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Curwensville holds second quarter lead over Purchase Line @tide_football @PLRedDragons

Written by: on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

 

Purchase Line’s sophomore Austin Chambers attempts to cover a touchdown pass to a Curwensville receiver (above). RAY KAUFFMAN PHOTO.

The Curwensville Golden Tide traveled to the Purchase Line Red Dragons’ home field Friday, October 8, where they stunned the Dragons with a final score of 24-22. With a single touchdown by the Golden Tide in the second quarter being the deciding fate for the Red Dragons, they go on to mourn their second loss in a row, while Curwensville’s record improves to 4-3.

The first quarter was a chess match. Both teams fought hard to get to the endzone, but their opposing defenses fought harder. The ball was exchanged back and forth between the two teams. The Golden Tide had success with moving the ball, but in the end the Red Dragons defense held strong. On the other hand, Purchase Line’s offense struggled to consistently move the ball. After a hard fought first quarter the score remained 0-0.

The second quarter began on the Purchase Line 40, after a big run from the Golden Tide’s senior wide receiver Ty Terry. Senior running back Thad Butler took the ball for 20-yards on the next play, but due to a flag on the play, Curwensville was forced back to their own 40-yard line. From here, the Dragons stopped the Golden Tide from advancing any further, leading to a punt.

Although Purchase Line’s drive ended in a three-and-out, the Dragons intercepted Curwensville’s pass on their third play of offense for this series. Even still, the Golden Tide put up a wall that stopped the Dragons from any movement, so it wasn’t long before Curwensville was given another shot at the endzone, beginning at the 46-yard line. Initially, things looked good for the Dragons, after senior Vincenzo Scott took down the Golden Tide runner for a loss of yards, but on the next play, junior quarterback Dan McGarry dropped back to pass. McGarry launched a 59-yard bomb to Terry, who was waiting at the 20-yard line, leading to a 59-yard touchdown and a lead for Curwensville. With no more scoring in the first half, the score at the end of the second quarter was 7-0, leaving the Golden Tide with a one touchdown lead over the Dragons.

McGarry opened the third quarter with a bang. From his own 48-yard line, McGarry’s ran straight up the left side of the field to the 23-yard line. This set up Butler for his 23-yard touchdown up the right sideline that made the score 14-0. Then, finally, the Red Dragons started showing some light in the form of senior fullback Jayce Brooks. Brooks was open to the side of Elick, and a short pass and a 13-yard run later, the Dragons had a first down at their own 37-yard line. Brooks took the ball another 10 yards up the field on the next play, and two plays after this, he ran from the Golden Tide 47 to inside the 30. A few plays later, a quick pass from Elick to senior running back Brady Syster gave the Dragons some points on the board with a 9-yard touchdown. Brooks took care of the two-point conversion, making the score 14-8 with less than nine minutes left in the third quarter.

Curwensville wasted no time with an answer. McGarry threw a short pass to one of the receivers, the ball was tipped by Purchase Line, and landed right into the arms of senior Andrew Freyer who took it to the redzone. A few plays later, Curwensville’s senior Jake Mullins kicked a field goal to make it 17-8. Purchase Line’s struggles from the first half continued to haunt them. Backed deep into their own territory, Elick had nowhere to go with the ball and was taken down. On the next play, the ball was fumbled in the endzone and recovered by the Golden Tide’s Blaine Withering. This meant another touchdown for Curwensville and a big lead of 24-8. This closed out the scoring for the third quarter, with the Golden Tide holding the lead, 24-8.

Purchase Line opened the fourth quarter with a fumble that was recovered by Curwensville. However, this situation did not last long, because a few plays later, the Golden Tide fumbled the ball, allowing the Dragons to make the recovery. From the Curwensville 48, Elick passed the ball to fellow sophomore Austin Chambers for a first down. Brooks dodged three tacklers for the next first down, and took it to the redzone two plays later. Elick capped the drive himself with an 8-yard touchdown, and also took care of the two-point conversion, making the score 24-16 with just less than seven minutes left to play in the game.

Purchase Line’s defense showed up to play during Curwensville’s next series. After a few plays, they were forced to punt near midfield. Sophomore Brock Small returned the punt to the 46-yard line, giving the Dragons good field position to start their next drive. It was Elick and Brooks that ran the ball closer and closer to the Golden Tide’s endzone. From the 13-yard line, Elick passed the ball to Brooks who only had wide open green in front of him as he ran to the endzone. The Dragons were now two points away from tying the game, and with the quarter winding down, Curwensville had to stop Purchase Line from getting this conversion if they wanted to win. This was exactly what they did. Elick was stopped short of the endzone and Curwensville took the win from the Dragons, with a final score 24-22.

Butler commented on his team’s performance, “I feel like the defensive stop on the two-point conversion to keep our lead in the fourth quarter was the most important play in the game for us. We all understood what needed to happen in order for us to win. The win was big in getting us back where we needed to be because we didn’t play last Friday and it should give us the confidence that we need for the rest of the season.”

Brooks said, “In the first half, we weren’t prepared. We planned all week and had it perfect until a few setbacks drove us back. We were missing blocks all around and just weren’t getting the push we needed. In the second half, we figured out what we were doing wrong and fixed our problems. Simple little mistakes were our downfall and we need to learn to resolve those mistakes and keep going full bore for next week. We have to play the whole game.”

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