger brother Ty had 127 yards receiving, enabling him to also surpass a Golden Tide season record with 818, surpassing Quamone Newkirk’s 781, also set back in 2015.
It was only the third meeting between the two schools, and the first since 1965 when Curwensville prevailed 33-0. The year before, 1964, the Tide also shutout the Red Dragons 19-0.
The Red Dragons are 4-3 on the season and are home against Homer-Center next Friday.
Up next for the Golden Tide, also 4-3 on the season, is a trip to battle “AA” Southern Huntingdon next Friday, with kick-off set for 7 pm. This will be Curwensville’s third straight game on the road.
Listen to the Tide-Rockets game on WOKW-FM, 102.9, starting with the pre-game show at 6:45 pm.
CURWENSVILLE 0 7 17 0 24
PURCHASE LINE 0 0 8 14 22
CURW 3:35 Danny McGarry 60 yd pass to Ty Terry
Jake Mullins PAT 7 0
CURW 11:30 Thad Butler 22 yd run
Mullins PAT 14 0
PL 8:21 John Elick 9 yd pass to Brady Syster
Jayce Brooks 2 point conversion run 14 8
CURW 5:48 Mullins 19 yd FG 17 8
CURW 4:59 Jarrett Anderson fumble recovery in end zone
Mullins PAT 24 8
PL 6:48 Elick 9 yd run
Elick 2 point conversion run 24 16
PL 2:20 Elick 13 yd pass to Brooks
Two point conversion attempt failed 24 22