SMETHPORT – The Curwensville Golden Tide high school football team returned to the District 9 (D-9) playoffs for the first time since 2018 when the Tide were upended by Smethport 28-0 in the D-9 tournament semi-finals.
And, once again, the Hubbers defeated the Tide in the D-9 playoffs, once again in the “A” quarterfinals Friday night in Smethport by a final of 46-27.
The Hubbers owned the first quarter as quarterback Noah Lent scored on a one yard run with 6:17 to play in the opening frame for the game’s first points.
Next score for Smethport, in the first quarter, was a Lent 25 yard TD toss to Brandon Higley with 2:27 to go before second quarter action.
The Hubbers did not score extra points after either touchdown but did take a 12-0 lead after one.
Curwensville started to make a game of it in the second when, with 11:53 to go before halftime, Tide QB Danny McGarry scored on a seven yard run which was followed by the point after by Jake Mullins.
Smethport took an 18-7 edge on a Ryan Mason 27 yard run at 6:41 of the second. Again the two point conversion attempt failed.
Coming right back, the Tide scored quickly with 5:41 to play before the break on a 56 yard touchdown pass from McGarry to Thad Butler. This time, however, the Hubbers blocked the extra point attempt and maintained an 18-13 margin.
Showing its fight and determination the Golden Tide took its only lead of the game, 20-18, when with 3:04 to play in the first half McGarry tossed a 73 yard touchdown bomb to Ty Terry as Mullins was good on the point afterwards to push Curwensville in front.
The Smethport offense, though, responded right before the intermission when Lent hit Alex Ognen on a 35 yard strike with just 25 seconds to play before the half . The try for the two point conversion failed, but the Hubbers went back in front of the Tide 24-20, a lead they would keep the rest of the way.
At the 8:34 mark of the third quarter the Hubbers stretched its lead to 30-20 when Ryan Mason scored on the ground from just three yards out. The extra point attempt failed.
The fight in the Tide wasn’t quite over with as Curwensville once again shortened the gap to 30-27 as McGarry hit Terry on a 44 yard touchdown pass as Mullins added the PAT with 2:59 to play before the fourth quarter.
Smethport though, controlled the fourth and final frame, scoring two more touchdowns. The first on a 12 yard run by Ryan Pelchy and another with just 2:30 to go in the contest on a Lent five yard rush. Lent tossed for two successful two point conversions, both to Higley as the Hubbers, now 8-2, move on to fight another day.
The Hubbers had three runners go over the century mark as Lent had 177 yards on 25 carries from the quarterback position and running backs Pelchy and Mason had 135 and 123 respectively. In total Smethport ran for 433 yards on 56 carries.
Lent also was four of eight passing for 108 yards.
Smethport will continue its quest for a sixth District 9 “A” title when it battles Union/AC Valley in the semi-finals either next Friday or Saturday as the day, site and time have yet to be announced.
Curwensville has three District 9 championships, all in Class A, 2000, 2004 and 2010.
The Golden Tide put up some big record breaking numbers this past season in the passing game as McGarry threw for 2349 yards, with 346 yards on 16 of 26 attempts in the finale, and Terry had 1119 receiving yards, 209 on just six receptions against Smethport, both Golden Tide season records.
Butler also added almost 1,000 rushing yards in the explosive Curwensville offense, with his final total of 980.
The Golden Tide, in its third season under head coach Jimmy Thompson, finished the 2021 campaign with an overall record of 6-5.
CURWENSVILLE 0 20 7 0 27
SMETHPORT 12 12 6 16 46
SMTH 6:17 Noah Lent 1 yard run
PAT failed 0 6
SMTH 2:27 Lent 25 yard pass to Brandon Higley
Two point conversion attempt failed 0 12
CURW 11:53 Danny McGarry 7 yard run
Jake Mullins PAT 7 12
SMTH 6:41 Ryan Mason 27 yard run
Two point conversion attempt failed 7 18
CURW 5:24 McGarry 56 yard pass to Thad Butler
PAT blocked 13 18
CURW 3:04 McGarry 73 yard pass to Ty Terry
Mullins PAT 20 18
SMTH :25 Lent 35 yard pass to Alex Ognen
Two point conversion attempt failed 20 24
SMTH 8:34 Mason 3 yard run
PAT failed 20 30
CURW 2:59 McGarry 44 yard pass to Terry
Mullins PAT 27 30
SMTH 8:46 Ryan Pelchy 12 yard run
Lent pass to Higley for two point conversion 27 38
SMTH 2:30 Lent 5 yard run
Lent pass to Higley for two point conversion 27 46